Entries in Southern Sudan (5)


More Than 99% of South Sudanese Residents Vote For Secession

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(KHARTOUM, Sudan) -- Results were released from the vote for southern independence in Sudan on Sunday, and were overwhelmingly one-sided. Of the nearly four million residents that voted, 98.83 percent of the votes were in favor of the southern region of the country seceding from the north to form a new nation. Of southern residents, more than 99 percent were in favor of the change.

The vote comes as the result of a 2005 peace agreement that ended a nearly 20-year civil war between the north and the south, which claimed over two million lives. The two regions clashed over many issues including religion and oil. The north is a largely Islamic area, and the south is predominantly Christian and rich with oil.

U.N. officials praised the vote, but still expressed concern over possible issues in the future including border disputes, and fair distribution of oil revenues.

Southern independence is scheduled to go into effect on July 9.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Southern Sudan Vote Reaches 60 Percent

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(JUBA, Southern Sudan) – After just three days, 60 percent of registered voters in Southern Sudan have cast their ballot in a referendum to determine whether the region will split from the rest of the country.

The number, as reported by Southern Sudan’s ruling party, has passed the threshold required for the vote to be valid.

Voting will continue until Saturday, with the results expected to be announced sometime next month.

Meanwhile, reports say that Princeton Lyman, a U.S. diplomat dispatched to Southern Sudan to manage the referendum, has said the U.S could remove Sudan from the list of state-sponsored terrorism if the north recognizes the vote and meets other conditions.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sudan Independence Vote Draws Large Turnout, More Violence

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(JUBA, SUDAN) – As residents of Southern Sudan eagerly go to the polls to cast their votes for independence, violence continues to complicate what most hoped would be a peaceful process.

Residents all across the country are currently able to vote in a referendum for southern independence, which would separate the Islamic northern region of the country from the oil-rich and largely Christian south. This vote follows a nearly 20-year civil war that has claimed over two million lives. Voting has been frequent in the south, but ballots have been cast few and far between in the north, where residents are not as enthusiastic about a possible split.

Fighting continued Monday in the oil-rich province of Abyei, near the north-south border, where South Sudanese officials say 20 policemen were killed and 30 others injured by Arab militiamen. Military officials say the policemen were killed with anti-tank weaponry, indicating they are backed by the military in the north. However, Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, denies any state involvement.

In the south, pro-separation and anti-Khartoum signs are everywhere. “Bye Bye Bashir” read one banner, a sign of the long-standing animosity between the two regions which references current Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

The voting is scheduled to last through Saturday, but the results are not expected to be announced until early next month.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Clooney Hopes Satellites Will Shed Light on Sudan

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- Actor and activist George Clooney said he hopes that technology can bring public attention to the border region of Sudan and prevent potential violence and even genocide after a critical referendum there next week.

In an exclusive interview with ABC’s This Week, Clooney talked about the goals of the newly-launched Satellite Sentinel Project, a joint effort backed by the U.N., Google and human rights groups to have satellites monitor the border between Sudan’s northern and southern region.

Southern Sudan will vote next Sunday on whether to break away from the northern part of the country, which has been wracked with violence in the past decade. The Satellite Sentinel Project, backed by Clooney and John Prendergast of the Enough Project, will provide high-resolution images of the border region on the project’s website that the public can monitor, in hopes of drawing attention to the region in case of violence after the referendum.

“If you see actual evidence of those kind of attacks, that's something … that the U.N. can actually work with,” Clooney said. “But for the most part, our job is to say that these things have been happening in the dark for a long time … We're going to be able to … not show it afterwards, but show it beforehand, that there were plans, there are tanks lined up, that there are helicopters online, that are going to … that are about to commit atrocities.”

Clooney said the project, which will cost $750,000 to run, is a cost-effective way to prevent violence, instead of “putting Band-Aids on a wound after the wound has been inflicted.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Voter Registration Kicks Off in Southern Sudan Before Vote on Possible Secession

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Voter registration began Monday in Southern Sudan in preparation for the referendum on self-determination set for January 9, 2011, according to a statement released by the White House.

"Voter registration is a critical milestone in that process, and we hope that it will continue unabated.  We call on Northern and Southern leaders to finish the work started without the voter registrations process to ensure the referendum in peaceful and occurs on time, and that the will of the people of South Sudan are respected regardless of the outcome," said a statement from the White House Press Secretary's office.

The official White House statement also mentioned how pleased President Obama is with the start of the registration process, and urged both parties to work together in finding a "way forward for Abyei in the interest of lasting peace."

Following the voter registration, set to close Dec. 1, citizens of Southern Sudan will vote Jan. 9 on whether to secede from the rest of the country.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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