IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Sudan lifts emergency law, except in Darfur, east

Sudan's new presidency on Sunday lifted the state of emergency in Sudan, except in the conflict-torn regions of Darfur and the east, a statement from the presidential palace said.
/ Source: Reuters

Sudan's new presidency on Sunday lifted the state of emergency in Sudan, except in the conflict-torn regions of Darfur and the east, a statement from the presidential palace said.

One day after former southern rebel leader John Garang was sworn in as first vice president to head a new government as President Omar Hassan al-Bashir's deputy, emergency law giving authorities wide powers to detain without charge and to crack down on opposition forces was cancelled.

The statement said Bashir had lifted the state of emergency, in force in Sudan since 1999, except in five states. They are the three states of Darfur and two states bordering Eritrea in the east, where a low intensity conflict escalated in recent months.

"The president of the republic today issued a decree cancelling the state of emergency in all the states of Sudan except North Darfur, South Darfur, West Darfur, Kassala and the Red Sea states, according to the interim constitution and with the agreement of the first vice president," the statement said.

Garang joined the government following a peace deal in January which ended Africa's longest civil war. Emergency law was expected to be lifted after the new presidency was sworn in and a new constitution adopted on Saturday.

But the southern peace deal does not cover a separate conflict in the remote western Darfur region, where rebels took up arms in early 2003 accusing the central government of neglect and of giving Arab tribes preferential treatment.

Tens of thousands have been killed and more than 2 million forced from their homes in the violence, which the United States calls genocide.

Garang and Bashir were expected to keep the state of emergency in Darfur, where faltering peace talks are ongoing but are far from reaching a settlement.

In Sudan's east, one of the main Darfur rebel groups began joint operations with eastern rebels earlier this year, a move which has led to an intensification in the conflict with the central government and caused concern in the international community.