A polling staff member opens a ballot box at the end of a weeklong vote at a polling center in Um Durman, Sudan, on Saturday.
After a weeklong referendum ended Saturday, early results show that voters in southern Sudan have overwhelmingly decided to secede from their northern neighbors, a move that will split the African country in two.
The vote comes five years after the end of a two-decade civil war between the north and south in which hundreds of thousands of people were killed. —JCL
The Associated Press:
Southern Sudan’s president on Sunday offered a prayer of forgiveness for northern Sudan and the killings that occurred during a two-decade civil war, as the first results from a weeklong independence referendum showed an overwhelming vote for secession.
Exhausted poll workers who counted ballots overnight and deep into Sunday morning posted returns at individual stations, and an Associated Press count of a small sample showed a 96 percent vote for secession.
Sudan’s south ended its independence vote Saturday, a vote most believe will split the large country in two at the divide between Sudan’s Muslim north and Christian and animist south. The two sides ended a more than two decade civil war in 2005 in a peace deal that provided for last week’s vote.