South Sudan's independence referendum will meet international standards, according to former US President Jimmy Carter, who is observing the vote. Around four million south Sudanese are casting ballots this week to chose whether to remain united with the north or secede. Southerners are widely expected to vote to declare independence.
The poll, which started last Sunday, has been marred by fighting between southerners and Arab nomads in contested border areas. However, Carter says the referendum has met all required international standards and he sees no obstacles that can reverse the process for self-determination for the region.