The provisional results of the referendum concerning the independence of Southern Sudan have been announced. The results give a clear message: an overwhelming vote in favour of independence – nearly 99%
Of more than 3.8 million ballots cast, less than 15,000 were for continued unity. International observers had earlier stated that the vote was largely free and fair.
Anywhere else you see these kinds of numbers, you're going to cry foul," said one Western diplomat who travelled to Sudan to observe the vote. "In this case, we're pretty confident that that is pretty much exactly the reflection of the voters' wishes."
The results are still preliminary until finalised in Khartoum early in February. South Sudan will split from the north on July 9, according to the timetable laid down in a 2005 peace deal that ended the civil war between Sudan's north and its south.
The vote was the final part of the agreement ending a civil war, that took the loves of around two million people and lasted for almost forty years.
Here’s wishing the people of Southern Sudan peace and prosperity