WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, (December 22, 2000) — Soldiers of the Government of Sudan’s Popular Defense Forces (PDF) systematically gang-raped enslaved black African women and girls during and after slave raids on villages in Southern Sudan. This report is according to the testimonies of numerous redeemed slaves, which was documented by Christian Solidarity International (CSI), and independent researchers.
Some 4,119 slaves were redeemed between December 13-18, 2000 by CSI representatives John Eibner and Gunnar Wiebalck in four locations in the northern Bahr El Ghazal, Sudan. Since 1995, 42,537 slaves have been liberated through the cooperative efforts of CSI, Southern Sudanese Community leaders, and local Baggara Arabs.
Many of the liberated women and children bore thick, herniated scars, especially in the area of their breasts. This was the result of mutilation committed by the rapists. The following women were among those gang-raped by their armed captors.
Twenty-year-old Aluel Mangong Deng, said: “I was enslaved five years ago during a raid on my village, Agok. I tried to run away from the soldiers, but they caught me and threw me to the ground. I struggled to get away, so they held down my hands and feet and cut my throat and chest with a knife. As I grew faint, one of them named Mohammed raped me then and there. That night, I was raped again by different men. They came one after another. This also happened to other women, and even to young girls. It took up to 30 days before we reached Poulla, north of Babanusa. This kind of rape happened just about every day along the way.”
Thirty-year-old Abuk Malek Ador, said: “I was captured in 1998. During the raid, all of the men were killed. Only children and women were driven to the North. Most of those killed were murdered by axes or knives. On the way to the North, I was raped by many soldiers. My daughter (2-year-old Akuel) is the product of these sexual assaults. I do not know who her father is because there were so many rapists.”
Thirty-three-year-old Arek Garang Peath, stated: “I was captured last year. I was gang-raped and my children were beaten. In Kerieu, I was given to Abdullah. He encouraged his sons to rape me. All of them raped me. So did their friends. Whenever I tried to resist, I was brutally beaten.”
The leaders of the black African communities affected by the Government of Sudan’s slave raids estimate that over 100,000 people remain in bondage in Northern Sudan.
In his Jubilee Year Christmas Appeal to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, CSI’s International President, the Rev. Hans Stuckelberger reaffirms CSI’s obligation “to proclaim liberty to the Captives.” In addition, he urges the Commission of Human Rights to support: 1) the High Commissioner’s proposal for “preventative action…to disarm militias which abduct people for enslavement” in Sudan, and 2) the establishment of a mechanism for the prosecution of those guilty of the enslavement of black African women and children, and gang-rape, both of which are recognized as war crimes.
John D. Tayloe is the Executive Director of Christian Solidarity International in the Untied States. Christian Solidarity International (CSI), founded in 1977 by Rev. Hans Stuckelberger in Zurich, Switzerland, is a Christian human rights organization for religious liberty, helping victims of religious repression, victimized children, and victims of disaster. Currently CSI has representatives in 16 countries including the United States. CSI is at the forefront of the campaign to abolish slavery in Sudan.