The Common Good

Heading off Next Year's Deadliest War

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,

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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.

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