Tuesday, June 19, 2007

ANALYSIS-Sudan a failed state? Depends where you live

By Opheera McDoom

KHARTOUM, June 19 (Reuters) - With eight-lane highways adorned by huge television screens advertising Sudanese companies, Khartoum does not appear to fit the image of capital of the world's most failed state.

But an index published by U.S.-based Foreign Policy magazine on Monday placed Sudan at the top of just such a list, ahead of even Iraq and Somalia.

Arriving in Khartoum's pristine, refurbished airport terminal, visitors are greeted by a huge glass Toyota showroom with the newest model vehicles.

Testament to Sudan's new oil wealth, pumping more than 500,000 barrels per day, high-speed wireless is available, mobile networks compete for new customers. And cafes serving French pastries have sprung up throughout Khartoum, one of the safest capitals in Africa.

But analysts attribute that to the strength of the security apparatus in Khartoum, the base of the government, and the city's wealth to its concentration of international business.

Outside Khartoum is a different story. There, the Foreign Policy index begins to make more sense. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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