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.
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.