Obama congratulates Sudan on independence referendum
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Last Updated: Sunday, January 16, 2011, 21:44
  
Washington: Commending the people and the government of Sudan on the successful completion of its referendum, US President Barack Obama Sunday said the inspiring week-long exercise had boosted prospects for a peaceful future of the country.

The people of south Sudan voted over a week in a landmark referendum on independence from north Sudan, and the casting of votes, which was peaceful, ended yesterday.

Obama congratulated the people and the government of Sudan on the successful and peaceful completion of the referendum on the future of southern Sudan.

"The sight of so many Sudanese casting their votes in a peaceful and orderly fashion was an inspiration to the world and a tribute to the determination of the people and leaders of south Sudan to forge a better future," Obama said in a statement. "We wish to commend the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission, the Southern Sudan Referendum Board, the domestic and international observers, the United Nations Mission in Sudan, and most of all, the voters who turned out in high numbers and high spirits to take their turn at the ballot box," he said.

The referendum has come after a 2005 peace deal that ended a devastating 22-year civil war in the country between southern secessionists and the mainly Arab north.

The vote is overwhelmingly expected to chart out two nations from the present day Sudan, and leaders of the north have said the result would be acceptable to them.

"The past week has given the world renewed faith in the prospect of a peaceful, prosperous future for all of the Sudanese people -- a future that the American people long to see in Sudan," Obama said.

The referendum now moves into another phase, and while official results will not be available for some time, independent observers have been extremely encouraged by the credibility of the process to date.

"We urge all parties to continue to urge calm and show restraint as the parties work to complete implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement," Obama said.

The US will continue to assist the parties amid the tough challenges and historic opportunities that lie ahead, said the US President.

PTI


First Published: Sunday, January 16, 2011, 21:44


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