The South African Government congratulates the people of Southern Sudan on the Referendum

On Saturday 15 January 2011, the people of Southern Sudan concluded their historical week-long referendum in which they voted on whether they will remain as part of a united Sudan or form a new independent state. The final outcome of the referendum is expected to be announced during the first half of February 2011.

The referendum forms part of the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005 signed between the Sudanese Government and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

South Africa would like to congratulate the people of Southern Sudan, the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission and Bureau on the peaceful and well conducted referendum.  Furthermore, South Africa would like to commend both President Al-Bashir and First Vice President Salva Kiir on the personal leadership and courage they have shown in facilitating a conducive and peaceful environment for citizens to participate freely and without fear in casting their ballots.

South Africa noted with appreciation preliminary reports and statements released on 17 January 2011 by the EU observation mission, the US-based Carter Center, the AU observation mission, the Arab League and East African observers in which they all concurred that the vote was largely peaceful and credible.

South Africa commends the people of Southern Sudan for exercising their right to cast their votes and to decide on their own future. The steps taken in the Sudan to ensure the peaceful conduct of the referendum are not only a positive sign of further developments in the Sudan, but for the Horn of Africa region and the entire Africa Continent. 

South Africa is hopeful that outstanding post-referendum issues such as the referendum for Abyei, border demarcation, natural resources and economic issues, citizenship, security and other issues will be resolved in an expeditious manner that will benefit all parties involved. In this regard South Africa is in full support of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel in facilitating the negotiations of the post-referendum issues.

For further information please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for DIRCO, on 082 884 5974.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

OR Tambo Building
Private bag X152
Pretoria

19 January 2011


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