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Sudan vote creates new country

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A southern Sudanese man watches a televised broadcast of the formal announcement of referendum results in the southern capital of Juba (AP)

A southern Sudanese man watches a televised broadcast of the formal announcement of referendum results in the southern capital of Juba (AP)

Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir said he accepted the result of the vote, which will create a new country

Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir said he accepted the result of the vote, which will create a new country

Southern Sudanese men watch the televised announcement of the result of a vote which will see them granted independence from Northern Sudan (AP)

Southern Sudanese men watch the televised announcement of the result of a vote which will see them granted independence from Northern Sudan (AP)

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A southern Sudanese man watches a televised broadcast of the formal announcement of referendum results in the southern capital of Juba (AP)

Southern Sudan is to become the world's newest country in July after more than 98% of votes cast in last month's poll were for independence.

Sudan president Omar Al-Bashir said he accepted the outcome of the vote.

North and south Sudan fought a decades-long civil war that ended in 2005 with a peace agreement that guaranteed last month's vote. More than two million people died in the war between 1983 and 2005. The two sides must still negotiate citizenship rights, oil rights and border demarcation.

The result will bring its own set of problems, experts warned.

Global children's organisation Plan International's regional director said: "One of the biggest challenges we must deal with now is the influx of returnees, most of whom had moved to the North during more than a decade of political turmoil in South Sudan".

Mr Kebede said an estimated 850,000 to 1.5 million people flooding back are expected to cause shortages of food, shelter, water, health care and sanitation. There are also fears that 2.7 million people could suffer food shortages.

He said access to affordable food was proving difficult for returnees and also the rest of the Southern Sudanese population. As demand for resources increase, the price of basic commodities such as flour, sugar, beans and rice has risen sharply, especially in the border areas.

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Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the results of the referendum. He said: "This moment is testament to the leaders in both north and south Sudan who ensured a credible and peaceful process.

"I particularly welcome the positive reaction of the government in Khartoum and their clear statements that they will respect the wishes of the south to secede from the north and establish an independent nation."

US President Barack Obama announced the United States intends to formally recognise Southern Sudan as a sovereign, independent state in July. Obama said that after decades of conflict the image of millions of southern Sudanese voters deciding their own future was an inspiration to the world. He also said it is another step forward in Africa's long journey toward justice and democracy.


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