South Sudan: expected census results possibly fake and must be rejected right awayJanuary 29, 2009 at 3:13 pm | Posted in Africa | Leave a comment
Tags: south sudan, splm, sudan
When a nation plans to conduct a National Population Census, it does so without ulterior motives, no hidden agenda and is carried out in a transparent manner. It is when the number of people living in a country and in a particular locality is known that the nation can make sound plans for development and allocation of services. The International standard practice dictates that there is no need to make forgeries in either exaggerating or downplaying population figures of one region, ethnic or religious group.
For Sudanese of Khartoum who always happen to be in power, the standards and modes operandi they adopt have always been appalling and leaves out a lot to be desired. During the initial designing of Population Census Forms, it was a common knowledge that in addition to other information required in a form, there must be questions in the questionnaire which address the population strata in terms of ethnicity, race, and religion, besides gender, age and martial status. Not only were some of these questions ignored, they were rejected and scrapped from the questionnaire papers.
More irregularities were still to be observed in what Miraya radio announcement of 26th January 2009 describes as International Standard Practices. With all the visible short comings of the Census forms, it was also deliberate that less number of forms were sent to the South and therefore many areas were not covered in Aweil, Warrap, Lakes, Eastern Equatoria and Jonglei states, just to mention a few. One other factor that is important in accomplishing Census work professionally so as to meet the claimed international standard is the availability of transport. There were no enough vehicles to take people to places were population registration could be carried out. Census enumerators had difficulties travelling to far and isolated areas due to lack of cars and bicycles to cover distant areas. The shortage of forms and transport was a major impediment to those who were willing to endure hardships so as to make population census a success.
Southern Sudan is not the only part of the Sudan that will reject the fabricated Census results alone. It is an evident fact that no Population Census was conducted in Darfur and Southern Kordofan for obvious reasons of insecurity there. The famous saying regarding evil intentions of a person running with hare and hunting with dog applies to this situation. You cannot arm militias to hunt and kill innocent civilians, and then go there again and ask those civilians to be counted in a Population Census. Not only were civilians at risk, even the census officials were also in danger. There was a total failure of Census in many areas of Darfur and Southern Kordofan.
It was due to the same insecurity that Census questionnaires were burnt down in Bhar el Ghazal. Western Equatoria experienced the same insecurity through population harassment by the militias who are posing as LRA in the rural areas of the state.
In carrying out a proper Population Census, adequate assessment is always conducted to include security, transport, financial and weather conditions. No enough financial support was availed to satisfactorily meet the requirements of the Census process. Those Enumerators who were sent to isolated areas with no transport facilities were going at times without meals and water. Some became sick and could not access medical services. Moreover, April/May is not a very good time of the year for conducting such an activity that requires travelling when rains have started and rendering feeder roads impassable. This was another factor of failure in conducting a successful Census in the rural Southern Sudan.
Dr. Jilan, the Chairman of Census Commission says that he is satisfied with Census results and therefore the result will be out by first week of February 2009. This is misleading to the Sudanese people in the first place, to the International Community and to the real census professionals. The thinking in Khartoum that when they are satisfied the whole Sudan should also feel satisfied does not work and will not never work again.
The Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) should reject these fabricated Census Results right away. The census results will never contain any grain of truth as they are manufactured with the fogy fiddle Sudan mentality.