17 March 2010

Can it be happening? Peace -- and democracy -- in Sudan?

The list is impressive:

• Last month, the Sudanese government signed a preliminary peace treaty with the Justice and Equality Movement, Darfur's largest armed rebel group.
• The government of southern Sudan, created under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, is moving towards a mutually agreed upon independence referendum next year.
• The Sudanese will go to the polls next month to elect a president, a national legislature, regional governors, and the leadership of the semi-autonomous south.
• Sudan has normalized relations with Chad, its western neighbour with which it has long shared hostility.

All this is fragile and could come unstuck, but it is remarkable progress nonetheless. An optimist could reasonably see peace in Darfur, an elected government for Sudan, the south peacefully deciding on its future, and good relations between Chad and Sudan.

This represents much good work by the Sudanese government. It deserves acknowledgement and support.

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