Sudan: huge voter turnout in referendum on independence

In the South Sudan referendum, more than 65 per cent of registered voters have already gone to the polls, the supervising Commission has confirmed. With two more days to go, the vote has already exceeded the quorum.

This news is in line with what Father Cyril Odia, director of 'Radio Don Bosco' in Tonj, in the South Sudanese state of Warrap told the Missionary News Service Africa (MISNA)   Father Cyril said the voter participation was very high in all the regions where the radio has correspondents, in Warrap as well as the States of Unity and Western Bahr al-Ghazal.

Fr Cyril said: “For four days in Tonj there were unending queues at the polls, despite the fact that many had to walk hours to reach makeshift offices”.

In spite of violence near the border with the north, in the contested region of Abyei which left at least 40 dead, voters still came out in large numbers.

An Italian NGO worker, Fabrizio Minini, told MISNA that he visited the village of Turalei. "After placing the ballot in the box many shout 'Nhom Lau pan Janub', 'Freedom for the South'”.

The votes for the referendum, established by the accords that in 2005 ended the civil war between Khartoum and the former rebels in the South, are due to end on Saturday. It is very likely that the vote will lead to separation of the South from Khartoum, where most of Sudan’s oil reserves are located.

Source: MISNA

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