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Spotlight on Sudan

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Sudan's government is a radical regime that terrorizes its own population with brutal slave raids. Amidst civil war and inter-ethnic strife, the Sudanese government has launched a great revival of the country's once virtually-extinct institution of black chattel slavery. The victims: women and children abducted by militiamen during devastating raids.

Map of SudanSudan means "land of the blacks" in Arabic, and for centuries black Africans were abducted in Sudan as part of the Arabian slave trade. Sudan's borders — drawn by the British during colonial times- encompass Muslim Arabs in the north and, in the south, black Africans of various faiths. A radical fundamentalist movement pressured the government to impose Sha'ria (Islamic law), on all of Sudan in 1983 — at which time slave raids were reintroduced against black African villages in the south and Nuba Mountains.

A 1989 military coup by the fundamentalist General Omar el-Bashir spurred a dramatic increase in slave raids, which still continue today. Armed by the government, militiamen destroy villages and take their pay in human booty. Grown men are shot, but women and children are the marauders' most prized reward. Forced labor without pay, severe beatings, acute hunger, forced religious and cultural conversion, rape, and ritual female genital mutilation are grim realities for the tens of thousands of children and young mothers now in bondage.

Chattel slavery in Sudan is perhaps the most intense form of human bondage seen today. Check out the above links to learn more about the history and horror of slavery and genocide in Sudan.