Almost all voters in Abyei, the contested region along Sudan’s border, voted to join South Sudan in an unofficial three-day referendum earlier this week, election officials said Thursday.
A spokesman for the Abyei Referendum High Committee told AFP that 99.9 percent of 63,433 voters chose South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011. Abyei’s fate was left unresolved following that split. Only 12 voters were in favor of joining Sudan.
The referendum wasn’t an official vote and only included one of the two ethnic groups in the area. Neither Khartoum, nor Juba, recognized the vote and the African Union called it a “threat to peace” amid warnings the vote could spike tensions in the already volatile region.