South Sudan's long-awaited independence referendum produced an overwhelming turnout of 99 percent among voters in the south, one of the poorest and least developed regions on earth.
Many South Sudanese are still skeptical of the chances of real peace, although South Sudan's leader has urged forgiveness for the north for its actions during Sudan's civil war.
At the end of voting in South Sudan's referendum, leader Salva Kiir called on the South Sudanese to forgive northern Sudan for past grievances, just as Nelson Mandela asked black South Africans to do at the end of apartheid.
Clashes over who controls the disputed border region of Abyei – and its oil – could greatly complicate South Sudan's move toward independence.
Clashes struck Sudan's north-south border Saturday, including in the nation's disputed flashpoint area of Abyei, sobering up an otherwise jubilant atmosphere in South Sudan on the eve of the region's historic vote for independence.
Key events on the path to Sunday's historic Sudan referendum, in which the semiautonomous region of South Sudan votes whether to become an independent nation.
A conference between South Sudan's political parties, civil society, and religious groups gave a look at what a future state in South Sudan might look like.
South Sudan's ruling party, SPLM, is trying to make amends with opposition groups in order to be more unified ahead of the January referendum.