Drinking Age in Sudan
The possession or the consumption of alcohol is prohibited by law in the country of Sudan. When it comes to morality, there are strict laws in place. For example, men and women cannot share a hotel room or sleep in the same room unless they are married. There are other morality laws in place in the country as well. It is important to adhere to these laws while visiting Sudan as you are subject to the laws of the country even if they are not the same in the country that you are from.
Sudan is an Islamic country and anyone that is caught drinking or smells of alcohol will be lashed. The Sharia punishment for consumption of alcohol is typically forty lashes along with a fine.
Despite these laws, there are still people that brew gin in the country and sell it to the locals. Most of the people that purchase the gin are Arab men. Sharia, which is the government that has banned the sale, possession, and use of alcohol in Sudan, has been in place since 1983. Since the laws were put in place making gin and selling it has been quite a lucrative business.
The illegal brewers of the capital are typically women who have left the conflict in the non-Arabic southern part of the country as well as Darfur.
The spirit is called “araqi” and is typically drunk neat. It is made out of fermented dates, of which there are many available in Sudan. The fermented dates are mixed with yeast and some water and then left to ferment over a three day time span. The liquid is then distilled and produces about eight litres of the spirit each night.
Anyone that is caught brewing alcohol is fined between 150 SDG and 250 SDG. This punishment may change and include whippings as well. The current president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir stated during his campaign that the brewers of alcohol should be whipped as well as fined.
Many people believe that the police are happy to allow the brewing of the araqi to continue as they profit from the confiscated alcohol and the fines.
2005 Peace Deal
In 2005 a peace deal was created between the northern part of the country, which is mostly Muslim and the southern part of the country which is mostly Christian or other traditional religions. Under this peace deal the Sharia law regarding alcohol is not supposed to be applied to anyone that lives in the capital who is not a Muslim.
There are many Muslim Sudanese who oppose the zero-tolerance laws towards alcohol. They state that it is not against their Sufi culture to partake in drink.
While there are many people breaking the drinking laws of the country it is a good idea to not drink alcohol if you are visiting the country of Sudan. The punishment will consist of a fine as well as a set of lashes.