South Sudan early returns show big vote for secession

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 17, 2011 04:22




JUBA, Sudan — Southern Sudan's president offered a prayer of forgiveness for northern Sudan and the killings that occurred during a two-decade civil war, as the first results from a weeklong independence referendum showed an overwhelming vote for secession.

Exhausted poll workers who counted ballots overnight and deep into Sunday morning posted returns at individual stations, and an Associated Press count of a small sample showed a 96 percent vote for secession.

Sudan's south ended its independence vote Saturday, a vote most believe will split the large country in two at the divide between Sudan's Muslim north and Christian and animist south. The two sides ended a more than two decade civil war in 2005 in a peace deal that provided for last week's vote.


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