Sudan set to amend laws and draft new constitution

Jan. 2 (dpa)

Preparations for making a success of the peace agreement between the Sudanese government and rebel groups have been underway in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum on Sunday following of the ceasefire protocols last week in Kenya.

Minister of Justice Ali Osman Yassein announced Sunday the formation of a joint commission between the government and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) to include other northern and southern Sudanese organizations according to the power-sharing arrangement embodied in the comprehensive peace agreement expected next Sunday.

In 1998, Islamist ideologue Hassan Turabi formed the current Sudanese constitution in which a non-Muslim is legally a second-class citizen.

Yassein told the press the task of the commission was to amend laws governing all walks of life in Sudan and to draft a new constitution at federal and states level in the interim period.

The same commission would draft the constitution of south Sudan, he noted.

The legal status of Sudan has been a major stumbling block between the Christian south and Moslem north Sudan since implementation of harsh Islamic or sharia laws by former Sudanese president Jaffer Mohammed Numeiri in 1983.

Southern Sudan shall implement secular laws in the interim period of 6.5 years according to the Machakos framework agreement signed in 2002 between the SPLA and the Sudanese government in Kenya.