Amongst a sweeping list of new legal reforms, Sudan has repealed a provision of its Penal Code that imposed the death penalty upon anyone found guilty of participating in consensual same-sex sexual relations.
Some of the other laws that were passed includes the ban on female genital mutilation, public flogging and removal of an apostasy law that punished abandonment of Islam with death by stoning.
While the removal of the death penalty for same-sex intimacy in Sudan among other major reforms is a step in the right direction, more work has to be done as as consensual same-sex sexual relations in Sudan are still punishable with 5 years in jail for a first time offender, 7 years in jail for a second time offender, and a lifetime imprisonment for a third time offender.
The repeal comes on the heels of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Gabon last month. Presently,Angola, Botswana, Cape Verde, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, the Seychelles, South Africa, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, and Rwanda are the only countries in Africa where homosexuality isn’t illegal.
It remains outlawed in 34 African countries with Somalia, Somaliland, Mauritania and Northern Nigeria still offering the death penalty as a punishment for homosexuality.
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