Sudan dissolves former ruling party of al-Bashir

Sudan dissolves former ruling party of al-Bashir
Sudanese woman chanting during a march in Khartoum marking International Day for Eliminating Violence Against WomenImage copyright AFP
Image caption An archaic law policing women's behaviour was also repealed

A law has been passed in Sudan dissolving the party of ousted former president Omar al-Bashir.

Mr Bashir seized power in a 1989 coup and ruled for almost three decades, until he was overthrown by a protest movement in April.

The country's transitional authorities also repealed a public order law that was used to police women's behaviour.

Both measures responded to key demands of the protest movement, which aims to dismantle Mr Bashir's regime.

Sudan is currently led by a joint military and civilian council, as well as a civilian-led cabinet headed by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

Dissolving Mr Bashir's National Congress Party (NCP) means that the authorities can seize the party's assets. The decree confirmed that a committee would be formed to do this.

This, Mr Hamdok tweeted, is so they can "retrieve the stolen wealth of the people of Sudan".

The decree also said "none of the symbols of the regime or party would be allowed to engage in any political activity for 10 years".

A controversial public order law that severely curtailed women's rights in Sudan was also repealed.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The changes announced by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok meet key demands of the protesters

Activists said under the oppressive regulation, based on particularly harsh interpretations of Islamic Sharia law, women were arrested for attending private parties or wearing trousers.

Rights activists say thousands of women were arrested and flogged for indecency every year, and laws were applied arbitrarily.

Prime Minister Hamdok tweeted: "The laws of public order and public morals were a tool of exploitation, humiliation, violation - violation of the rights of citizens, and a violation of the dignity of the people.

"I send a tribute to the young men and women of my country who have endured the horrors of the application of these laws."

On 25 November, Sudan held its first march in decades for the International Day for Eliminating Violence Against Women.

Women were at the forefront of the movement that toppled Mr Bashir.

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Media captionAhlam Khidir, a grieving mother and one of the movement's most prominent figures
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