News/KENYA: SUDAN MILITIA ENSLAVE 300 WOMEN,CHILDREN-AID GROUP.

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Subject: News/KENYA: SUDAN MILITIA ENSLAVE 300 WOMEN,CHILDREN-AID GROUP.
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Fri Mar 24 2000 - 13:01:11 EST


25Feb00 KENYA: SUDAN MILITIA ENSLAVE 300 WOMEN,CHILDREN-AID GROUP.
NAIROBI, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Arab militiamen backed by the Sudanese
government have kidnapped 300 black women and children to sell into
slavery, a Swiss aid agency which supports Sudanese rebels said on Friday.
Christian Solidarity International (CSI), a controversial charity which
buys Sudanese slaves and sets them free, said the militia had attacked 11
villages in south Sudan on Monday.
"The slave raid commenced at about 2 p.m. when a force of about 1,500...
troops on horseback fanned out to attack (11) villages," CSI said in a
statement faxed to Reuters in Nairobi.
The militia "enslaved an estimated 300 black African women and children,
killed 16 civilians, stole livestock and torched houses," it said. A brief
engagement with rebel forces left four militiamen and six rebels dead, it
added.
CSI, which makes no secret of its support for the rebel Sudan People's
Liberation Army (SPLA), quoted local officials in Bahr el Ghazal province
as saying the captives had been driven northwards to government-controlled
territory.
>From there, they will be sold to northerners to tend their houses or fields
or be used as sex slaves, CSI says.
The SPLA has been fighting the government in Khartoum for 17 years for
greater autonomy for Sudan's mainly Christian and animist south.
Arab militias from the north have clashed with the black tribes of southern
Sudan for centuries, but raids increased sharply after the Khartoum
government armed the militia when civil war broke out in 1983, human rights
groups say.
CSI says the government encourages the enslavement of southerners as an
instrument of war.
SPLA officials in Nairobi confirmed the raids had taken place in Aweil East
and Twic counties but said they were still trying to gather details from
the field.
CSI says it has "helped black African community leaders liberate over
25,000 slaves" since 1995, and estimates 100,000 people are still slaves or
are subject to slave-like practices in government-run camps in northern
Sudan.
It pays Arab middlemen around $50 a head to bring back slaves from the
north, but the United Nations children's agency has accused it of
perpetuating the slave trade by increasing the financial rewards for those
taking slaves.
Reuters Limited 2000.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE


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