South Sudan referendum ends with results of separation

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South Sudan referendum ended on Monday with the official announcement of the results which indicated that 98.83 percent of the voters have voted for separation.

Chairman of the African Union Panel on Sudan Thabo Mbeki makes statements at the press conference in which the final results of the south Sudan referendum was announced in Khartoum, Sudan, on Feb. 7, 2011. [Xinhua/Mohammed Babiker]

South Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC) Chairman Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil said 3,792,518 voters voted in favor of separation while 44,888 voted for unity.

He explained that the total number of eligible voters amounted to 3,851,994 and that the number of valid votes amounted to 3,837, 406.

Khalil said 3,724,194 voted in south Sudan and 3,697,467 of them voted for separation, while 16,129 opted for unity.

The number of voters in north Sudan amounted to 69,597, of whom 38,003 voted for separation. In the eight overseas countries, 58, 230 cast ballots and 57,048 of them voted for separation.

The celebration for the announcement of the final result of the referendum was attended by a number of regional and international personalities including head of the Africa Union (AU) Panel on Sudan Thabo Mbeki, UN Representative in Sudan Haile Menkerios, Arab League (AL) representative, and European Union (EU) representative together with representatives of the diplomatic missions in Sudan and others.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir earlier in the day declared acceptance of the referendum results which were submitted by the SSRC to the Sudanese presidency.

"We have received the result and we heartily accept it because it expresses the will of the south Sudan citizens," said al-Bashir.

Al-Bashir further issued a Republican Decree accepting the final results of south Sudan referendum.

"The Presidency hereby declares its respect for the option of the people of the south, and our acceptance of the outcome of the referendum. The Presidency renews its resolve to move forward in order to sustain peace, development and stability, work to resolve the remaining outstanding issues and build positive and constructive relationships between the two parts of the country," the decree read.

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