8 February 2011 – The announcement of the referendum results on 7 February marked the end of an era of war and atrocities and a beginning of freedom, justice and equality, Government of Southern Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit said today in Juba.
The Khartoum-based Southern Sudan Referendum Committee announced that 98.83 per cent of the electorate in last month's self-determination referendum had voted for southern secession. Southern Sudan will become Africa's 55th state when its independence enters into force on 9 July 2011.
Addressing the press at the Presidential Villa and Guest House, Mr. Kiir congratulated voters for their wise decision in the poll.
"You have chosen the path to permanent peace, the path to human dignity and the path to nation building," Mr Kiir said.
He urged southerners to leave the history of war behind and work together to build the new nation. "(Through) the referendum, we have ended one struggle and now we have to start new one, which is nation building."
President Kiir identified infrastructure, food security, basic education and basic health services as immediate developmental priorities for the new nation and urged the international community to assist the war-torn region's reconstruction efforts.
He emphasized that the new nation would fight corruption now that the referendum was over, "We will have zero tolerance to corruption," he said.
The president added that he would work with the northern leadership to persuade the international community to resolve the conflict in Darfur, cancel the debt, remove sanctions on Sudan, and eliminate the country from the list of terrorist-sponsoring countries.
He said the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) partners should continue working together to resolve outstanding issues in Abyei, border demarcation and popular consultations in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states.
Mr. Kiir thanked Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, the Inter Governmental Agency for Development, African Union, European Union, Arab League and United Nations and others for supporting successful implementation of CPA provisions.