At least 20 people have died in Sudan after drinking bootleg alcohol, according to press reports. Agence France Presse said yesterday (20 March) that another eight people have been blinded after drinking spirits distilled in Khartoum and the central state of Gezira.

In 1983, breweries and distilleries across Sudan were closed and alcoholic drinks sales were banned when Islamic sharia law was imposed. The south of Sudan was later exempted from sharia, AFP said, as it is a mostly Christian area. The north of the country has a thriving alcohol black market, however.