It was the giant of Africa: a nation which once represented the greatest hope for peaceful coexistence between Arab and African, Muslim and Christian. That hope is all but gone. The promise of Sudan was just an illusion. It is already a fractured country and, in the longer term, this is unlikely to be an isolated matter of north and south breaking apart following the referendum on southern secession. Separatist movements in regions such as Darfur and the Nuba Mountains are watching with more than curiosity. And it is not just Sudan: in other African and Arab countries independence factions are eying developments with a view to making their move either through the ballot box or the gun.