South Sudan: 90 plus percent want independence

New results from southern Sudan’s landmark referendum show more than 90 percent of voters choosing separation from the north.

Western news agencies on Thursday reported new, almost-complete vote tallies gathered from polling officials.

The results show near-unanimous majorities voting for secession in all 10 of southern Sudan’s states. In Lakes state, only 227 voters out of nearly 300,000 voted to remain unified with the north.

In Western Bahr al-Ghazal, located on the north-south border, about 95 percent of voters chose separation.

Organizers are still counting the final votes.

A senior official of the Sudan Referendum Commission told VOA Friday the commission plans to announce official results February 7th, a week earlier than initially projected.

George Benjamin says the commission is collecting the remainder of votes in southern Sudan.

Millions of southern Sudanese voted last week in the referendum to decide whether their region should become independent. The poll was part of the 2005 peace deal that ended Sudan’s north-south civil war.

International poll observers have said the referendum was free, fair, and credible.

Officials from northern Sudan have said they will accept the results. The two sides still have to resolve issues involving borders, water, oil revenue, and the fate of the oil-producing Abyei region. voa

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