US embassy cable - 90KHARTOUM13366

SUDANESE HEAD OF STATE ENDORSES SHARIA LAW

Identifier: 90KHARTOUM13366
Wikileaks: View 90KHARTOUM13366 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Khartoum
Created: 1990-12-23 13:39:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PHUM PGOV SOCI PINS SU
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 231339Z DEC 90
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8499
INFO RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
AMEMBASSY CAIRO
AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY RIYADH
USCENTCOM REAR MACDILL AFB FL
DIA WASHDC

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 13366 
 
FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY 
 
 
E.O.12356:  N/A 
TAGS:  PHUM, PGOV, SOCI, PINS, SU 
SUBJECT:  SUDANESE HEAD OF STATE ENDORSES SHARIA LAW 
 
REF:  A) KHARTOUM 11067, B) KHARTOUM 11182, 
      C) KHARTOUM 11159 
 
 
1.  ACCORDING TO SUDAN'S ENGLISH LANGUAGE WEEKLY "NEW 
HORIZON," SUDAN'S HEAD OF STATE, GENERAL OMAR AL BASHIR, 
HAS PUBLICLY ENDORSED THE 1983 SEPTEMBER LAWS.  PROVIDING 
FOR CORPORAL PUNISHMENT KNOWN AS "HUDUD," THE SEPTEMBER 
LAWS ARE ONE OF THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL ASPECTS OF 
SUDANESE SOCIETY AND JURISPRUDENCE.  ALTHOUGH PRECEDING 
THE SEPTEMBER LAWS, JOHN GARANG'S REBELLION IN MARCH 1983 
CAME IN PART AS A RESULT OF THEN PRESIDENT NIMEIRI'S 
TREND TOWARD ISLAMICIZATION.  HUDUD PUNISHMENTS, ALTHOUGH 
HANDED DOWN, HAVE NOT BEEN IMPLEMENTED SINCE NIMEIRI'S 
OVERTHROW IN 1985, AND THE ROLE OF SHARIA REMAINS A MAJOR 
SYMBOL IN THE CONTINUING CIVIL WAR. 
 
2.  COMMENT:  BASHIR'S ENDORSEMENT OF THE SEPTEMBER LAWS 
COULD LEAD TO IMPLEMENTATION OF HUDUD PUNISHMENTS.  IT 
WILL CERTAINLY LEAD TO A FURTHER ESTRANGEMENT FROM THE 
SOUTH (IF THAT IS POSSIBLE).  IN ADDITION, BASHIR'S 
ANNOUNCEMENT COULD LEAD TO DIFFICULTIES IN SUDAN'S UNITY 
PLANS WITH LIBYA.  DURING HIS RECENT VISIT TO KHARTOUM 
QADHAFI WAS VERY CRITICAL OF SHARIA AND ALLEGEDLY 
INTIMIDATED BASHIR INTO NOT ENDORSING SHARIA AT THAT TIME 
(REFTELS). 
 
 
O'NEILL 

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