Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir issued a decree on Monday formally accepting the result of a south Sudan referendum expected to confirm an overwhelming vote for secession.
"We announce our respect and acceptance of the choice of the people of the south and of the result of the referendum," Minister of Presidential Affairs Bakri Hassan Saleh said on state television, reading the text of a presidential decree.
Final results from the plebiscite are due later on Monday but preliminary figures show 98.83 percent of voters from Sudan's oil-producing south chose to secede from the north. Sudan is now expected to split in two on July 9.
Hundreds of people started gathering in the blistering heat of the southern capital Juba on Monday to celebrate the official results.
"Today we received these results and we accept and welcome these results because they represent the will of the southern people," Bashir said in an address on state TV.
Bashir earlier told supporters he knew the vote was for secession.
Last Mod: 07 Şubat 2011, 14:31