December 10, 2010
Bashir Dissolves Anti-Slavery Committee
AWEIL, Sudan and WASHINGTON — Christian Solidarity International (CSI) has facilitated the freedom of 603 Southern Sudanese slaves in a pre-Christmas slave liberation action. Most of the slaves were captured by Baggara Arab militias in the service of the Government of Sudan during its jihad against the black, non-Muslim communities of Southern Sudan (1983 – 2005).
Some of the freed child slaves were born into bondage. All of the slaves were held by masters in the Northern Sudanese regions of Darfur and Kordofan. CSI field staff interviewed and documented the recently liberated slaves this month within days of repatriation to their Southern Sudanese homeland. The slaves were located, redeemed and returned to Southern Sudan by two networks of Baggara Arab retrievers.
Tamara Banks, an Emmy Award winning freelance journalist, talk show host and documentary filmmaker documents CSI’s liberation mission in 2009.
Among the 603 freed slaves were:
Abuk Ngor Anyuon: Forcibly converted from Christianity to Islam, circumcised, frequently assaulted, finger cut of, robbed of her two young sons, and racially and religious insulted by her master’s wife, Asha.
Majok Makeui Anei: Separated from mother, witnessed execution of slave, Islamized, renamed Hassan Ibrahim, severely wounded on legs, denied food, racially and religiously insulted by his master Ibrahim Mohammed.
Akuc Kiir Deng: Blinded, forcibly converted to Islam, circumcised, robbed of her two children, and racially insulted by her master Ali Mohammed.The physical and psychological abuse reported by the freed slaves is consistent with that described in the U.S. Government-sponsored Report of the International Eminent Persons Group on Slavery, Abduction and Forced Servitude.
Meanwhile, the President of Sudan, Omer El Bashir, dissolved on the 16th of August his government’s showcase Committee for the Eradication of the Abduction of Women and Children (CEAWC). This institution was established in 1999 to disperse international pressure arising from documentation generated by CSI’s slave liberation program.The results of CEAWC have been meager, despite having received financial and technical support from the European Union, Britain, UNICEF, Save the Children (UK & Norway), and both the Government of Sudan and the autonomous Government of Southern Sudan. It facilitated the repatriation of approximately 2,000 slaves over the last 12 years, with its last known liberation action being the return of a group of 135 slaves in March 2008.
The International Eminent Persons Group (IEPG) noted in its 2002 report that CEAWC “has suffered from a lack of transparency and slack financial management, while CEAWC structures mushroomed,” and that “there are, therefore, legitimate questions over the cost-benefits of the initiative.” The IEPG also expressed concern about the integration of “state security bodies” within CEAWC.According to a leading member of the now dissolved CEAWC, James Aguer Alic, approximately 35,000 Southern Sudanese remain enslaved in Northern Sudan, (Reuters, “Misseriya and Dinka Grapple with History of Child Abduction,” Aweil, Nov. 14, 2008).
“CSI’s central role in the pre-Christmas liberation of 603 Sudanese slaves is a sign of our sustained commitment to achieve the eradication of slavery in Sudan,” said Dr. John Eibner, CEO of CSI (USA). Last September, Eibner warned President Barack Obama that “the persistence of slavery and the racial and religious bigotry that underpin this internationally recognized ‘crime against humanity’ blights the prospect of a sustained peace between Northern and Southern Sudan.”
CONTACT: Val Sawelenko, (805) 777 7107 – tel, firstname.lastname@example.org