Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued a statement today on the successful completion of polling in the Southern Sudan referendum. The Secretary said:
"The completion of a peaceful, orderly Southern Sudan referendum marks a significant achievement for the Sudanese people and a historic step toward full implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The United States commends the millions of Southern Sudanese people who participated in this historic process, and applauds both northern and southern leaders for creating conditions that allowed voters to cast their ballots freely and without fear, intimidation, or coercion. The successful vote was also a credit to the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission, the Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau, and more than 40 countries and international organizations. We welcome the positive statements issued in recent days by international observer missions from the African Union, Arab League, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, European Union, and the Carter Center.
"As we await the official results of the referendum, we reaffirm our commitment to remain a steadfast partner to both parties as they continue to work toward full implementation of the CPA and to develop their post-CPA relationship. The parties have an opportunity to forge a durable peace between the North and the South, and to build positive relationships with the international community. We hope they will seize this moment, and the United States supports their efforts to ensure a peaceful, more prosperous future for all Sudanese."