There are moving and beautiful pictures coming in from Khartoum as northern and southern Sudanese come together to celebrate the end of the Sudanese civil war together. The BBC has reporters and photographers on the ground and is offering a number of photo portfolios on their website. There’s a set of photos and interviews with northern and southern Sudanese about their hopes for Sudan after the civil war, a portfolio of photos of Janjawid militia and Darfur rebels and photos of refugees displaced in the conflict in Darfur.
The BBC reports that Sudanese vice president Ali Osman Taha predicts that the North/South peace will lead to peace in Darfur. That’s certainly a possibility – feeling less threatened, Khartoum’s government might act to disarm Janjawid militias and provide security in Darfur. Or the government might take advantage of a reduced threat on the southern front to move decisively against rebels in Darfur, displacing more civilians and causing more carnage.
One lesson I’m taking from the peace in Sudan – it’s clear that the Khartoum government is sensitive to outside pressure. The peace agreed on this week is the result of a great deal of outside pressure on the Sudanese government, especially from the US, which has put substantial resources into mediating the conflict. It suggests that the global community would be well served by keeping a close eye on Darfur and reminding the government of Sudan that the world is watching what takes place there.