An official announcement on Sudan's independence referendum has confirmed reports of overwhelmingly support for the south to split from the north.
Thousands cheered and danced in the streets of Juba, in southern Sudan, after electoral officials today said 99.57 of voters from the south's 10 states had chosen to secede.
Independence for the south is due to take effect on July 9.
The vote was promised in a 2005 peace deal ending decades of conflict between the north and the south that had cost an estimated 2 million lives.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised the peaceful vote but said he was concerned about unresolved issues -- including the position of a future shared border, how to split oil revenues after secession, and the ownership of the disputed Abyei region.
Ban said resolving those disputes "will require statesmanship and patience."
compiled from agency reports