Wednesday, May 11, 2005

How to Save Sudan

In a terrific essay, Amir Taheri addresses whether Sudan's brutal Islamist dictatorship is really pursuing reform, or merely playing for time:

The current view in some Western capitals, including Washington, is that the regime of Gen. Omar Hassan al-Bashir has seen the writing on the wall and is trying to introduce a minimum of changes needed to transform Sudan from a rogue state into an acceptable element in the region's new pattern.

In recent months, Khartoum has accepted U.N. Security Council resolutions dealing with the 21-year-old war in the south and signed a peace agreement with Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA-SPLM). The regime has also agreed to cooperate with the United Nations to put an end to the year-long genocide in Darfur. Other diplomatic gestures have reinforced the impression that Khartoum is truly heading for change.

The truth, however, is quite different:

In Taheri's view, continued mass killings such as those in Darfur are inevitable as long as Sudan is ruled by a narrowly-based dictatorship. Democracy and pluralism offer the only long-term hope for that country. Promoting democratic development in Sudan must be the goal of the international community. While skeptics will point out that such change will come neither quickly nor easily, the fact remains that decades of dictatorship have led Sudan into the abyss, and democracy now offers the only way out.

Please give it a read:

Sudan Still Bleeds


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