Southern Sudan referendum starts as scheduled (6)

08:41, January 10, 2011      

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"Why separation? We (the north and the south) are one nation. The northerners and the southerners can live together peacefully," 30-year-old Sayed Radi, a mobile shop owner in Khartoum said before the referendum. "The separation of the south will make our country weaker, as we will lose a lot of oil."

The total number of the registered south Sudanese voters amounted to about 4 million, 95 percent of them in south Sudan, about 116,800 in north Sudan and 60,000 in eight overseas countries including Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Australia, the United States, Britain and Canada.

The voting centers in south Sudan amounted to more than 2,600, in addition to about 165 centers in north Sudan states, and some oversea ones.

Around 17,000 local observers together with 1,200 foreign observers are currently monitoring the south Sudan referendum to assess its compliance with the international standards.

Source: Xinhua
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