The referendum is over - we're now officially in the post-referendum period. It has been almost scary quiet, with no more unrest and violence than what is the norm in Sudan... but we're more than happy to accept a peaceful referendum.
What happens next is laid out - among other places - in the CPA (linked to in the sidebar of this blog). There is to be a half year of consultations and discussions higher up, to iron out all those things that the two parties haven't ironed out already. Off course, it's a bit of discussion if it's six months after the polling closes or six months after the final result is announced, but since the final result is expected in a month it don't make too much of a difference. UNMIS will continue as before, eve if our current focus will shift away from the referendum for obvious reasons.
The preliminary result for each polling station is expected today, with the final verdict handed down from the South Sudan Referendum Committee in Juba on 14th February. Until then nothing is official, but I'm sure most of us can hazards a guess as to what the result is going to be.
I've been lucky enough to be present during an historic event - the first democratic referendum in Africa over a secession issue - and once the interim period is over I fully expect to be present at another one: the official birth of the newest independent nation in Africa. I just hope the road there is going to bas peaceful as the road so far.