KHARTOUM Oct 12 (Reuters) - Sudan will go ahead with plans to adopt an
entirely Islamic constitution and strengthen Islamic law, President Omar
Hassan al-Bashir said on Wednesday, three months after its former civil war
enemy South Sudan became independent.
Juba seceded on July 9 after a referendum agreed under a 2005 peace deal
that ended decades of civil war between the mainly Muslim north and the
South where most follow Christian and traditional beliefs.
Bashir had said in December that Sudan would adopt an Islamic constitution
if Juba seceded but many southerners had hoped he would not deliver on this.
His comments will add to uncertainty for more than a million southerners who
still live in the north and are now treated legally as foreigners. Khartoum
has given them until spring to leave or obtain the legal right to stay, a
"Ninety eight percent of the people are Muslims and the new constitution
will reflect this. The official religion will be Islam and Islamic law the
main source (of the constitution)," Bashir told students in Khartoum in a
"We call it a Muslim state," said Bashir, wanted by the International
Criminal Court on charges of war crimes in Dafur.
The 2005 peace deal set up an interim constitution which limited Islamic law
to the north and recognised "the cultural and social diversity of the
Many southerners say they feel no longer welcome in the north since the
split. They have lost government jobs and now need work and residency
permits to stay in the north. (Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Ulf
Laessing; Editing by Louise Ireland)
JOHANNESBURG Oct 13 (Reuters) - Malawi will allow Sudanese President Omar
al-Bashir into the country for a regional trade summit starting on Friday
and has no plans to arrest him under an International Criminal Court
warrant, a senior government official said on Thursday.
"Malawi believes in brotherly coexistence between COMESA states and beyond
so we will not arrest him. He is a free person in Malawi," Deputy Foreign
Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa told Reuters.
The decision will likely lead to the further diplomatic isolation of
Malawi's President Bingu wa Mutharika, who is locked in diplomatic row with
major aid donor Britain and earned international condemnation after
government forces killed 20 protesters at anti-government rallies in July.
COMESA is the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.
The ICC issued an arrest warrant last year for Bashir on charges of
orchestrating genocide in the Darfur region, where as many as 300,000 people
have died since 2003.
The European Union in August expressed concern about a second visit to Chad
by Bashir, saying he should have been arrested. Bashir has also gone to
countries including Kenya, Djibouti and China since warrants have been
The ICC earlier issued a warrant in March 2009 for war crimes and crimes
against humanity. Bashir has dismissed the charges by the ICC, the world's
first permanent court for prosecuting war crimes, as part of a Western
The influential international right group, Human Rights Watch, said Malawi
was bound by its international obligations to arrest Bashir.
"Malawi should instead uphold its commitment to justice for grave crimes by
cooperating with the ICC, as civil society across Africa has called on their
leaders to do," said Elise Keppler, senior counsel with the group. (Writing
by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
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Received on Thu Oct 13 2011 - 11:31:26 EDT