Southern Sudanese soldiers await the arrival of Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika at the airport in the southern Sudanese capital of Juba on Wed. Jan. 26, 2011. Mutharika is the current chair of the African Union, a body that has been deeply engaged with southern Sudan up to and through its recent referendum on independence. Mutharika is the first head of state to visit southern Sudan since the referendum concluded on January 15, 2011. Preliminary results indicate that southerners voted heavily for independence. (AP Photo/Pete Muller) (AP)

Sudan's Bashir accepts South Sudan freedom vote results

Secession referendum opens new era in Africa. Sudan poised to break in half after years of bloody conflict

Associated Press
February 7, 2011 8:32PM (UTC)

Sudan's president says he's backing the results from Southern Sudan's freedom referendum that showed a landslide vote for independence.

Omar al-Bashir said that he wanted to be the first to congratulate the south on their new state. He said Sudan would aid the south in any way possible.


North and south Sudan ended a more than two-decade civil war in 2005 that left 2 million dead.

Final results are expected later Monday from last month's vote, but preliminary results indicate that 98 percent of ballots were cast for independence.

The two will remain economically dependent on one another though: Southern Sudan cannot export its oil resources without using a pipeline that runs through northern territory.

Associated Press

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