With upcoming elections, the politically volatile Nuba Mountains in central Sudan is facing a critical time. In 2005, the ex-rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) signed a peace deal for autonomy for the largely Christian south from Muslim north. Two million people died and four million were displaced before the deal was reached. A referendum on full southern independence is set for January, 2011. Although the SPLM/A currently controls Nuba, it lies firmly in the northern territory. Debates rage on over who will control the land. The International Crisis Group has called the area "the next Darfur."
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