Southern Sudanese turn out in large numbers for UN-backed referendum

People of Southern Sudan have turned out in large numbers for the second day of voting for the referendum on the independence of their region.

Voting in Southern Sudan Referendum

The referendum is part of a 2005 peace agreement which ended a 20 year civil war between the north and south of the country.

UN Radio’s Derrick Mbatha reports.

Officials of the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission say the first day of voting on Sunday was “successful” and “exceeded expectations”.

The United Nations, through its Integrated Referenda and Electoral Division and peacekeeping missions in the country is providing technical and logistical support for the referendum.

At least 60 per cent of the registered voters must participate in the poll for its results, expected to be announced on or about 6 February, to be legally binding.

Meanwhile, more than 20 people have reportedly been killed in the contested oil-rich town of Abyei over the past few days from fighting between the Arab nomadic Misseriya people and members of the Ngok Dinka ethnic group.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

(duration: 55″) 

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