The Common Good

No Sense in Washington About Sudan

The countdown is on to next year's independence referendum in southern Sudan; if the murderous regime in Khartoum is allowed to sabotage this critical vote, the entire hard-won 2005 north-south peace agreement -- into which the Sudanese, global activists, and the U.S. government have put such energy and toil -- could collapse into decades more of civil war.

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In the separate conflict in Sudan's western region of Darfur, where over two million people remain exiled from their land for fear of government-encouraged ethnically-based militias which rape and kill civilians, violence is on the upsurge. So normally I'd be reluctant to make the serious accusation that the U.S. effort to pressure the Khartoum regime and others in Sudan lacks a sense of urgency.

Except that last week a U.S. State Department official told The New York Times that, in Washington, there's "no sense of urgency that this is a crucial moment" in Sudan.

This is a senseless statement in more ways than one. Read activists' outraged response here.

portrait-elizabeth-palmbergElizabeth Palmberg is an associate editor of Sojourners.

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