Monday, January 31, 2011

Southern Sudan votes 99.57% for Independence!

It has been a LONG time in coming, but the Sudanese finally got a chance to vote for the independence of Southern Sudan. How sure are they of their desire for separation? They voted 99.57% for independence! And unlike most votes of this magnitude, there are no charges of fraud being bandied about in the international press.

Six of the ten southern states registered a 99.9 percent vote for separation, with the lowest vote in favor of secession came in at 95.5 percent in Western Bahr al-Ghazal state, which borders Darfur. The long-awaited referendum produced an overwhelming turnout of 99 percent among voters in the south, one of the poorest and least developed regions on earth.

In northern Sudan, voter turnout was only 60 percent, and a modest 58 percent of voters – southerners who live in the north – were in favor of the oil-rich south breaking away. Many southerners opted to leave their lives and work in the north to move home ahead of the referendum, and the United Nations says it expects another 100,000 southerners to make the north-south journey within the next month. More than 190,000 southerners have flooded back into the south since early October, though the most recent arrivals were not able to participate in the referendum, since they had not registered to vote in either the north or the south.
Keep in mind (and your prayers) that this does not end the matter. The North still wants large portions of the South, and especially their lucrative oil fields. There are a number of issues to be worked out. But the fact that the vote took place - without violence - is a hopeful sign that peace may finally come to this poor war-town nation.

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