Sudan Will Be Key Immediate Challenge for U.S. Diplomacy

With the official results coming back on the Southern Sudan referendum reflecting near unanimity in the wish to succeed, at the same time that peaceful student protests have sprung up in Khartoum, inspired by events in Tunisia and Egypt, the U.S. will face some soul searching.  It is reported that we have been preparing to move to “normalization” with Khartoum as the “carrot” for the referendum and a peaceful secession.  At the same time, al-Bashir remains under ICC indictment, repression in the North continues, violence in Darfur seems to have risen–and now, we see indigenous peaceful protest against repression in Khartoum at a time of sweeping change in the region.

Obviously it will be difficult to try to uphold all of our principles while faced with this many “moving pieces”.  Whatever we do will be inevitably imperfect and subject to criticism in our domestic adversarial political system.  Nonetheless, this is important and I hope that we don’t forget the aspirations of the people of the North as well as the South.

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