South Sudan has voted to split from from the north, according to official preliminary results of an independence referendum released on Sunday.
The initial figures said 99.5 percent of voters backed the split. The referendum was agreed under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war.
A total of 3.9 million people were registered to cast ballots across Sudan but also in eight other countries. South Sudanese living in the US, Australia, Egypt, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Canada and Britain also got the chance to vote.
Final results will be announced next month.
Southern Sudan is set to become independent on July 9. It would become Africa’s 54th nation although it’s official name and flag are yet to be decided.