Jubilation As Final Referendum Results Favor Secession, Bashir Accepts Results

8 February, 2011 (Sudan Radio Service)

Southern Sudanese celebrated on Monday night as they welcomed the final announcement of the independence referendum results.

The Dr. John Garang Mausoleum in Juba was jam-packed with excited citizens who watched the announcement on large television screens being relayed live from Khartoum.

After hours of waiting, the crowds broke into song, dance and ululation when the final results indicated that more than 98 percent of southern Sudanese voted for independence.

The announcement was made by the Chairman of the SSRC, Professor Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil at the Friendship Palace in Khartoum on Monday evening.

[Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil]: “The number of those who voted for unity was “44,888” and those who voted for secession were “3,792,518” that is scoring the percentage of “1.17 %” for unity and the percentage of “98.83%” for secession respectively out of the votes cast.”

The official announcement of the referendum results was attended by diplomats and senior government officials.

Earlier in the day, the chairman of the southern Sudan Referendum Commission officially handed over the results to President Omar Al Bashir and his two vice Presidents, Salva Kiir, and Ali Osman Taha respectively.

Addressing an extra-ordinary Council of Ministers meeting in Khartoum, President al-Bashir affirmed his acceptance of the final results of the southern Sudan referendum.

[Omar al-Bashir]: “Today is one of the defining moments of the Sudan. While we congratulate our people in southern Sudan for their choice, we hope that today’s event will be the departure point between war and peace in Sudan, not a departure point between unity and separation.”

Addressing the same Council of ministers meeting, first Vice President of the republic and GOSS President Salva Kiir Mayardit said the referendum results outline the popular will of the people of southern Sudan. But he added that south and north Sudan will continue to depend on each other.

[Salva Kiir]: “The secession of the south from the rest of Sudan is not the end of the road. It does not mean that we are going to be enemies; instead we should now build strong relations between us, like what was said by the president before that the border between the north will be only borders on paper, and it will be a soft border. Again the north and the south, will be sharing common interests that will unite them, and the president has mentioned all these things. For example the security issues will concern all of us, because any threat to the north will be a threat to the south as well, and vice versa.”

Southern Sudan will fully become an independent state on July 9th. The U.S government already says that it will recognize the independence of southern Sudan.


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