99% of South Sudanese Vote for Independence

By Rebecca Greenfield

After a week-long vote this month, it looks like Southern Sudan will declare its independence from the north. The referendum commission reports that an overwhelming majority supports secession, with 99.57 percent of those polled claiming they voted for independence. If the results are confirmed, Southern Sudan will officially declare statehood on July 9.

Religious and ethnic conflicts have long plagued relations between the northern and southern parts of the country. And while independence could resolve some issues for the south, as the BBC reports, irrespective of its relationship to the north, Southern Sudan will still have its own issues to handle,

...though the South Sudanese are celebrating that their dream of having their own country is a massive step closer there are still issues to resolved - including underdevelopment and inter-ethnic conflict.

And while the southern Sudanese celebrate their departure from Khartoum rule, Al Jazeera reports protests against the Khartoum government have broken out in the northern capital, linking the event to the uprising in neighboring Egypt:

Sudanese police have beaten and arrested students as protests broke out throughout Khartoum demanding the government resign, inspired by a popular uprising in neighbouring Egypt.

Read the full story at the BBC and Al Jazeera.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/01/99-of-south-sudanese-vote-for-independence/70532/