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Since 1995, international rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and CASMAS have reported that slavery in Sudan is a common fate of captives in the Second Sudanese Civil War. Pro-government militias have been known to raid non-Muslim southern villages (particularly those of the Dinka) and loot them both for property and for slaves. According to the Rift Valley Institute's Sudan Abductee Database, over 11,000 people were abducted in 20 years of slave-raiding in southern Sudan. mentions that hundreds of thousands have been abducted into slavery, fled, or are otherwise unaccounted for in a second genocide in southern Sudan. According to the American Anti-Slavery Group, black Africans in southern Sudanmarker have been abducted for centuries in the Arab slave trade, but the slave raids by militia armed by the federal government of Sudanmarker increased significantly after the 1989 military coup led by Colonel Omar al-Bashir, who is the current President of Sudan.

However, the 2002 report issued by the International Eminent Persons Group, acting with the encouragement of the US State Department, found the SPLA as well as pro-government militias guilty of abduction of civilians.

The Embassy of the Republic of Sudan denies that there is slavery in Sudan, saying that these reports are attempts to shed a bad light on Muslims and Arabs, and that slave redemption programs are fraudulent attempts to make money. According to the Embassy of Sudan, there are documented instances of people, who were not slaves, being gathered together and instructed to pretend they were being released from slavery.

Christian Solidarity International Claims that there are 200,000 slaves in Sudan, while Save the Children puts the number at 7,000. Italian missionary, Father Mario Riva and others who have witnessed "slave redemptions" have claimed that the process was a fraud as some of the "freed slaves" were collected by the SPLA with the promise of receiving money.

Reports of slavery

In 1995, Human Rights Watch first reported on slavery in Sudan in the context of the Second Sudanese Civil War. In 1996, two more reports emerged, one by a United Nations representative and another by reporters from the Baltimore Sun.

Though slavery never completely died out in Sudanmarker, there has been a relatively recent upsurge in slave-taking that has its roots in Islam. According to John Eibner, an historian and human rights specialist writing in Middle East Quarterly:


John Eibner of Christian Solidarity International, as quoted by the American Anti-Slavery Groups, discusses slavery in Sudanmarker. He states:

According to CBS news, slaves have been sold for $50 apiece. [112177]

According to CNN, Christian groups in the United States have expressed concern about slavery and religious oppression against Christians by Muslims in Sudan, putting pressure on the Bush administration to take action.[112178] CNN has also quoted the U.S.marker State Departmentmarker's allegations: "The [Sudanese] government's support of slavery and its continued military action which has resulted in numerous deaths are due in part to the victims' religious beliefs."[112179]

Writing for The Wall Street Journal on December 12, 2001, Michael Rubin said:

Fraudulent reporting

The Report of a Canadian Assessment Mission which was published in February, 2007 was drafted by the Canadian Special Envoy to Sudan, John Harker:

According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, early trips of slave redemption, where charities bought the freedom of slaves, were successful in freeing thousands of slaves. CSW says some of their representatives discovered a man who was defrauding organizations that were trying to redeem slaves, and later a man came to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army and confessed to having a part in defrauding these organizations. According to CSW, Dr. Samson Kwaje says he doubts that even 5% of the supposedly freed people were in fact slaves, and that many were instructed in how to act and what stories to tell. Eventually, according to CSW, many slaves were released for free, putting cons out of business.The European Sudanese Puplic Affairs Council has questioned whether the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army is a reliable source for determining the existence of slavery calling them an "authoritarian organisation".

Also, Jim Jacobson, Spokesperson for Christian Freedom International, said:

Human Rights Watch says that:

History of slavery in the Sudan

Slavery in the Sudanmarker has a long history, beginning in ancient Egyptian times and continuing up to the present.

Prisoners of war were regularly enslaved by the ancient Egyptians, including Nubians.[112180]

Soon after the Arabs conquered Egyptmarker, they attempted to conquer Nubia; their efforts were unsuccessful, and in 652 they signed a treaty with the Nubian kingdom of Makuria, the Baqt. Under this treaty, the Nubians agreed to supply 360 slaves annually to their northern neighbors.

After the Nubian kingdoms' fall in 1504, the Funj came to the fore; these began to use slaves in the army in the reign of Badi III (r. 1692-1711)[112181]. Following their own fall, the area again became a field for Egyptian slavers; notably, the ruler Muhammad Ali of Egypt attempted to build up an army of Sudanese slaves.

Slavery was banned by the British humain rights after they conquered the region.

See also


  1. Slavery and Slave Redemption in the Sudan (Human Rights Watch Backgroudner, March, 2002)
  2. Sudan Q & A
  3. BBC NEWS | Africa | 'Thousands of slaves in Sudan'

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