Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Southern Sudan To Spilt From The North

Khartoum, Sudan (CNN) -- Final results of last month's referendum show an overwhelming majority of southern Sudanese voted to split from the north, a result that will lead to the creation of the world's newest nation, the referendum commission said Monday.

The chairman of the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission, which organized the vote and includes members from both sides, said 98.83% voted for separation, while 1.17% voted for unity.

"It was a peaceful process," chairman Muhammad Ibrahim Khalil said at a ceremony in Khartoum attended by Sudanese politicians, international diplomats, U.N. staff, academics and others. "It was a transparent process."

"Not a single person" showed up to appeal the results, he said. Preliminary results had shown overwhelming support for separation.

The commission met Monday with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and First Vice President Salva Kiir to present the final results, state TV reported earlier.

Al-Bashir has stated his commitment to the results and said he will accept them, state TV said.

As a result of the government's acceptance of the results, the United States is beginning the process of removing Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Monday.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced Washington's intention to recognize Southern Sudan as a sovereign, independent state in July, when a comprehensive peace agreement with the north is due to end.

"After decades of conflict, the images of millions of southern Sudanese voters deciding their own future was an inspiration to the world and another step forward in Africa's long journey toward justice and democracy," Obama said in a statement. "Now, all parties have a responsibility to ensure that this historic moment of promise becomes a moment of lasting progress. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement must be fully implemented and outstanding disputes must be resolved peacefully."

Obama promised the United States would support the governments of both Sudan and Southern Sudan to ensure a smooth and peaceful transition to independence.

Read More From CNN

No comments: