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Start of Sudanese census welcomed by UN peacekeeping mission

Start of Sudanese census welcomed by UN peacekeeping mission

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Sudan (UNMIS) has welcomed today’s start of the African country’s historic nationwide census, which aims to count all Sudanese people and households in preparation for elections scheduled for next year.

UNMIS commended the two parties to the 2005 comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) – the Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) – ending the long-running north-south civil war for ensuring that the census can take place.

Starting today, census enumerators are fanning out across the vast nation over the next two weeks to conduct interviews and record answers about the number, geographical distribution, social and economic characteristics on the population.

The holding of the census is one of the key elements in implementing the CPA and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement last week calling the event a milestone in the peace process, which is supposed to culminate in elections next year.

The January 2005 accord formally ended a conflict that claimed about two million lives and displaced some 4.5 million others.