South Sudanese officials in charge of the referendum vote statistics finally released the preliminary results of the polls (from January 9 to January 15) that had more than 80% of the population in both northern and southern Sudan vote for secession of South Sudan from North Sudan or otherwise.
The Southern Sudan Referendum Commission presented nearly 99% of the vote in several states of southern Sudan and nearly 96% in northern Sudan approved of the creation of two separate Sudans. The polling process was reported by Sudanese authorities to have been peaceful and fully allowed voters to “practise their right in self-determination as provided for the CPA and the National Interim Constitution”. Enthusiastic voters did turn out and the process went ‘smoothly’ under the watchful eye of the United Nations and other countries. The results were meant to decide whether a new country will join the world through secession or stay locked under unity.
The southern Sudan Referendum Commission’s announcement was made in the presence of a high-level delegation led by Professor Mohamed I. Khalil and other officials in the city of Juba, the expected future capital of Southern Sudan. The final results of the referendum are to be certified on either the 7th or 14th of February.
According to authorities, the overwhelming approval for secession will be ’confirmed’ which will lead to the legitimate creation of the Republic of South Sudan on the 9th of July.
This historic referendum and a term of 6 years of autonomy for Southern Sudan was agreed upon in peace negotiations back in 2005 after the second Sudanese civil war which took millions of lives and played a role in bringing about the now-famous (and highly notorious) ongoing Darfur genocide. Alongside the referendum and temporary autonomy, both northern and southern Sudan compromised on the state religion, job ratios and division of oil revenues, which in particular may become a problem after Southern Sudan officially secedes.
(Cover Photo: AP Photo/Jerome Delay)