Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"Now I am a first class citizen in my own country."

BBC News - South Sudan backs independence - results

"We are going to take to the streets and celebrate until dawn," said Peter Deng, a youth leader. "All us here grew up during the war, so we are so happy to be celebrating our freedom in peace."

Many in the south have already privately been celebrating the results, which have filtered out in recent days.

"This is what happens when you oppress and marginalise a people for over 50 years," said Puok Dieu, who fought in the civil war. "One day those people will rise up and say: 'It is enough.'"

"The results of the referendum mean I am free today," said Abiong Nyok, a housewife. "Now I am a first class citizen in my own country."

Also, Al Jazeera reported that the Khartoum government in the North will accept the result:

The results, displayed at an announcement ceremony in Khartoum, revealed that out of 3,837,406 valid ballots cast, only 44,888 votes, or 1.17 per cent, favoured the status quo of unity with the north.

The event in the Sudanese capital was attended by Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's president, and Salva Kiir, the southern leader.

"Today we received these results and we accept and welcome these results because they represent the will of the southern people," al-Bashir said on state television.

"But we are committed to the links between the north and the south, and we are committed to good relations based on co-operation."

His comments reflect the economic dependence between the two: southern Sudan, which is rich in oil, cannot export its oil resources without using a pipeline that runs through the north.

h/t Ryan A on fb for Al Jazeera article

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