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World bodies seek efforts for south Sudan

WASHINGTON, Feb 9 – The United Nations, African Union and major nations on Tuesday jointly accepted a referendum giving independence to southern Sudan and called for further efforts to sort out remaining disputes.

"We confirm our acceptance of the result of the referendum in favor of the secession of southern Sudan," said the joint statement released by the US State Department.

The statement commended both the Khartoum government and the south over the referendum, the culmination of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended two decades of war that killed two million people.

"We call on them to redouble their efforts to reach agreement on the outstanding CPA and post-referendum issues," the statement said.

It asked both sides to work out arrangements on security, citizenship and other issues to "provide the basis for two stable, secure and economically prosperous states living in peace with one another and their neighbors."

The statement singled out the status of Abyei, the flashpoint border district where dozens died in clashes last month in some of the rare violence to mar the historic referendum.

"The status of Abyei must be resolved in a way that respects the rights and interests of affected populations," it said.

The statement was signed by the African Union, the European Union, the League of Arab States and the United Nations, along with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, a six-nation East African grouping.

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Individual countries that signed were Britain, Egypt, Italy, Kenya, the Netherlands, Norway, Uganda and the United States.

President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States would recognize southern Sudan as the world\’s newest nation in July, hours after results from the referendum showed that 98.33 percent favored secession.

Sudan\’s Omar al-Bashir accepted the result, leading the United States to begin reconciliation with his government which has come under intense criticism in recent years over the separate conflict in Darfur.


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