Southern Sudan capital votes to break awayBy AFP | Wednesday, January 19 2011 at 15:18
The once sleepy south Sudan town of Juba that hopes to become the world's newest national capital opted 97.5 per cent for independence, preliminary results from a landmark vote showed Wednesday.
There were 211,018 votes cast for independence against just 3,650 for continued unity with the north, the head of Juba county referendum sub-committee, Timon Wani, announced.
Full preliminary results from some of the south's 10 states showed landslides for secession as high as 99 per cent.
In Lakes state, 298,216 of the 300,444 votes cast were for independence, representing a 99.924 per cent of the total.
This was centred on the town of Rumbek which served as rebel headquarters during the 1983-2005 civil war with the north.
Just 227 were for continued unity with the north -- 0.076 per cent of the total -- with the balance made up of blank or invalid ballots.
In Western Bahr al-Ghazal state, centred on one of the south's three big cities Wau, 153,839 of the 162,594 votes cast were for secession, a 94.6 per cent of the total. There were just 7,237 votes for continued union with the north.
In Unity state, the south's main oil-producing area, with 472,000 votes so far collated, organisers reported more than 471,000 votes for independence and just 91 for unity.
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Beyond the ballot