Southern Sudan is preparing to hold a referendum on independence from the north on January 9. The division is often seen as a religious one between a predominantly Muslim north and a south composed mainly of indigenous tribes and Christians.
But as Al Jazeera's May Welsh reports from the northern Upper Nile state in Southern Sudan, where Muslims are leading the call for separation, many blame racism and tribalism as the main source of the country's inability to remain unified in a state of peace.
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