Deputy governor rejects census results for N. Bahr El Ghazal

May 31, 2009 (ST)

The deputy governor of Northern Bahr El Ghazal state issued a formal complaint about the recently released national census results, saying he was shocked by the inaccuracy of the population figure for his state.

Arkangelo Athian Teng, in a letter to the First Vice President of the Republic obtained by Sudan Tribune, expressed "disappointment and dissatisfaction" with the results. He had directed the activities of the Southern Sudan Centre for Census, Statistics and Evaluation (SSCCSE) in Aweil, the state capital.

According to the census, the population of Northern Bahr El Ghazal is 720,898, lower than five other states in the south. Teng says that the state should not be sixth.

"Myself and the entire state were shocked by these results," stated the official.

The deputy governor, who currently serves also as the Minister of Local Government and Law Enforcement Agencies, offered five explanations for his suspicion that the state’s population is higher than reported in the final census results.

First, during the house hold survey/census mapping, the state was leading the whole south in term of households and the number of Enumeration Areas, he said.

Second, in the recruitment, training and deployment of field staff, Northern Bahr El Ghazal state was leading the whole south, with field staffs not less than 1,670.

Third, upon retrieval of census materials, the cartons parked in the state were more compared to other states.

Fourth, during the manual verification and scanning in Rumbek, the state was leading the weekly updates.

Fifth, the number for the out-of-state population of Northern Bahr El Ghazal – those living in Juba and Khartoum – was supposed to be added to the end result, but in fact they were not added to the state population.

Athian Teng further appealed to the recipient of the letter, Salva Kiir Mayardit who chairs the SPLM, to recall that SPLM mobilization in the state had been more than 777,000 above 18 years of age who were registered. Three counties, namely Aweil North, South and West had populations above 60,000 each. Aweil East numbered above 400,000 people excluding children below 18 years of age.

Teng said "if under age and other parties’ members are included NBGS (Northern Bahr El Ghazal state) should be above the whole south."

The letter, dated May 21, 2009, was copied to the governor and chairman of SSCCSE and requested public clarification of the census results.

It concluded, "Your Excellency, before I hear the reaction and the stand of the state government and the entire community of NBGS/Aweil, I would like to let you know that the results released will not be accepted."

Sudan conducted its fifth Population and Housing Census, a milestone in the implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), from April 22 to May 6, 2008. It was the first all-inclusive census for people of southern Sudan since Sudan became independent in January 1956.


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