Burr’s 1998 figure of 1.9 million dead represents the total for 15 years of war; the average number of deaths per year is thus roughly 125,000. If we assume the same average obtains in the subsequent four years—a conservative assumption given the levels of violence—then an addition 500,000 people died of war related causes, bringing the total to 2.4 million.
It is on the basis of this sort of extrapolation that so many newswires and news organizations refer to the toll from the second civil war as “more than 2 million,” including Associated Press (http://goo.gl/VCmgq ), Reuters (http://af.reuters.com/article/sudanNews/idAFN1E76D0ND20110714 ), CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/01/05/sudan.timeline/index.html), NBC News (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41460171/ns/world_news-africa/t/s-sudan-prepares-be-worlds-newest-country/ ), McClatchy News (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/02/14/108721/wave-of-violence-raises-worries.html ), and TIME Magazine (http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2061927,00.html).
Also using a figure of “more than 2 million” are the Congressional Research Service of the U.S. Congress, the U.S. State Department in its profile of Sudan (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5424.htm), as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development.
For my mortality assessment of the genocidal counterinsurgency in Darfur, see http://www.sudanreeves.org/Article269.html (August 2010). This lengthy analysis, which surveyed all extant mortality studies, concludes that approximately 500,000 people had died from war-related causes at this point (chiefly from disease and malnutrition, but also from extremely high levels of violence).
Together such reports and extrapolations suggest that total mortality from genocide in South Sudan, the Nuba Mountains, and Darfur was approximately 2.9 million as of August 2010. Using even much more conservative figures (50,000 death per year from 1998-2002, a fall-off in the gross mortality rate of over 50 percent) and 350,000 for the Darfur genocide (the minimum credible number given available evidence), the total still exceeds 2.5 million. It does not include mortality from August 2010 to July 2011.
Total mortality from the South Sudan, Nuba Mountains, and Darfur genocides has a range of 2.5 million to 2.9 million or higher.