(Washington, D.C.) – The Genocide Intervention Network / Save Darfur Coalition (GI-NET/SDC) today congratulated the people of Sudan for concluding the southern referendum process on time and without large-scale violence.  GI-NET/SDC urged sustained U.S. and international attention to the interim period before South Sudan’s official independence in July. Today’s announcement by the South Sudan Referendum Commission that nearly 99 percent of southerners voted for independence marks the official end of the referendum process and the informal beginning of the post-referendum period.

Amir Osman, Senior Director for Policy and Government Relations for GI-NET / SDC issued the following statement regarding the announcement:

“The peaceful conclusion of the southern Sudan referendum for independence is an historic accomplishment, but recent troubling events underscore the importance of continued US engagement in the north and the south.”  In recent days, at least 50 people were killed when southern militias refused to give up weapons and move north. In the north, government security forces have arrested opposition leaders and protesters in Khartoum and threatened UN forces in Darfur.

“The United States and other international leaders must sustain aggressive diplomatic efforts to ensure a peace throughout Sudan, north and south.  The south will require support in facing internal tensions and managing the high expectations that come with independence, and the Khartoum regime must be held accountable for its attacks on civilians and its ongoing efforts to block peacekeepers and humanitarian aid workers in the region.”

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The Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network merged on November 1, 2010 to create a more powerful voice dedicated to preventing and stopping large-scale, deliberate atrocities against civilians. The organization remains committed to its work to end the crisis in Darfur and bring peace to all of Sudan as well as to end violence in other areas of mass atrocities such as Congo and Burma.  The merger creates the world’s largest anti-genocide organization, with a membership base of hundreds of thousands of committed activists globally, an unparalleled nationwide student movement, more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights partner organizations, and a network of institutional investors with over $700 billion in assets under management.

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