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Omar al Bashir

Last weekend, I discussed on Radio France International the meeting in Khartoum (Sudan) of thousands of politico-religious militants with strong links to the government: the general conference of the Islamist movement known as Al-Harakat Al-Islamiyyah is the most important political rally in the country of the last 10-15 years. Reformers among them believe Sudan’s military-Islamist regime has drifted from its revolutionary roots. Some are even calling on President Omar al-Bashir to leave office.

Following decades of internal civil strife, on July 11, 2011, the African nation of Sudan separated into two de jure sovereign states as the South finally gained its long-awaited independence. Yet those with any sort of intimate knowledge of Sudan will have viewed the scenes of jubilation across the South and the calm acceptance displayed by the North on the day of separation with caution. Although South Sudan’s moral claims to independence were never in doubt, its possibility of a peaceful future appeared, if anything, less certain following its separation from the North. A year on, it is a prescient time to reflect on how Africa’s most recently divorced couple are faring on their separate paths. For South Sudan, like …