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As people in southern Sudan prepare for an independence referendum next year, is Africa's largest country heading towards another civil war?

South Sudan is likely to break away from the North in a vote scheduled for January 9, 2011. The referendum is part of a 2005 peace agreement that ended a prolonged long civil war between the Arab and Muslim North and the Christian and Animist South in which two million people died.


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But Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's president, who also leads the North's National Congress Party, says he "will not accept an alternative to unity" causing fears that Sudan could slip into another cycle of violence and bloodshed if the South votes to secede.

On Wednesday, joining us to discuss those issues will be George Clooney, the Oscar-winning actor and activist. He has just returned from Southern Sudan where he says violence is imminent unless the world acts.

Also joining the programme will be John Prendergast, an author and human rights activist who has worked for peace in Africa now for 25 years.

This episode of Riz Khan aired from Wednesday, October 13, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera