Southern Sudan voted 98.8% for independence

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South Sudan voted overwhelmingly to declare its independence, according to final results of a referendum made public yesterday.

That opens the door to Africa's newest state and a fresh period of uncertainty for the fractured region. A total of 98.8 per cent of voters from Sudan's oil-producing South chose to secede from the North in last month's poll.

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir earlier said he accepted the results, allaying fears the split could reignite conflict over the South's oil reserves.