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11/17/2010 10:42 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Sudan's Shaky Peace: Amazing Photos From National Geographic

This month's National Geographic features an in depth look at Sudan, which could soon fracture into two nations when the southern semi-autonomous zone votes on secession in January. As the report states:

The origin of tensions in Sudan is so geographic, so stark, you could see it even from the surface of the moon. The broad ivory of the Sahara in Africa's north set against the green savanna and jungles of the continent's narrowing center. A great, grass-stained tusk. Populations generally fall to one side or the other of that vegetative divide. Which side, north or south, largely defines the culture--religion, music, dress, language--of the people there. Sudan straddles that line to include arid desert in its north and grasslands and tropical rain forests in its south, and the estranged cultures on either side.

Read the full article by Matthew Teague in the November issue of National Geographic, available on newsstands now.

See the amazing full gallery by National Geographic's George Steinmetz here.

View a small sample of images from Steinmetz's gallery below. All photos and captions are shown courtesy of National Geographic.