Sudan’s Kiir vows not to accept ‘unreasonable’ census results

December 4, 2008 (ST)

The Sudanese First Vice-President and the head of southern Sudan government Salva Kiir warned that he will not accept census results that appear unreasonable.

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 Sudan became independence in January 1956.

The results will be used to determine the distribution of power and wealth, including booming oil proceeds.

“We will not accept less than 15 million people as population for the people of Southern Sudan” Kiir told a rally at Lainya, Central Equatoria State.

Kiir criticized reports in the media putting population figures of South Sudan at 3 million saying that there are unspecified parties that want to deny them a share in power and wealth.

The most recent U.N. estimate for Sudan’s population is 37.8 million but the numbers are difficult to verify because of Sudan’s huge internal displacement and also tens of thousands of Sudanese who have fled fighting over the years to neighboring countries.

The Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) had given a reluctant green light to the census operations in southern Sudan. GoSS expressed reserves over the incomplete repatriation of the Internally Displaced and refugees to Southern Sudan, the inadequate forms and census questionnaires.

The census results are due to be released before the end of the year despite promises it would be announced in September.

Kiir blasted slow implementation of the CPA and urged Southerners to unite and turn their back “to those who want to split the movement”

Separately, the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) political bureau met in Juba today to discuss the ‘People of Sudan’ initiative to resolve the Darfur crisis.

The meeting also discussed the indictment of president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its impact on the future of the country.


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