UN chief hails peaceful conclusion of Southern Sudan referendum

New York, US (PANA) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the conclusion of the referendum on the self-determination of Southern Sudan, congratulating the people for their patience and peaceful conduct during the 9-15 January exercise.

A UN statement, issued on Sunday, said that Ban also commended the work of the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC) in Khartoum and its Bureau in Juba, Southern Sudan's capital.

He also thanked the two parties to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended two decades of civil war between
northern and southern Sudan.

The secretary-general extended his gratitude to all donor countries whose contributions facilitated the referendum process and also
expressed his appreciation to the observer groups that travelled throughout Sudan and overseas to assess the situation.

He, however, called on the people and institutions of Sudan to exercise patience and restraint until the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission announces the final result.

The outcome of the vote will determine whether the south remains part of Sudan or chooses independence.

Sixty per cent of the nearly 4 million registered voters have to cast their ballots for the result to be valid.

The preliminary results are expected to be announced by 2 February and depending on whether appeals are submitted to courts or not, the final result on whether Southern Sudan secedes and becomes the UN's 193rd member state or remains part of a united Sudan will be declared on 7 or 14 February.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 16Jan2011

16 Janeiro 2011 08:38:04

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