Initial results: S. Sudan independence vote approved

JUBA, Sudan — Officials on Wednesday said preliminary results show more than 98 percent of voters in and near Southern Sudan's capital voted for independence from the north.

The referendum committee for Central Equatoria State on Wednesday posted their results of the weeklong poll that ended Saturday. The south was widely expected to vote for secession.

Referendum bureau spokesman Aleu Garang Aleu said "five or six" of the south's 10 states have reported final tallies.

Southern president Salva Kiir urged southerners to wait to celebrate until complete results are announced in mid-February.

The referendum was part of a 2005 peace deal that ended more than two decades of civil war between the largely Christian and animist south and the mostly Muslim north.

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