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Richard Cockett has been Africa editor of the Economist since 2005. He was previously a senior lecturer in politics and history at the University of London. He is the author of Sudan: Darfur and the Failure of an African State (Yale University Press, 2010)
The forthcoming referendum on independence in south Sudan could lead to the break-up of Africa’s biggest country. But if Sudan has failed as a unitary state its end carries dangers, says Richard Cockett.