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It is official: South Sudan to secede
Releasing preliminary official results today in Juba, the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC) confirmed what observers had expected - that voters overwhelmingly endorsed the secession of Sudan's ten southern states from the rest of the country.
Referendum Commission Chairman Mohammed Ibrahim Khalil at the Juba event acknowledged the millions of voters who "spent hours and hours patiently, decently, courteously waiting in long queues in order to exercise their right of registration and, later, of polling."
Mr Khalil added that the successful implementation of this month's referendum should foster hope that northern and southern leaders can settle their unresolved disputes and agree on post-referendum arrangements in the remaining six months before South Sudan formally becomes independent on 9 July this year.
When President Kiir finished his address, hundreds of South Sudanese converged on the dirt field opposite the speakers' dais to chant "Independence, oh yes!" and dance to the rhythms of "Motherland Sudan", "I love Juba, I'm from Juba and Juba is my Nation" and other popular nation-building songs.
According to the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), "the complete preliminary results of the seven-day voting will be announced again in Khartoum on 2 February. If no legal objections are filed against those figures, the outcome will be ratified as final on 7 February. If legal proceedings are initiated, the SSRC is required by law to issue a final official result no later than 14 February."
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir so far has not comm
President al-Bashir acknowledged that "secession has become a reality," as "99 percent of southerners chose separation." The North would however "not be sad," he added, saying "we will go to the south and celebrate with them."
Despite the good cooperation currently experienced between Presidents al-Bashir and Kiir - the two this weekend jointly African Union summit in Addis Ababa - serious conflict issues remain between the North and the South. Most pressing conflicts include the future of Abeyei state, which yet has to hold a referendum, and the key to sharing oil revenues.
Note: Based on this historic vote of the South Sudanese people, afrol News today "officially recognised" South Sudan as a new African state. Country and news pages for South Sudan are now online, which you may want to bookmark. Starting now, you can also receive South Sudan news alerts (free, see below).
South Sudan country page: www.afrol.com/countries/south_sudan
South Sudan news page: www.afrol.com/countries/south_sudan/news
Get South Sudan news alerts: See link below.
By staff writers
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