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UN Security Council hails final results of south Sudan referendum

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) — The UN Security Council on Wednesday lauded the final results of the south Sudan referendum, which showed that an overwhelming majority of voters opted for secession.

The statement came as Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, the permanent representative of Brazil to the UN and the rotating president of the Security Council for February, read a presidential statement during an open-door meeting on the region.

"The Council calls on the international community to lend its full support to all Sudanese people as they build a peaceful and prosperous future," the statement said.

The 15-nation Council congratulated the parties of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), inked in 2005, which ended a 20-year civil war between the north and south of the largest African country and mandated that a referendum on southern secession be held.

Welcoming the statements of Sudanese President Omar al Bashir and Vice President Salva Kirr which accepted the final results of the referendum, the Council called on "all member states to respect the outcome of the referendum."

Peace and stability hinges on the "full and timely implementation of the CPA," the statement said.

It is critical that all parties reach quickly an agreement on the status of the oil-rich Abyei area — the sovereignty of which has been disputed by the north and south of Sudan, said the statement.

A separate referendum for Abyei’s status was intended, but was held off because of disagreements about voter eligibility. Currently, it is slated to be negotiated by the end of March.

The Security Council reiterated the need for the "CPA parties to prevent further clashes" and for them "to respect their obligations."

Expressing "deep concern" in the uptick in violence and insecurity in Darfur, which include attacks by rebel groups, aerial bombardment by the Sudanese Armed Forces that left 43,000 civilians displaced, the Council "recalls the importance it attaches to an end to impunity, and to justice for crimes committed," the statement said.

The Security Council reaffirmed their support for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and urged all parties to maintain "full and unhindered access" to allow humanitarian workers provide assistance, the statement said.

Strongly urging all other rebel movements to participate in the Doha negotiation to reach a lasting peace agreement, the Council reiterated the need for it to be happen "without further delay or preconditions."

As a follow-up, the Council requested UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to report to the world body by the end of February on issues related to the Darfur-based Political Process (DPP).

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