The official results of the referendum in Southern Sudan have established that 98.57% of the votes cast were in favour of independence. Foreign Minister Westerwelle reacted as follows today (7 February):
“The fact that the people in Southern Sudan have voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence shows with what determination they want to take control of their future.
Now that the referendum is over, the new focus must be on seeing the result peacefully implemented. The important thing is to create development opportunities for the people in both parts of the Sudan.
The German Government expressly welcomes the recognition of these referendum results by the Government in Khartoum.”
All of the international observer missions (Carter Center, EU, AU, IGAD, Arab League) have commended the way the referendum was organized. The referendum was held from 9 until 15 January 2011. With participation at around 99%, the quorum (60% of registered voters) was easily reached.
The referendum completed, the post-referendum negotiations on how exactly Northern and Southern Sudan will be divided are now starting. Consensus needs to be found on issues such as nationality, disputed borders as well as distributing oil revenues and international debts. The German Government, along with the United Nations and the EU, has offered assistance in this process.