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17 december 2010 - Juba, South Sudan - South Sudan returnees sit on the bank of the river Nile as they arrive at the main port of Juba after 17 days on a boat from Khartoum. Over 55,000 southerners have returned ahead of the January 9, 2011 referendum on the independence of the South. Many Southern Sudanese fled to the north during the second north-south civil war, which began in 1983 and ended with a 2005 peace deal that granted the south the right to secede through a referendum. Photo credit: Benedicte Desrus