Southern Sudanese wait in line on Jan. 9 to kick off a referendum vote that could see the South split from the North.

  • Southern Sudanese wait in line on Jan. 9 to kick off a referendum vote that could see the South split from the North.
  • The vote has been marred only by small-scale violence, partly related to land disputes between farmers and nomads.
  • Southern Sudanese celebrate Sunday evening on the streets after pouring into polling stations to cast their votes in a historic referendum on southern Sudan’s independence.
  • The referendum is expected to pass by an overwhelming margin.
  • Southern officials said Wednesday that turnout for the referendum — the culmination of decades of civil wars between the mostly Christian south and the predominantly Muslim north that has left millions dead — had reached the 60 percent threshold required to validate the results.
  • Salva Kiir, the president of southern Sudan, which has been semi-autonomous since a peace treaty was signed in 2005, cast his ballot Sunday morning at the John Garang Stadium, named for the former rebel leader and first president of southern Sudan.
  • Although voting took place over a week's time, many said they wanted to cast their ballots on the first day, waiting in long lines to do so.
  • Even if the south secedes as expected, the north and south must still decide on how to share oil revenues.
  • Decades of civil war and marginalization have left the economy of southern Sudan in shambles. Most people scrape by on less than 75 cents a day and more than three-quarters of adults cannot read.

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