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Southern Sudan chooses independence from Khartoum

Catholic World News - February 01, 2011

Voters in southern Sudan cast their ballots overwhelmingly in favor of independence, with nearly 99% choosing to form an independent state.

A referendum on independence took place in southern Sudan in mid-January. The results, after some delays, were made available on January 30. The tabulation confirmed expectations that the people of the region would choose to break away from the national government in Khartoum.

Simultaneously with the publication of the referendum results, students in Khartoum demonstrated in opposition to the government of President Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir, putting additional pressure on the regime.

The people of southern Sudan won the right to vote on their political future as part of a peace agreement that ended the nation’s long and bloody civil war. Some observers have feared that the Khartoum government would bar implementation of a vote for independence.

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