With 3,197,038 ballots counted, close to 99% had voted to break away in the January 9-15 referendum and become the world’s newest nation, results posted on the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission website showed.
STAR AFRICA — In the state of Jonglei, a whopping 99.93% of votes were in favour of secession, the figures showed. Only 77 voters supported Sudan’s unity, while 105 people cast blank or invalid ballots. The first results from the state of Western Equatoria also revealed that, based on the votes counted so far, 99.5% chose secession.
The results published Friday are incomplete — several hundred thousand votes remain to be counted to account for the 96% turnout announced by officials earlier this week — and final results are due next month.
“We are still expecting that the results for the south will be released on January 31, and, allowing time for any appeals, the final result will be announced in Khartoum on February 14,” he said.
The independence vote was the centrepiece of a 2005 peace deal between the Khartoum government and southern rebels that ended a devastating 22-year civil war, the latest round of fighting in five decades of conflict between the mainly Muslim, Arab north and the mainly Christian, African south.