/ 15 January 2011

Final day of voting in South Sudan’s independence test

Final Day Of Voting In South Sudan's Independence Test

A small handful of voters were on Saturday casting ballots in the final day of Southern Sudan’s week-long independence referendum.

Results start trickling in on Sunday, but there is little suspense. Almost everyone expects the south to vote overwhelmingly to break away from the north, creating the world’s newest country.

Officials have said that more than 60% of the 3,9-million registered voters have cast ballots. That was the threshold for the vote to be valid. The proposal needs only a simple majority to pass.

Sudan’s ruling party in the north said on Friday it was ready to accept southern independence. Border demarcation, oil rights and the status of the contested region of Abyei still have to be negotiated.

The referendum was promised in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended Africa’s longest civil war between the mostly Muslim north and the south, where most follow Christianity. – Sapa-AP