How bad is Islamic sharia law? So bad that Sudanese voted 98.83% in favor of seceding from the Islamic north. Congratulations South Sudan! A White Bull toast to that!
Southern Sudan was well on track to become the world’s newest state on Monday after final results of its historic independence referendum showed that 98.83 percent had voted for secession.
The results — displayed at a ceremony in Khartoum — revealed that out of 3,837,406 valid ballots cast, only 44,888 votes, or 1.17 percent, favoured the status quo of unity with the north.
“The referendum was correct, accurate and transparent and we have no objection to the results,” said Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil, chairman of the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission’s chairman.
The definitive outcome of the January 9-15 referendum emerged soon after Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir said that Khartoum accepted the south’s widely anticipated landslide vote for sovereignty.
Monday’s final results ceremony was something of a formality after preliminary results a week earlier showed the same overwhelming majority of south Sudanese choosing to split with the north.
But that did nothing to dampen excitement in the southern capital Juba, where wild celebrations erupted as the announcement was projected live onto a screen by satellite link at former rebel leader John Garang’s mausoleum.
The crowd of more than 1,000, who had gathered at the site despite the stifling heat, cheered loudly, with women ululating and people embracing.
“We are on the way to the promised land. This result is our ticket, and now the final journey to our independence begins,” said Robert Majur, one of those celebrating.
Western reaction was both swift and positive.
US President Barack Obama hailed a “successful and inspiring referendum” and said Washington would recognise south Sudan as a sovereign, independent state in July.