An Ugly Peace for Sudan

On January 9, 2011, the people of Southern Sudan will vote for independence from the North, taking with them most of the country’s known oil reserves and placing millions of civilians in the direct path of war. The current moment requires robust diplomacy – the kind that can leave a bad taste in your mouth, but that gets the job done.

STANFORD – Well, America is involved at last. President Barack Obama has dispatched Senator John Kerry to Sudan with a proposal for peace between the country’s North and South. It’s a giant step toward avoiding the kind of bloodshed that killed more than two million people in Sudan’s previous 20-year North-South civil war, which ended only in 2005 – and is threatening to erupt once again.

In recent months, Obama has stepped up his own involvement and that of senior figures in his administration in support of a peace strategy for Sudan. On his behalf, Kerry has delivered a package of proposals designed to break the logjam that has brought the North and South to a dangerous crossroads.

We have written a memo that spells out some of the essential elements of what a grand bargain for peace in Sudan could look like. If you’re interested in the specifics of a possible peace deal – and in actions that you can take to support it – go to www.sudanactionnow.org.