"A Dinka man stands in front of his house in Akkach, South Dudan. The Dinka, the largest ethnic group in region, are an agro-pastoral people who migrate according to season. At the onset of the rainy season in May or June, they move to settlements of huts built from mud and thatch above the flood level, where they plant crops. During the dry months, beginning around December, they leave for better grazing grounds in the lowlands, living in semi-permanent shelters. Between 1983 and 2005, the people of South Sudan were embroiled in a bitter civil war the largely Muslim government in the north, which cost some 1, 5 million lives. In January of 2011, a referendum among southerners, promised as part of a peace deal, resulted in a nearly unanimous vote for independence."