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South Sudan will conduct fresh population census next year

January 8, 2013 (JUBA) - South Sudan will conduct another population census in 2014 following the independence of the country one and a half years ago.

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An enumeratorinterviews residents of Juba on April 22, 2008 (Reuetes)

The region conducted its last population census in 2008 jointly with the former Sudan when the two countries were still one. The census result was contested in South Sudan as it counted only 8 million people, which officials say fell short of the expected higher population.

The Council of Ministers in an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday approved the plan to conduct another census and directed the chairperson of the National Bureau of Statistics, Isaiah Chol Aruai, to begin the preparations for the task.

The information minister and official spokesman of the government, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, told the press after the cabinet meeting that to conduct the population census next year is a constitutional requirement which should be carried out.

South Sudan will go for general elections in 2015 and this needs the fresh conduct of the census in order to redistribute the constituencies that will be contested.

The next year’s census result, according to officials, will also better inform the government on service delivery and development plans based on an accurate population in a given constituency.

(ST)