January 9, 2011 (Juba) — Southern Sudanese go to the polls on Sunday to decide their future on whether or not they want to remain as part of united Sudan or separate from Sudan’s Northern controlled government. The excited Southerners, waiting in long lines to cast their votes appear ready to recreate the map of Africa’s biggest country, and they hope to become the world’s newest nation, despite emerging from decades of civil war.
The president of Southern Sudan Salva kiir casts his vote at 8:00AM Sudan local time. He reminds people not to forget those who have died during the war with the North, saying they haven’t died in “vain”.
“I believe (family and friends) of Dr John and all those who died with him are with us today and I must assure them that they have not died in vain. “This is the historic moment the people of Southern Sudan have been waiting for. I call upon all voters to be patient if they do not get time to cast their votes today. You have more time to cast your vote”, Kiir said.
Many people were reported to be emotional after the President’s remarks.
Tension between both sides is high with Al-Bashir’s NCP looking for ways to prevent Southerners from seceding.
Meanwhile Khartoum’s sponsored Misseriya tribe attacked [Ngok Dinka] who were trying to get water for their cattle on the eve of referendum vote. At least one person died and five others wounded in the fighting, according to Eyewitnesses.
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which was signed on January 9, 2005, ended the bloody civil war between North and the South, and grants the people of Southern Sudan to choose either secession or unity with the North on January 9, 2011.