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Press wary of challenges after south Sudan vote

10 January 11 15:24
Sudanese men wait to vote

On the second day of an independence referendum, Sudanese and African press anticipate a solid vote for secession from the north by the people of Southern Sudan.

Some commentators paint a bleak picture for the future of the new country, warning of the dangers that independence may bring: Poverty, failure to develop and the influence of foreign countries. Others say that independence is worthwhile as the south has earned the "right to make its own mistakes".

Sudanese privately-owned The Juba Post

Referendum in itself is not the end but the beginning of a painful journey to establish a viable state. The challenges the people of southern Sudan will face ahead after the independence are indeed mammoth. Some immediate issues such as good governance, democracy, human rights and rule of law need to be attended to after the declaration of the results.

Sudanese government-owned Sudan Vision

We hope to see a fair, free and transparent voting process without any violence as the north and the south will remain linked to each other in the post-referendum era until they resolve all the outstanding issues. We believe that blood is thicker than water and what links the southerners with the northerners is bigger that what divides them.

Sudanese pro-government Akhir Lahzah

Sudan has been compelled to sit for its first paper in the exam for self-determination and its future. This examination will continue for a week in which Sudan and the Sudanese people will live anxious moments whereby seconds, minutes, hours and days will pass heavily over them... These are moments when Sudan will live between eagerness and anticipation, between fear and hope.

Kenya's privately-owned Daily Nation

After voting to secede, the leaders of south Sudan must ride on the international goodwill to lay a firm foundation for the development of their country. Only then will their separation from the north and their vast oil reserves be a blessing and not a curse.

South African privately-owned Times Live

Though the south's vote for independence will raise the hopes of separatists elsewhere in Africa, the continent's leaders - and the West - have resisted efforts to redraw boundaries, fearing the potential for large-scale conflict. Sudan and Eritrea - the latter hived off from Ethiopia in 1993 after a bloody guerrilla war - are likely to remain exceptions on a continent whose history of colonial conquest spawned dozens of bloody rebellions.

Kenyan privately-owned East African

The challenges facing "New Sudan" are massive. In nearly all respects, South Sudan is worse off than [that of] basket case Somalia. It barely has an education or health system... That said, it is important to make the point that nations don't exist to succeed. South Sudan, therefore, has the right to make its own mistakes, and go to hell and back on its own steam. That is the joy of independence.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

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