Photo Gallery: South Sudan On The Brink Of Independence

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  • A billboard counts down the days before the independence referendum in Sudan's southern capital of Juba. On Sunday, millions of people in south Sudan will vote on whether to split the country in two and establish the world's newest nation.
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    A billboard counts down the days before the independence referendum in Sudan's southern capital of Juba. On Sunday, millions of people in south Sudan will vote on whether to split the country in two and establish the world's newest nation.
    Yasuyoshi Chiba/Getty Images
  • Former South African President Thabo Mbeki speaks to a group of southern Sudanese in Juba on Friday.  Mbeki traveled to south Sudan in his role as the chairman of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan.
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    Former South African President Thabo Mbeki speaks to a group of southern Sudanese in Juba on Friday. Mbeki traveled to south Sudan in his role as the chairman of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan.
    Pete Muller/AP
  • Young Sudanese in Juba participate in a rally in support of independence. A historic 2005 peace treaty brought an end to decades of civil war between the Arab north and predominantly Christian south that killed more than 2 million people.
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    Young Sudanese in Juba participate in a rally in support of independence. A historic 2005 peace treaty brought an end to decades of civil war between the Arab north and predominantly Christian south that killed more than 2 million people.
    Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • Southern Sudanese wait aboard a bus in the al-Andalus area outside the northern capital of Khartoum on Thursday. Some 55,000 Sudanese have returned south ahead of the election, according to the U.N. refugee agency.
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    Southern Sudanese wait aboard a bus in the al-Andalus area outside the northern capital of Khartoum on Thursday. Some 55,000 Sudanese have returned south ahead of the election, according to the U.N. refugee agency.
    Khaled Desouki/Getty Images
  • The sudden influx of people has caused considerable strain on the already fragile nation. The U.N. has appealed for more than $32 million in emergency funds to help support returning southern Sudanese.
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    The sudden influx of people has caused considerable strain on the already fragile nation. The U.N. has appealed for more than $32 million in emergency funds to help support returning southern Sudanese.
    Yasuyoshi Chiba/Getty Images
  • Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter arrives in Khartoum on Thursday. The international community is watching Sudan closely, as many fear the vote could spark nationwide violence.
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    Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter arrives in Khartoum on Thursday. The international community is watching Sudan closely, as many fear the vote could spark nationwide violence.
    Khaled Desouki/Getty Images
  • Members of a branch of the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) play during a pro-independence march Wednesday in Juba. The south is expected to vote overwhelmingly to secede from the north.
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    Members of a branch of the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) play during a pro-independence march Wednesday in Juba. The south is expected to vote overwhelmingly to secede from the north.
    Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • Sudanese supporters of secession display signs on their vehicles.
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    Sudanese supporters of secession display signs on their vehicles.
    Yasuyoshi Chiba/Getty Images
  • Secession supporters wave regional flags and placards upon the arrival of Sudan's President Omar Bashir in Juba on Tuesday. Bashir said he would celebrate the result of the week's referendum even if it resulted in secession.
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    Secession supporters wave regional flags and placards upon the arrival of Sudan's President Omar Bashir in Juba on Tuesday. Bashir said he would celebrate the result of the week's referendum even if it resulted in secession.
    Yasuyoshi Chiba/Getty Images
  • Sudan has waited more than five years for Sunday's historic vote after decades of brutal civil war.
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    Sudan has waited more than five years for Sunday's historic vote after decades of brutal civil war.
    Yasuyoshi Chiba/Getty Images

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