Sunday, March 2

Sudan troubles

The Sudanese government has been stepping up attacks in Darfur in recent weeks. The New York Times' Lydia Polgreen describes how the latest round of government-backed attacks resemble the earlier, more violent years of the conflict. The BBC's Amber Henshaw paints a similarly grim picture, quoting Oxfam's Sudan head: "The situation is not better than it was five years ago." More from the BBC here. And AFP reports on last week's visit by America's new Sudan envoy. Reporter Opheera McDoom, who has been covering the conflict for over four years, wonders whether the media coverage is doing any good (Middle East Online). Apparently George Clooney is having similar self-doubts.

Meanwhile, Nicholas Kristof has been making better use of his NYT column space this week, highlighting the danger of a return to war in Southern Sudan and conceding that "those who focused on Sudan’s atrocities in Darfur, myself included, may have inadvertently removed the spotlight from South Sudan." And he highlights the particular threat posed by the disputed, oil-rich Abyei area: "So remember this little town of Abyei. It’s the tinderbox for Africa’s next war, which will probably resemble Darfur but be carried out on a much wider scale." Scott Baldauf takes up the same topic for the Christian Science Monitor.

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