Christian Human Rights Organization Has Freed 7,725 Slaves Since 1995
Christian Solidarity International (CSI), a Christian human rights organization, redeemed 1,783 black African slaves during a fact-finding trip to Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Sudan, on April 12-17, 1999. The slaves, mainly women and children, had been captured as war booty by the armed forces of the Government of Sudan (GOS), in particular by the Popular Defence Force (PDF) during raids on villages in the borderlands between Northern and Southern Sudan. The GOS conducts such raids as an instrument of the jihad (Islamic holy war) it has consistently declared against the ethnic and religious minorities who resist its policies of forced Islamization and Arabization.
The 1,783 slaves were redeemed by CSI from four different networks of Arab slave retrievers, for a fee of 50,000 Sudanese pounds ($50 US), per slave. The redemptions took place in Aweil East and Twic Counties. The freeing of these slaves was undertaken in accordance with local Arab-Black African peace agreements. Since 1995, CSI's Slave Redemption Program has freed 7,725 slaves.
Interviews with redeemed slaves confirmed a well-established pattern of severe physical and psychological torture, including exemplary executions, beatings, rape, female genital excision, forced conversions and unpaid labor.
35-year-old Adior Ajang Jongkor was enslaved for two years. Her master, Ali from the village of Shetef gave her the Arab name 'Howah' and forced her to perform domestic labor. Ali repeatedly raped Adior and slashed her with a knife when she resisted his advances. Her body is now covered with scars.
25-year-old Nyanut Aquer Mayen was enslaved in 1997. She witnessed the death of ten children from thirst and the execution of three young men as her slave caravan was forced to march to the North. Her master, Mahmoud, frequently raped her. Nyanut now has a baby as a result of this sexual abuse. Her master gave her the name 'Howesa'. Mahmoud's wife often beat Nyanut with a bamboo stick and called her insulting names, in Arabic the equivalent of 'nigger' and 'slave'.
Further evidence of PDF slave raids, including the enslavement of 2,604 and the murder of 181 people, has been published this month by the UN in a 63-page document (Rapid Assessment Report, Rapid Assessment of Affected locations in Twic, Awil East, Aweil West and Wau Counties, Carried out Between March 13th and 25th, 1999, by UNICEF/OLS Rapid Assessment Team, Lokichoggio, April 1999).
On April 8, 1999, the Popular Defence Force attacked villages near the town of Nyamllel. Initial reports from local officials indicate that the PDF enslaved women and children, and looted livestock and grain.
While addressing the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva on April 7, 1999, the Sudanese Justice Minister, Ali Mohamed Osman Yassin announced the initiation of criminal cases against CSI because if its redemption of slaves. Yassin has threatened to disrupt humanitarian assistance to needy civilians unless the Commission condemns CSI and UNICEF retracts its confirmation of slavery in Sudan.
CSI is committed to continuing its Slave Redemption Program until such time as either slavery is abolished in Sudan, or the international community creates more effective retrieval mechanisms. In addition, CSI trusts the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, the Commission, and those directing the UN's relief efforts in Sudan, will not be intimidated by the threats of the Government of Sudan.
Christian Solidarity International is a Christian human rights organization for the religious liberty of religious repression, victimized children and victims of disaster. Revd. Hans Stuckelberger founded CSI in 1977, following silent demonstrations in support of persecuted Christians.
SOURCE Christian Solidarity International