North and south may break apart politically but will be, at least temporarily, bound by nature and need. The south, governed by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, generates 80% of the country's oil output. But it needs northern-controlled pipelines to reach the shipping ports on the Red Sea. The two sides now share oil revenues, a pact that could be rewritten in coming years.
"I've been waiting for 20 years to cast this ballot," said Martin Laku, who checked the open palm symbol signifying independence instead of the clasped hands for unity. "This freedom will improve our land. It will change my life. Businesses and factories will come, and I will get a job."