Omar Al Bashir

Is Sudan Next?
February 18, 2011

As protests inspired by the Egyptian uprising spread throughout the Middle East, there has been a lot of speculation about what government might fall next. Could it be Bahrain? Or Libya? Or Yemen? In fact, one of the governments that might, over the long run, be most vulnerable isn’t really on anyone’s radar at the moment.

What About Darfur?
February 09, 2011

In January, southern Sudan held a historic self-determination referendum. Final results, announced this Monday, show that 98.83 percent of voters cast their ballots in favor of the region becoming independent, and Sudan’s president, Omar Al Bashir, is making all the right noises to suggest he is willing to let one-third of his territory go peacefully. The Obama administration, which played a major role in supporting the referendum and getting Khartoum to accept it, rightly sees this as an enormous achievement.

Sudan Dispatch: The Coming Struggle
January 14, 2011

Juba, Sudan—As voting continues in this week’s referendum, which is expected to pass, people here in the south are eagerly awaiting the formal announcement that their homeland, finally, will be a free nation.

Sudan Dispatch: High Stakes
January 08, 2011

Bentiu, Sudan—The stakes of this get-out-the-vote campaign are the highest of any in recent memory. Starting on Sunday, citizens of southern Sudan will participate in a week of voting on a referendum that, if it passes, will make the south an independent nation. For the results to be valid, however, 60 percent of the 3.9 million people who have registered to vote must cast ballots. Here in Unity state, which would be on the northern border of the new South Sudan, officials report with pride that they have the most registered voters of any state (over 500,000).

Sudan Dispatch: Will Oil Keep the Peace?
January 07, 2011

Bentiu, Sudan—Two days ago, President Omar Al Bashir made what is likely to be his last visit to Juba, the southern capital, as the head of a unified Sudan. Promising to be “the first to recognize the south” if southerners vote for independence in this weekend’s referendum, Al Bashir’s conciliatory tone left people here scratching their heads about his real intentions. Mistrust of his ruling National Congress party is intense in the south, and, until last week, officials in Khartoum had been uniformly hostile about the possibility of secession.

A Child Bride in Sudan
October 04, 2010

Khartoum—Amira* is the attractive 16-year-old daughter of an Iraqi mother and Sudanese father. She spent the first ten years of her life in Iraq, where her family lived in an apartment in a multi-story house in Baghdad, just around the corner from her grandmother.

The Disappearing Genocide
August 20, 2010

Last month, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant with additional charges against Sudanese president Omar Al Bashir: three counts of genocide in Darfur. It was an important historical moment. Never before had the court leveled genocide charges at a current head of state.

Cowering in Fear
August 03, 2010

On a hot afternoon this past May, I accompanied a small caravan of international diplomats to the tiny Ugandan village of Abia, set in the heart of the country’s rural north about an hour’s drive from the nearest town. For the better part of the past two decades, much of this area was in the throes of a now-defunct insurgency that pitted the country’s government against a group called the Lord’s Resistance Army.

Already Stolen
April 09, 2010

In February, as part of a delegation from the Save Darfur Coalition, I met Mustafa Ismail in Khartoum. Ismail is the country’s former foreign minister and current presidential adviser to President Omar Al Bashir. He thanked us for our “timely visit,” then proceeded to speak almost uninterrupted for close to an hour about the Sudanese regime’s new commitment to democracy, peace, and development.

Washington Diarist: Platon's Cave
December 18, 2009

I am as worldly as the next dreamer, but the scales fell from my eyes, the same ones that keep finding their way back to my eyes, when I opened The New Yorker a few weeks ago and found, in a portfolio of “portraits of power,” Mussolini’s full-page face piggishly staring at me in chicly lurid detail, the very emblem of brutality made aesthetically acceptable. And when I turned the page there was Franco, in full generalissimo kit gazing coldly forward, every hair on his heartless mustache uncannily vivid in a miracle of photographic verisimilitude. Is nobody any longer beyond the pale?