Our Man in Khartoum: Ending Sudan’s agony requires ending the rule of Omar Bashir
Will Sudan’s agonies ever end? Last year, the people of South Sudan voted for statehood with the north’s apparent blessing, raising hopes that both sides had put the worst of their past behind them. Celebrities everywhere cheered. But now Khartoum’s jets are bombing South Sudanese towns and even a U.N. compound, and Sudanese dictator Omar Hassan al-Bashir is threatening to “liberate” the south from its elected government.
Something’s gone badly wrong. Maybe President Obama’s new Atrocities Prevention Board can convene a study group.
The supposed cause of the fighting stems from the usual combustible mix of unsettled borders and disputed resources. In 2005, the Bush Administration helped negotiate a “Comprehensive Peace Agreement” that ended the 22-year Second Sudanese Civil War. But the pact failed to draw a definitive border between north and south. Instead, it left the status of several key frontier provinces—some of them rich in oil—to be settled in the future by referendum and “popular consultations.”