Photos: On the Eve of South Sudan's Vote for Independence
On January 9, the Southern Sudanese will take part in a historical vote to secede from North Sudan.
South Sudan is expected to vote for independence, and many fear the potential for conflict and chaos in the aftermath of the referendum.
The country is still reeling from decades of civil war, and almost 75 percent of Sudan's 500,000 barrels of oil produced each day come from the south.
"If secession is the end result," Sudan's president Omar al-Bashir assured the south's president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, "we will come and congratulate and celebrate with you." This sounds nice, but Al-Bashir is currently wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The vote is taking place this Sunday in South Sudan. Preparation is nearly completed, and a mix of prayer and celebration is taking over.