iAbolish partner organization Christian Solidarity International, with ths support of the state government of North Bahr El Ghazal and the Arab-Dinka Peace Committee of Manger Ater, freed 51 Black Sudanese slaves from Arab masters last week.
Interviews with the freed slaves over the age of 8 revealed that 89% of them had been forcibly converted to Islam; the methods of coercion included beatings, death threats, and racial and religious insults. Many had witnessed exections of those who failed to submit. 8 of the 12 young women over the age of 14 admitted to having been raped while living in bondage. One suspected her master of prostituting her to visitors in his home.
Tens of thousands of Black slaves from Southern Sudan are still believed to be the property of masters in Northern Sudan, notwithstanding the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the government in Khartoum and the Southern-based Sudan People’s Liberation Army in January 2005. The CPA failed to establish a mechanism for the emancipation of slaves. Meanwhile, Black women and children continue to be abducted and enslaved in the war-torn northern region of Darfur.