232 Sudanese Slaves Liberated

CSI Urges President Obama to Help Stamp out Slavery in Sudan

WASHINGTON, May 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, Christian Solidarity International (CSI) issued a report on the liberation of 232 Sudanese earlier this month. The slaves – Christian and traditionalist members of the Dinka tribe – were liberated, with CSI’s support, from Arab masters in Darfur and neighboring Kordofan. The released captives were then repatriated to their homeland in Southern Sudan by Arab retrievers working in association with local Arab-Dinka Peace Committees. The enslavement of these Black non-Muslim Sudanese took place during jihad raids undertaken by Arab militias backed by Sudan’s Islamist government during the late North-South civil war (1983-2005).

Interviews with all 232 slaves conducted by CSI representatives reveal a clear pattern of physical and psychological abuse. The liberated slaves reported having been subjected to beatings, death threats, rape, female genital mutilation, forced conversion to Islam, racial and religious insults and work without pay. Some slaves reported witnessing the execution of fellow captives.

Among the interviewed slaves were:

Achan Mawien Guat – pregnant 17 year-old: Enslaved, Raped, Circumcised, and Islamized.

Peter Akot Dut Hol – 19 year-old Christian: Enslaved, Islamized, Father Murdered, Mutilated and Terrorized.

Majok Kon Maliith – 17 year-old: Enslaved, Islamized, Terrorized, Beaten, and Blinded in one Eye.

Mary Atak Geng Baak – 18 year-old Christian: Enslaved, Islamized, Sexually Abused, Terrorized, and Economically Exploited.

Writing today to President Barack Obama, Dr. John Eibner, CEO of CSI-USA, recalled the crucial roles played by Ambassador Susan Rice, while Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, in initiating government policy to eradicate Sudanese slavery during the Clinton administration, and by President Bush’s first Special Envoy for Sudan, Sen. John Danforth in placing the issue of slavery at the heart of the Sudan peace process.

Dr. Eibner furthermore urged President Obama to “revive America’s commitment to act energetically for the eradication of slavery in Sudan” by supporting the reintroduction of legislation sponsored by Reps.

Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Diane Watson (D-CA) for the establishment of the United States Commission to Monitor Slavery and its Eradication in Sudan (Eradication of Slavery in Sudan Act of 2007. H.R.3844).

Slavery persists in Sudan, despite the signing in January 2005 of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Islamist Government of Sudan (GOS) and the secular, Southern-based Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM). The Agreement failed to include a mechanism for overseeing the liberation of slaves and their safe repatriation.

An estimated 35,000 Black Africans from the Dinka tribe remain enslaved today, according to a member of the Government of Sudan’s Committee for the Eradication of the Abduction of Women and Children (CEAWC), James Aguir. (Skye Wheeler, Reuters, “Misseriya and Dinka Grapple with History of Child Abduction”, Aweil, November 14, 2008). Most of these Dinka slaves are held by masters in Darfur and neighboring Kordofan. Reports from the UN Secretary General’s International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur (January 2005) and from the Darfur Consortium (December 2008) also confirm the use of slavery as a weapon of war against Black Africans in Darfur. The enslavement and horrific abuse of Sudanese captives of the Lord’s Resistance Army is yet another facet of Sudan’s slavery problem.