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On January 9, 2011 the people of Southern Sudan will decide by referendum whether or not to separate from Sudan and form a new, independent nation.

Sudan's North and South have already fought 37 years of civil war that devastated the country and took the lives of 2.5 million Sudanese.

Differences of race, tribe and religion, as well as exploitation of the South's natural resources and unequal development are all major grievances driving Southerners to choose separation from their Northern brothers. 

However the Sudanese are also deeply linked by culture, blood and geography, whether they acknowledge it or not.

Filmmaker May Ying Welsh journeyed down the Nile to try and understand the tensions that exist - not only between North and South - but also between the peoples of what may soon be Africa's newest country.

Watch as the Nile current sweeps a nation toward its destiny.

This episode of People & Power can be seen from Wednesday, December 29, at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 0630, 1230; Thursday: 0300, 1930; Friday: 0630, 0830; Saturday: 2030; Sunday: 0730; Monday: 1430.

Source: Al Jazeera