An Independent South Sudan
The result was already known. From looking at the figures posted at voting centres, to reading the reports meticulously compiled by the wire agencies as they phoned around each state, gathering the latest counts, to the sentiment of people on the street. South Sudan would vote for its independence.
But today, the preliminary results of voting in South Sudan (and northern & overseas voting counted for little in the grand scheme of things) were announced.
The figures were of little interest—virtually 100% voted for secession—but the celebrations and decorum were.
The John Garang Mausoleum was filled with people, dignitaries and journalists. As Riek Machar and Salva Kiir made their speeches, the security was struggling to hold back the (slightly premature) celebrations of the crowd gathered.
Justice Chan announced the results, state-by-state, and then school children recited a song about South Sudan following Kiir’s rambling speech in Arabic, Dinka and occasional phrases in English.
But then the party began. The crowds rose from their seats. The beads rattled as traditional dance groups bounced on the dry earth. A festival-like crush formed around local hip-hop artists. And men fell as their shields were beat by traditional clubs.
The people of South Sudan have spoken. And they await July 9th for their independence.