Surma is a panethnicity residing in South Sudan and southwestern Ethiopia. It includes the Nilo-Saharan-speaking Suri, Mursi and Me'en. The term Surma is the Ethiopian government's collective name for the Suri, Mursi and Me'en groups that inhabit the southwestern part of the country, with a total population of 186,875. All three groups speak languages belonging to the Surmic branch of the Nilo-Saharan language family. Some authors have used the terms "Suri" and "Surma" interchangeably, or for contradictory purposes. Suri or Shuri is the name of a sedentary pastoral people and its Nilo-Saharan language. They inhabit the Bench Maji Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region (SNNPR) in Ethiopia as well as parts of neighbouring South Sudan. Some are also found west of Mizan Teferi. Population: 20,622 (1998 est.). Mursi or Murzu is the name of a closely related sedentary pastoral Nilotic people whose language (Mursi) is over 80% cognate with Suri.
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