Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - Southerners in South Sudan have cast 99.57% of their ballots in favour of separation from the north, according to preliminary results released in Juba, Southern Sudan, Sunday.
“These primary results give indications as to a constitutional relationship of two independent southern and northern Sudan, in light of the outcome of the results that point to separation,” Commissioner Ibrahim Khalil said, using a legal jargon to say the outcome so far was separation.
The referendum was stipulated by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the accord that ended 22 years of civil war in the Sudan, to give the Southerners a chance to vote for secession or unity.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has vowed to respect the outcome of the referendum.
Speaking at the ceremony, first vice President and President of the Government of Southern Sudan, Gen. Salva Kiir, described President al-Bashir as “a hero of peace”.
Initial results on the website of the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission show that 1.17% of Southern Sudanese (44,888) in and outside the country voted for unity, against 98.83% (3,792,518) for secession.
Kiir was quoted as saying that the “feeling of injustice” was behind the landslide vote for secession. However he called on southerners to observe good relations with neighbouring countries and “with the northern Sudan in particular.”
Although the official and final results would be announced in February, the two sides will remained hooked to each other until the end of July 2011, the date set for the expiry of the CPA.
This means the new state will have to fly the federal flag until then and would continue to be named southern Sudan.
-0- PANA MO/SEG 30Jan2011