Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'What would you do?'

Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Israel ramps up Gaza bombardment

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s ‘little bird’ strikes again

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs born in French zoo

    Read more

  • France evacuates its nationals from Libya

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

  • Karzai’s cousin killed in Afghan suicide attack

    Read more

  • Libya oil tanker fire blazes out of control

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

Africa

Bashir 'accepts' vote for independence ahead of official results

Video by Shona BHATTACHARYYA

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-02-07

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir says he has accepted the likelihood of the south's secession from the north following the referendum. Official results are due later Monday, but early indications show an overwhelming vote for independence.

REUTERS - Sudan's president on Monday said he accepted a southern vote for independence in a referendum that is set to create Africa's newest state and open up a fresh period of uncertainty in the increasingly volatile region.
 
Final results from the plebiscite are due later on Monday but preliminary figures show 98.83 percent of voters from Sudan's oil-producing south chose to secede from the north. Sudan is now expected to split in two on July 9.
 
"Today we received these results and we accept and welcome these results because they represent the will of the southern people," Bashir said in an address on state TV.
 
Bashir earlier told supporters he knew the vote was for secession.
 
The referendum is the climax of a 2005 north-south peace deal that set out to end Africa's longest civil war, reunite the divided country and instil democracy in a land that straddles the continent's Arab-sub Saharan divide.
 
Bashir's comments allayed fears that the split could reignite conflict over the control of the south's oil reserves.
 
Both sides did avoid major outbreaks of violence over the past five years. But they failed to overcome decades of deep mutual distrust to persuade southerners to embrace unity.
 
Hundreds of people started gathering in the blistering heat of the southern capital Juba on Monday to celebrate the official results.
 
"Today I don't fear war anymore, it is the past ... Our leaders have made friends with the north, but for me, I can never forgive them for what I have seen. I don't hate them now, but I never want to see them again," said Riak Maker, 29, as men drummed and women ululated around him.
 
Civil wars
 
Many southerners see the vote as a chance to end to years of northern repression, which they say stretches back through almost 50 years of civil wars to 19th century raids by slave traders.
 
Bashir, who campaigned for unity, has surprised many commentators with a series of conciliatory remarks about the south in recent weeks.
 
Washington has signalled it is ready to remove Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism after a successful referendum, and help in easing crippling trade sanctions.
 
The West's hands may be tied by the continuing global uproar over Sudan's separate Darfur conflict. Bashir is still living under the threat of arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court over charges he orchestrated genocide in Darfur.
 
Deep uncertainties remain over the economic and political stability of both territories over the next five months of intense negotiations over how to share their oil revenues and other unresolved issues.
 
Landlocked south Sudan is almost entirely dependent on oil revenues and has struggled to find other sources of income to support its economy, weighed down by the huge costs of its army and civil service wage bills.
 
The north is mired in its own economic crisis, marked by soaring inflation. A series of small street protests, part inspired by uprisings in Tunisia and neighbouring Egypt, has increased political pressure on Khartoum, as has the prospect of losing the south, seen as a matter of shame to some northerners.
 
The challenges were underlined over the weekend when soldiers in the southern town of Malakal mutinied, killing at least 50 people, after refusing to redeploy north with their weapons as part of preparations for the split.
 
Malakal was a key battle ground in the north-south civil war that killed 2 million people and destabilised the whole region, flooding it with refugees.
 
Other burning issues include the division of Sudan's crippling debt, the position of the north-south border, the ownership of the contested oil-producing Abyei region and the regionally divisive share out of water from the river Nile.

 

Date created : 2011-02-07

  • SUDAN

    Over 99 percent of South Sudanese vote 'yes' to independence

    Read more

  • SUDAN

    Turnout in South Sudan vote surpasses 60 percent threshold

    Read more

  • SUDAN

    Uncertainty reigns as Southern secession looms in Sudan

    Read more

COMMENT(S)