Photos: On the Eve of South Sudan's Vote for Independence

Jenny Inglee is a Los Angeles-based journalist and the Education Editor at TakePart.

On January 9, the Southern Sudanese will take part in a historical vote to secede from North Sudan.

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A worker in Juba adjusts a banner showing the countdown to the referendum on independence. (Photo: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)

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.

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Women wave the Southern Sudanese flag at a rally in the capital. (Photo: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)

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A southern Sudanese man with his face covered in mud attends a rally in Juba. (Photo: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)

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Rallies took place all week in preparation for the vote. (Photo: Getty Images)

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A man works on the construction of a tent to be used for the referendum vote. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Women and men hope that independence and education will propel the north and south out of poverty. (Photo: Getty Images)

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