Khartoum, Sudan (CNN) — Final results of last month’s referendum show that an overwhelming majority of southern Sudanese voted to split from the north, a result that will lead to the creation of the world’s newest nation, the referendum commission said Monday.
The chairman of the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission, which organized the vote, said 98.83% voted for separation, while 1.17% voted for unity.
“It was a peaceful process,” said chairman Muhammad Ibrahim Khali, in a ceremony in Khartoum attended by Sudanese politicians, international diplomats, U.N. staff, academics and others. “It was a transparent process.”
Some 99% of South Sudanese voted to secede from the north, according to the first complete results of the region’s independence referendum.
A total of 99.57 percent of those polled voted for independence, according to the referendum commission.
Early counting had put the outcome of the ballot beyond doubt, indicating Southern Sudan had secured a mandate to become the world’s newest nation.
The poll was agreed as part of a 2005 peace deal to end two decades of war.
Final rallies have taken place in south Sudan’s capital, Juba, ahead of Sunday’s vote on independence for the south of the country from the north.
The BBC’s Peter Martell in Juba says there has been a carnival atmosphere as hundreds of people took part in what is called the “final walk to freedom”.
Later this evening, there will be a concert where musicians will celebrate the referendum.
It is part of a 2005 deal that ended a two-decade north-south civil war.