Don't Blow It, World: Sudan Has Chance at Peace
Op-ed: Other nations must keep up pressure ahead of referendum
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2010 1:52 PM CST
A soldier of the joint Sudanese-Chadian border patrol forces attends a meeting with Sudanese government officials near Seleah in West Darfur, Sudan.   (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)
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(Newser) – For Sudan, this might be as optimistic as it gets: Two experts have returned from a two-week visit and concluded that war and violence "are not inevitable" following January's referendum on southern independence. "But only if the international community sets clear lines of acceptable behavior as the two sides manage an acrimonious and potentially violent divorce," write Michael Abramowitz of the US holocaust museum and former envoy Andrew Natsios in the Boston Globe.

It's not clear the government in the North will go along with the results, and "outside leverage" goes only so far in Khartoum. But given that 2 million southerners were killed in the civil war that ended in 2005, the world can't sit idle and allow another "outrage" of that magnitude. "While the hour is late, the goal of peaceful separation is plainly within reach, with hard bargaining and sustained vigilance by the outside world."