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Obama congratulates Sudan on independence referendum

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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