The low-intensity conflict between the government and the Eastern Front risks becoming a major new war with disastrous humanitarian consequences if the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) proceeds with its scheduled withdrawal from eastern Sudan this month. Competition to fill the security vacuum could spark urban unrest, reprisals and worse. Yet, there is also a peace opportunity. As a partner in the new Government of National Unity and with troops in the East, the SPLM is in a position to broker a deal. Like Darfur and the South, the East suffers from marginalisation and underdevelopment: legitimate claims for more power and wealth sharing in a federal arrangement should be addressed within the framework of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) the government and SPLM signed in 2005. But the SPLM needs to push for a provisional ceasefire and use its influence in Khartoum to get serious negotiations. International partners, under UN leadership, should facilitate the process. The CPA has brought no peace dividend to either eastern Sudan or the Darfur region of western Sudan. It dealt with the political and economic marginalisation of the South but ignored the similar structural imbalance in the rest of the country. The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the international community are now bearing the consequences of excluding other participants from the long negotiations that were conducted at Naivasha in Kenya. After hundreds of thousands of deaths and the displacement of millions in Darfur, the international community is trying to salvage a peace in negotiations conducted under African Union sponsorship at Abuja. At the same time, however, it may be in the process of repeating its mistake by largely ignoring another powder keg. Under the terms of the CPA, the SPLM is obliged