However the North still needs prayer! Probably now more than ever! Christians in the North will be in more bondage than before, probably with less protection even.
South Sudan Set to Become Worlds Newest Country
Christians will now be free to worship without fear of bombings and even crucifixions
By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN (ANS) -- ABC News (http://abcnews.go.com) is reporting that the streets of South Sudan's capital Juba were filled with people dancing with joy over the official announcement today (Monday, February 07, 2011), that the proposed-nation's independence referendum has passed with more than 98 percent of southerners voting to secede.
People clap during the announcement of the preliminary results of voting in Sudan on Jan 30. South Sudan overwhelmingly voted to split from the north in a referendum intended to end decades of civil war, sparking mass celebrations (Photo: Tim McKulka/Reuters)
In Khartoum, Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir and South Sudan President Salva Kiir were together as the official results were announced. Earlier Bashir repeated that the Khartoum government will accept and support the results, Dana Hughes said in her story for ABC News.
Bashir said on state television, Today we received these results and we accept and welcome these results because they represent the will of the southern people.
The Obama administration also welcomed the results and congratulated both parties on a largely considered fair and peaceful vote.
I am therefore pleased to announce the intention of the United States to formally recognize Southern Sudan as a sovereign, independent state in July 2011, President Obama says in a statement.
Sudan President Omar al Bashir accepted the result
Hughes went on to say that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement that the United States would begin the process to remove Sudan from the state-sponsored terror list, a list that has resulted in the country being under strict economic sanctions for over a decade.
Removal of the State Sponsor of Terrorism designation will take place if and when Sudan meets all criteria spelled out in U.S. law, including not supporting international terrorism for the preceding six months and providing assurance it will not support such acts in the future, and fully implements the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, including reaching a political solution on Abyei and key post-referendum arrangements, Clinton said.
British Prime Minister David Cameron also welcomed the announcement, saying: This moment is testament to the leaders in both north and south Sudan who ensured a credible and peaceful process.
Southern Sudanese from the Toposa ethnic group celebrate the result
The ABC journalist went on to say, Bashir currently faces charges of war crimes and genocide for his role in ordering the mass murders, rapes and displacement of hundreds of thousands of people."
She was referring to the fact that on March 4, 2008, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity related to the ongoing conflict in the Darfur region of western Sudan, the first sitting head of state ever indicted by the ICC. And on July 12, 2010, the ICC issued a second arrest warrant for al-Bashir, adding the charge of genocide.
Meanwhile, the celebrations in the south continued with Abiong Nyok, a housewife, telling the BBC, The results of the referendum mean I am free today. Now I am a first class citizen in my own country.
The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk) newspaper in London said, While the relatively peaceful conduct of the vote was welcomed, human rights groups expressed alarm at suggestions that Sudans president, Omar al-Bashir, should be rewarded. Weekend reports suggested he could receive a year's reprieve from war crimes charges relating to Darfur after France and the US agreed to consider deferring the international criminal court's indictment. The US has also signaled it is ready to remove Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism and to help ease crippling trade sanctions.
But the campaign group Waging Peace said that in the past week Bashir's security forces had crushed political protests in the north, resulting in hundreds of arrests and an unconfirmed number of deaths.