8 Feb 2011

South Sudan votes for independence

11:08 am on 8 February 2011

Official results from last month's referendum on the independence of South Sudan have confirmed that nearly 99% of people voted for separation from the north.

The results of the referendum open the door to Africa's newest state and a fresh period of uncertainty for the fractured region.

Sudan will split into two countries in July.

In the southern capital Juba, hundreds of people danced, screamed and waved flags as the announcement was broadcast, the BBC reports.

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has issued a decree formally accepting the result of the referendum.

He says he welcomes the outcome because it represents the will of the southern people.

Before the split, negotiations will take place on details such as the border in a disputed area, as well as oil and other resources.