Sudan’s fledgling democracy has voted to officially end a decades long Israel boycott law (enacted in 1958) as part of its efforts to normalise ties, with the Jewish state.
Sudanese Justice Minister, Nasredeen Abdulbari, announced the move on Twitter:
The law, which mirrored the pan-Arab politics of the 1950s, had forbidden diplomatic and economic ties with Israel and carried a possible 10-year prison sentence for violations.
Sudan has a small but rich Jewish history. In the 1900s, hundreds of Arabic-speaking Jews from across the Middle East lived in the Sudanese capital harmoniously alongside Muslims and Christians, engaged in business and the professions. Many were forced to flee when the Arab-Israel conflict exploded in the 1950s, arriving in Israel, Geneva, London and the US as stateless refugees and by the 1980s, there was almost no trace of the community left except for the small Jewish graveyard in downtown Khartoum.
In 2019, a public uprising supported by the military ousted the Islamist dictator, Omar al-Bashir, ushering in a new era for the Arab-African nation.
Sudan, along with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco agreed to normalise relations with Israel under the Abraham Accords and brokered by the Trump administration last year.
The abolition of the boycott law paves the way for Sudan to establish diplomatic and trade links with Israel.