The head of the Arab League says he senses that neither north nor south Sudan have any desire to return to war, ahead of a referendum that could split the country.

Amr Moussa said the Arab League will send a mission to monitor the Jan. 9 vote.

The referendum is a central pillar of the 2005 peace deal that ended one of Africa's longest wars. It claimed the lives of 2 million people and left twice as many displaced.

"I don't feel any inclination to hostilities between the two parties regardless of the results from the upcoming referendum," Moussa said, according to comments published by Sudan's news agency.

The south is seen likely to choose independence. Some fear the separation and unresolved issues could propel the two sides back to war.