After Tunis... Khartoum?
The ripple-watchers, pondering which regime is next in line for a Tunisia-style reshuffle, have tended to look east and west along the Mediterranean coast to other Arab states.
But could those ripples meander further south, down the Nile to Khartoum?
"On paper," says a western diplomatic source in the Sudanese capital, "we have many of the ingredients here."
It's certainly been a bumpy ride recently for President Omar al-Bashir. And it may get bumpier still in coup-prone Khartoum, as he prepares to let the south of the country secede.
In that context - what to make of this week's decision to put Sudan's most provocative rascal back in jail? A sign of the government's weakness? Bellweather proof that Hassan al-Turabi was speaking the truth when he warned that the country was ripe for revolution? Or simply a bit of precautionary housekeeping by a security ministry that still has a fairly firm lid on things? I'm guessing the latter, for now.
The prospect of losing a quarter of its territory would be a recipe for instability in any country. And northern Sudan has plenty of other edges ready to fray.
One of Africa's greatest voices, Chinua Achebe, dissects the continent's colonial burdens impeccably.But if Sudan's northern opposition parties smell blood, they may yet be disappointed.
The same diplomatic voices pointing to the similarities with Tunisia are also quick to point out that many opposition party figures are weak, co-opted, or discredited to the extent that Bashir's National Congress Party (NCP) may even "see the opposition as their greatest strength."
Could the referendum on southern independence even play, counter-intuitively, into the president's hands?