As vote counting begins, the fate of Sudan's central region and its people remains in doubt. The Nuba tribe are set to become part of the north, but their allegiance remains with the south. While the Misseriya tribe in Abyei remain loyal to Khartoum, their status is still to be determined.
What happens between the tribes living in the border region of South Kordofan, which takes in Abyei and the Nuba mountains, could mean the difference between war and peace.
They are literally caught in the middle and in the case of the Nuba, left in hostile territory. If the south secedes, the country's tribes and their ways of life are under threat.
The Nuba are a group of 50 or more ethnic African tribes, numbering around 3.7 million people. They mostly inhabit the mountainous regions but want to be a part of the south.
The nomadic Misseriya, are another key tribe made up of more than one million people. Along with the incredibly strong Dinka Ngok they claim the crucial region of Abyei.
In recent months up to 55,000 soldiers have reportedly been sent to the area. It was supposed to have reduced arms stockpiles to less than 1,000 under the terms of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
The key to avoiding further bloodshed hangs largely on peace-building in the regions inhabited by the tribes, but there are already signs of trouble.
On this episode of Crossroads Sudan we take a walk through the country's volatile border regions with the ancient Nuba tribe, we find proof that former fighters have not laid down their arms, and the UN tells us what they are doing to ease the tensions.
Crossroads Sudan can be seen from Monday, January 17, at 1730GMT, with repeats airing on Tuesday at 0030GMT, 0530GMT and 1130GMT.
Source: Al Jazeera