Yet these days, Mr. Obama is presiding over an incoherent, contradictory and apparently failing Sudan policy. There is a growing risk that Sudan will be the site of the world’s bloodiest war in 2011, and perhaps a new round of genocide as well. This isn’t America’s fault, but neither are we using all of our leverage to avert it….
Some 68 organizations have sent a joint letter to Mr. Obama, calling on him to work more energetically to prevent another round of war in Sudan. But so far he has been unengaged, and his administration has been less successful than the last Bush administration in getting Sudan to alter its behavior.
The upshot: Sudan’s on-and-off north-south civil war could resume soon. How bad could it be? Well, the last iteration of that war lasted about 20 years and killed some two million people. Mr. Obama’s former head of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, warned this year that the place facing the greatest risk of genocide or mass killing is southern Sudan…..
Southern Sudanese are expected to vote overwhelmingly to secede. But the region has most of the nation’s oil, and the north is determined not to lose the oil wells driving the nation’s economy…..
Most ominously, Sudan’s government has been stalling in preparations for the referendum in the south, and it may have been channeling weapons to disgruntled factions there. No one expects restraint from President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is facing charges of genocide from the International Criminal Court.
For all his faults, President Bush inherited a war in Sudan and managed to turn it into peace. Mr. Obama inherited a peace that could turn into the world’s bloodiest war next year.