Counting starts in disputed Sudan census

Work on Sudan's first census since a landmark 2005 north-south peace deal began on Tuesday after months of wrangling, with President Omar Hassan al-Bashir the first to be counted at midnight.

Counting starts in disputed Sudan census
Streets in the capital Khartoum were quiet on the national holiday after police told people to stay at home to be counted in the census.

The count will help to determine the distribution of wealth and power and to set constituencies before Sudan's first democratic elections in 23 years due next year.

But the south claims millions of southerners displaced to the north during the war should go home first and that questions on ethnicity and religion be inserted into the questionnaire.

And hundreds of thousands of victims of a separate five-year conflict in Sudan's western Darfur region also rejected the census.

The census will continue for two weeks with final results not expected before September.

Last Mod: 23 Nisan 2008, 08:49
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