Southern Sudan referendum starts as scheduled (2)

08:41, January 10, 2011      

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Asked about the controversial issues including border demarcation and the status of the oil-rich Abyei region, Kerry said: "I think the controversial issues can be resolved as we work in good faith."

"The issues can be solved within the six-month transition period," he said.

The voting process will last for seven days to end on Jan. 15, 2011.

The southern Sudanese residing in north and south Sudan and outside Sudan have the right to participate in the referendum where 60 percent of the registered voters should cast their votes for the referendum to be valid.

If the south voted for the independence, Sudan would enter a six-month transition period when the north and south would negotiate on thorny issues including border demarcation, the status of the oil-rich Abyei region, as well as the division of the national debts and oil revenue.

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