America and China Have Diplomatic Cards in Play with Khartoum

Gulf Daily News adds a couple additional thought morsels to the subject of diplomatic pressure on Mr Al Bashir, with regard to the Lubna Ahmed Hussein case.

The paper reports that China, Sudan’s main trading partner, is ready to take a tougher line, calling on Khartoum to begin reining in the Janjawid militias. Diplomats say that violence has also decreased in Darfur.

The American administration called last week for Sudan to be removed from the US terrorism blacklist.

All this could be jeopardised by a court ordering Ms Hussein to be flogged - a prospect that Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, has called a violation of human rights standards. Her fight for women’s rights has alarmed the zealots and Islamists around Mr Al Bashir.

But unless he curbs their malign influence, his chances of ending his country’s pariah status look bleak.

See also: U.S. Envoy Says Sudan Sanctions Should Be Eased  NYTimes