EU Welcomes South Sudan IndependenceWorld | February 8, 2011, Tuesday // 13:50| views
Southern Sudan was well on track to become the world's newest state after final results of its historic independence referendum showed that 98.83 percent of its people had voted for succession. Photo by EPA/BGNES
As more than 99% of the voters in the recent independence referendum in South Sudan backed breaking away from the north, the European Union has welcomed the results.
EU will continue to push for democracy and human rights in the north and the south, Catherine Ashton, Head of EU's Foreign Policy, declared on Tuesday.
"This is a historic moment for Sudan," Catherine Ashton said. "Despite many obstacles, the Sudanese referendum authorities were able to organize a referendum in a timely and credible manner as witnessed by the EU Electoral Observation Mission. An overwhelming majority of registered voters participated and resoundingly expressed their determination to establish an independent state."
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir already announced on Monday "that his government would accept the choice of the long-embattled region of southern Sudan to separate from the north."
Meanwhile, in the southern capital Juba, crowds gathered at former rebel leader John Garang's mausoleum to watch live cover of the referendum results, waving flags, cheering loudly, with women ululating and people embracing.
The Declaration of Independence of the Republic of South Sudan is expected to be put in place July 9.