Thousands of south Sudanese residents continued to flood polling stations on Monday in a "freedom vote."
The vote on independence will likely lead to the Christian south seceding from the Muslim north and the formation of the world's newest country.
"This is the historic moment the people of southern Sudan have been waiting for," said South Sudan president Salva Kiir as he cast his vote in front of a cheering crowd of hundreds of Sudanese voters lined up in front of the polling station, along with actor and Sudan activist George Clooney and U.S. Sen. John Kerry.
Meanwhile, fighting has flared up in the region since voting began. Since voting began on Sunday, Arab tribesmen and militia believed to be supporters of the north have attacked and killed 20 police in Sudan's disputed region of Abyei.
Still, in Wau, capital of Western Bahr al-Ghazal, state governor Rezik Zackaria Hassen remained confident voters would get cast ballots before the polling period ended.
"We believe we can complete all the voting in four days," he said.
Preliminary results will be announced Feb. 1, according to the referendum commission's timetable. Officials expect final results to be in by Feb. 14.
CBN News International Correspondent Gary Lane talked more about the tensions between the north and south Sudanese why the referendum vote is important on the CBN News Channel's Morning News, Jan. 11. Click play for his comments.