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S. Sudan poll result shows 98.83% chose to secede

First official announcement confirm early reports

Close to 99 percent of south Sudanese chose to secede from the north in a January 9-15 referendum, according to the first complete preliminary results published Sunday.

Updated figures published on the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission's website and accounting for 100 percent of ballots cast in both the north and the south gave secession an overwhelming 98.83 percent of the vote.

Early counting had put the outcome of the ballot beyond doubt only days after voting ended, with partial figures showing southern Sudan had comfortably secured a mandate to secede and become the world's newest nation.