From the desk of The Hon. Kevin Rudd MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs:
Australia welcomes Sudanese referendum vote
In Queensland today, the last votes have been cast in the historic Southern Sudan referendum.
The referendum, which closed in Sudan on Saturday, is a vital step towards the implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which brought to an end decades of civil war that cost more than 2 million lives.
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd commended the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission for the conduct of the ballot which was achieved peacefully and on time.
“Millions of Southern Sudanese people have cast their vote and that is a significant achievement,” Mr Rudd said.
“I was also pleased to see the Sudanese community in Australia taking part in great number and spirit.
“Australia was the first part of the world to vote when the referendum began, and with voting in Brisbane extended to today because of the floods, we are also the last.
“Australia will continue to work with the international community to assist the people of Sudan, north and south, to achieve an enduring peace,” Mr Rudd said.
The official result of the referendum is due in February.
18 JANUARY 2011
For a copy of the official document in PDF format click here.