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Sudan: Unilateral vote shows Abyei to join South Sudan - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Members of the Ngok Dinka people parade through the streets after the result of an unofficial vote was announced in the disputed border region of Abyei on Thursday, October 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin)

Members of the Ngok Dinka people parade through the streets after the result of an unofficial vote was announced in the disputed border region of Abyei on Thursday, October 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Results from the unilateral referendum held by the Ngok Dinka people on the status of Abyei—a district disputed between Sudan and South Sudan—released on Thursday show that 99.9 percent of respondents are in favor of joining South Sudan.

The spokesman for the Referendum Commission, Romano John, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Abyei’s residents have conclusively declared their return to the Juba government more than a hundred years after their region was annexed to Sudan in 1905 by Britain.

According to John, only “12 people out of 65,000 who voted were against joining South Sudan.”

“The Referendum Commission has submitted the results to the chairman of the Supreme Political Committee of the Referendum, Deng Alor,” he added.

The Sudan government has condemned the referendum, saying it violates agreements signed between Khartoum and Juba.

A member of the media subcommittee of the Abyei referendum, Atim Simon, told Asharq Al-Awsat that “after the result was announced and the South Sudanese flag was raised across the region, the South Sudanese national anthem was played.”

“Bulls were slaughtered by [members of the] Ngok Dinka to celebrate the outcome of the vote,” following the referendum that Simon said “went smoothlym without any security complications.”

“The Abyei region and the Ngok Dinka have become a genuine part of the South Sudan government,” he added.

The Arab Misseriya people, who also reside in South Sudan and who did not participate in last weekend’s referendum, had threatened to attack Abyei in the event that a unilateral referendum was conducted.