During the civil war that ravaged Sudan for decades, many of the people of the south became displaced, either internally within the south, fleeing to the north, or to neighbouring countries before becoming refugees overseas.

As South Sudan votes for their independence from the north, thousands are now returning, coming on boats up the river Nile to Juba, before traveling back to their native states.

Several times a week, barges would arrive in Juba’s port, laden with people and what belongings they could carry with them for the arduous journey taking over two weeks along the crocodile-infested Nile as mosquitos swarm overhead.

Some settle in Juba, but for many, their journey is not yet over. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees and the International Organisation for Migration have been organising buses to transport people back to neighbouring states.

On this, the final day of voting in South Sudan, a dawn departure saw hundreds leave for Torit in neighbouring Eastern Equatoria state, their belongings loaded into huge trucks that would follow in convoy.

For many of these people, the future of their nation-state would be decided by their countrymen, the week of voting taking place as they either sailed the Nile, or sat stranded in the port.