The North's Invasion of Abyei Could Spark Another Civil War
Violence in Sudan's disputed region of Abyei threatens to unravel the fragile peace gained from January's secession vote in the south. Before full-scale war erupts, Washington must press Khartoum for restraint and reform -- and fast.
In January, the United States and much of the international community celebrated as the people of south Sudan voted in a long-awaited referendum on whether to secede from Sudan and form a new country. Ninety-eight percent voted yes. The balloting was considered free and fair; U.S. President Barack Obama congratulated Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for his statesmanlike acceptance of the results and promise of future cooperation with the south when it gains formal independence on July 9.
Khartoum's massive bombing campaign in Abyei and its attempt to steal the election in Southern Kordofan smack of a last desperate effort to reclaim the offensive against growing internal opposition in the north.