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What will happen if southern Sudan separates?

A resident of the remote south central Southern Sudan village of Nyal receives his voting registration card from a referendum worker at a local school on November 15, 2010. Voter registration for a January referendum in south Sudan kicked off across the country and abroad, launching a process which could lead to the partition of Africa's largest country. The January referendums in southern Sudan and the oil-rich Abyei region straddling north and south are part of a 2005 peace deal that ended a two-decade-old civil war in Sudan which left an estimated two million dead.

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images

After 50 years of conflict in Sudan, civilians in the country's south are voting for independence.

In a recent feature, Geoffrey York, The Globe and Mail's Africa correspondent, writes:

"Southern Sudan has been consumed by devastating wars for most of the past half-century. An estimated 2.5 million people have perished in those wars, with atrocities on all sides that were shocking in their cruelty.

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After decades of indifference by most of the world, the irony is that Southern Sudan suddenly became a fashionable cause over the past decade. Its oil exports became lucrative, forcing the north and south to try to settle their conflict in order to protect their revenue flows. Simultaneously, there was a rapid escalation of U.S. diplomatic pressure on both sides, including the threat of sanctions - partly because evangelical Christian lobbyists had persuaded Congress that it needed to protect the south's Christians from Muslim persecution."

Mr. York, who is in Sudan, will be taking your questions from 1-2 p.m. ET on Monday, on what the future holds for the Africa's largest country.

Readers using mobile phones should read the discussion by following this link.

<iframe src="" scrolling="no" height="650px" width="460px" frameBorder="0" allowTransparency="true" ><a href="" >Geoffrey York on the Sudanese referendum</a></iframe>

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