Sudan is not the country you may think it is — a hardline, genocidal, Sharia-based military dictatorship battling fractious rebels deep in its oil-rich deserts and mountains. That’s the country you may have imagined under the presidency of Omar al-Bashir — that is, before the eruption of an "Arab Spring" that toppled the longtime autocrat this month. But that’s only part of the story: at the convergence of the White and Blue Niles, where the capital, Khartoum, is situated, water-skiers cut their wakes, while teenage girls in jeans play ten-pin bowling in shopping malls; at Omdurman, whirling dervishes in long green robes spin themselves into a trance in the Sufi tradition; while in Al Fasher, in Darfur, couples tryst in its public gardens. And yet this is indeed a deeply troubled country, fraying at the edges. About 300,000 people were killed between 2003 and 2008 in conflict in its three western Darfur provinces — a conflict with distinct elements of genocide, war crimes and crimes...

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