Monday, April 27, 2009

Sudan census committee: Sudan population is 39.15m

Earlier this month the Al-Sahafa independent newspaper quoting “reliable sources” said that the population of Khartoum topped 5 million; Darfur 7.5 million and South Sudan 8.2 million.

Article from Sudan Tribune 27 April 2009:
Sudan census committee say population is at 39 million
April 26, 2009 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan’s census bureau endorsed the technical report of the fifth census conducted last year before submitting to the presidency for final sign off.

Sudan’s 5th Population and Housing Census

Photo: A Sudanese girl holds the guide of Sudan’s 5th Population and Housing Census outside her home in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on April 22, 2008 (AFP)

The Sudanese minister for presidential affairs Bakri Hassan Saleh told official news agency (SUNA) that the results show the population at 39.15 million.

However he did not provide the breakdown by region which is the most sensitive aspect of the census process as it will determine the wealth and power sharing formula.

Earlier this month the Al-Sahafa independent newspaper quoting “reliable sources” said that the population of Khartoum topped 5 million; Darfur 7.5 million and South Sudan 8.2 million.

Furthermore, the number of displaced Southerners in North Sudan has been reported as 500,000 which has been deemed as understated by Southern officials according to the report.

Sudanese census officials expressed satisfaction that the process conducted conforms to the international standards in terms of coverage and impartiality.

The South Sudan officials have warned that they will not accept results reflecting its populations as being less than the third of the country or 11-13 million according to some other officials.

The SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum suggested that the South will boycott the upcoming 2010 elections if they decide that the census outcome is unacceptable.

The fifth Sudan Population and Housing Census, a milestone in the implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was conducted from 22nd to 30th April 2008. It was the first all inclusive census for people of southern Sudan since the country’s independence in January 1956.
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From Sudan Radio Service 27 April 2009:
27 April 2009 - (Juba) - The population of Sudan is estimated at 39 million.

That’s according to the technical working group that submitted the result to the National Population Census Council on Sunday. The National Population Council is now expected to submit the report to the presidency for approval.

Isaiah Chol is the chairman of the South Sudan Census Commission.

[Isaiah Chol]: “The population census council at the national level met yesterday and discussed the result that was submitted by the technical working group and the council endorsed the result. So this figure, the 39.1 million is what the chairman gave and that is what is in the recommendation. The results are not announced in detail, it is a general figure that was given so we can’t get into details at this stage. Because the result have to be submitted to the presidency and it’s only after that, that a public announcement will be made after the presidency has approved it.”

The chairman said some issues raised in the meeting were the population of southern Sudanese in the 15 northern states which he said was lower than expected.

[Isaiah Chol]: “We had three concerns. The first concern was about the population of southerners in the 15 states of the north. In our own thinking we thought the number was lower than what we expected. But the result is below what we expected, that is the area of our concern. Two, the population of Darfur region not Darfur state, the Darfur region, which is made up of three states. We also think that the figures that have been given are higher than what was expected, given the fact that there have been conflicts, violence, and war which might have caused displacement and so forth. The third area of concern is the number of nomads in the north; we thought also the number was higher than what we were expecting. Those are our observations which we made before the technical group submitted its results to the population census council yesterday and they were discussed and taken again as concerns from our side.”

The technical working group is an independent body made up of representatives from implementation agencies such as donors, the United Nations and other international organizations.

The result of the census is important because it will help determine the number of people who will be eligible to vote in the forthcoming general elections which are scheduled to take place in February next year.

See Sudan Watch November 29, 2004: Darfur population figures: 6 million, 6.5 million, or 6-7 million

Note to self: The resident population of the UK was 60,975,000 in mid-2007. Sudan is the largest country in Africa.
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Update from Sudan Radio Service, 22 May 2009: re Sudan Radio Service's report 21 May 2009 (Khartoum) - The total population of Sudan is 39,154,490, according to the head of the Central Bureau of Statistics, Yassin al-Haj Abdin, who announced the official results of the fifth national census in Khartoum on Thursday.

CORRECTION: For ‘official’ please read ‘unofficial’…

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