The stakes in Sudan are high, as there are less than six months until south Sudan is slated to vote on independence. As a new report warns,
If the North-South peace deal in Sudan breaks down over the referenda for the South and/or [the North-South border region of] Abyei, and the Darfur conflict intensifies, Sudan would likely become the deadliest conventional war in the world in 2011.
The independence vote is a key part of the already-strained 2005 north-south peace accord, which the U.S. helped broker. In the separate conflict in Sudan's west, in Darfur, government-incited militias continue to keep millions of civilians from being able to return to their homes and land in safety. In "Avoiding the Train Wreck in Sudan: U.S. Leverage for Peace," the untiring folk at the Enough Project outline eight -- count 'em, eight -- kinds of leverage the U.S. could use, but is not currently using, to press for a just and sustainable peace in Sudan. Would this be easy? Of course not. Is it doable? Not if we don't even try. Is it a moral imperative? The answer to that is a loud, resounding yes.
Elizabeth Palmberg is an associate editor of Sojourners.