Referendum in Southern Sudan Shows Overwhelming Support for Independence

WASHINGTON (The Washington Times)–Officials in Sudan said Wednesday that early results for a referendum on splitting the country in two show that more than 98 percent of voters in and near the south’s capital of Juba voted for independence from the north.

The referendum panel for Central Equatoria State posted its results for the weeklong voting, which ended Saturday, Associated Press reported. Southern President Salva Kiir urged southerners to wait to celebrate until complete results are announced in mid-February.

But before the south formally secedes, a host of prickly post-referendum issues must be resolved, most prominent among them the fate of the oil-rich province of Abyei. Legally, southern Sudan cannot make a declaration of independence until July.

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