("Lucy" a canal digger abandoned in South Sudan in 1983. What a strange testament to failed development.)
Just when it looked like there may be something akin to a grown-up divorce in Sudan (think Czechoslovakia in 1993), things seem to be getting ready to go horribly wrong in Abyei.
This is a potentially a big, war-sized, problem, as though the South voted overwhelmingly for independence in January - one of the few times in history 99% of the vote probably was in favour of the proposition - Abyei as a border community did not as neither side appears to have been able to agree on who should get to vote. (The fact that Abyei sits atop a large oil repository is obviously immaterial to either side.....)
(I still love the idea of using your cow as a flagpole. Genius!)
So, what now? With independence for South Sudan scheduled for July 9th, the international community needs to hold its nerve and get the north's troops out. And if that means the credible threat of force, then so be it. (Just don't ask the UK, please - it'd be too embarrassing not to have anything to send. Oops.)
Watch this space!