On April 2019, light appeared in a vast, dark desert. A peoples movement overthrew a ruthless dictator who, for almost thirty years, had divided the country along racial and religious lines as he committed genocide and enslaved more than one hundred thousand people. Black Africans, Brown Arabs, Muslims, Christians and Animists have now united in their common struggle for freedom.

The people continued to peacefully protested as they demanded that the military government immediately allow civilian rule. The military killed hundreds of people but the protests continued.

On August 4, 2019, the Sudanese pro-democracy movement entered into a three year power sharing agreement with the military, as an interim step before elections and full civilian rule.

As we advocate for a democratic Sudan, our work continues to liberate all those in bondage.

Below is a riveting interview of a slave retriever who works on the underground railroad followed by remarkable interviews of freed men, women and children. Some have no memory of before they were kidnapped.

The slave retriever provides insight into the ongoing liberation operations, the personal price he has paid and offers hope for a free Sudan where no one remains in bondage. The courage, strength and resiliency of these liberated men, women and children are a testimony to an indomitable spirit that will not be broken and offers us a window into how someone can survive in the most inhumane conditions.

Meet a Slave Retriever

CSI’s Underground Railroad in North Sudan utilizes Arab Muslim traders, known as “slave retrievers,” to bring enslaved people back to their homes in South Sudan. Hunted by the North Sudanese government because of their anti-slavery activities, they must conceal their identities and keep their work secret – even from their own families.

Here, one such slave retriever tells his story.

March 17, 2013

CSI: When did you begin this work?

SR: When I started, I was just a trader.  I would sneak goats from North to South Sudan to sell during the war.  The people here saw how we were able to bring the goats here.  In 1991, a committee of Arab chiefs in Meiram and a committee of Dinka chiefs in Warawar signed an internal peace agreement, and the Dinka chiefs told us they had people trapped in the North, and asked if we could bring them back in exchange for a goat or a cow.  A group of traders sat down and considered the proposal, and asked, is this something we can do?  My brother Mohammad, the firstborn, went and collected 15 people and brought them back.  The people here were so happy, and reported it to the local SPLA commander, Paul Malong, who then told CSI about it.

From that time, my brother and I worked together to free the slaves – I would bring the people to the south, and he would bring the goods exchanged back to the north.  This continued until CSI came to help, and the work expanded.

CSI: How do you free the slaves?

SR: We have a committee in the north that tries to locate slaves.  We make an agreement with the sheikhs in a certain area, to provide them with cattle vaccine for their cows in exchange for the release of the slaves in their cattle camps, and then we go around collecting the people in twos and threes, and bringing them to one place.  Then we travel to the South together.

CSI: Do slaves sometimes escape from their masters and join your group?

SR: Occasionally, yes.  Often the masters release slaves who are no longer valuable for work first.  If able-bodied slaves escape, the masters will come searching for them, and try to take them back from the committee by force.  So if people reach me by escaping, I try to take them to the South right away.

CSI: How do you deal with masters who refuse to release their slaves?

SR: We have to struggle, struggle, and try all means to get them released.  Our committee goes to the sheikhs in the area who made the agreement with us, and brings them to the master to try to work out a solution.  Sometimes we have to give them double the usual amount of vaccine to get the slaves released.  Sometimes the sheikhs have to go and collect the slaves for us by force.

CSI: Do you ever involve the police?

SR: No.  The government and the police are not involved.  Even if the police were willing to help, if we tried to use their help, we would not be able to free one single person.  The cattle camps are protected by armed men, who will resist outside interference.  They will fight.  They will not accept people coming to take the slaves by force.

CSI: How do you travel with the freed slaves to the South?

SR: After the people are gathered, we travel to several way-stations on the way to the South, staying for a time in each place.  When we arrive at the border, we wait for night to come and cross the border under the cover of darkness.

CSI: Do people ever die on the journey back to the South?

SR: Yes, a lot of people have died from sickness. If a person cannot walk, we provide donkey carts for them to ride in.  If someone appears too sick to travel, we leave them behind at our bases in the north so they can recuperate before traveling.

CSI: What are some of the dangers you face in your work?

SR: The danger comes from two sources: the North Sudanese government, and armed criminals.  Two months ago, we encountered a group of armed bandits north of the border, and we were in real danger.  But we fear only the government.  If we encounter bandits, we can sit down with them and work out a deal.  If the government finds me, I will be arrested.

When we come close to the border, we cannot walk across directly.  We have to take different paths that aren’t straight to avoid detection, and the journey takes longer.  When I return to the North from South Sudan, I have to be escorted by southerners; otherwise, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army will give me trouble as a northerner.

CSI: Why does the government try to stop you?

SR: The government denies that slavery exists in Sudan.  They cannot accept my work – bringing slaves back to their home.

CSI: Is the government looking for you now?

SR: Yes, they are.  Some of my relatives have positions in the government, and they have told me that if I am found, I will be arrested.

In 2011, while I was in South Sudan completing a mission, someone gave my name to the Northern security forces.  They came to my hometown, arrested my mother, and took her to Khartoum.  They kept her in prison for five months, torturing her and demanding to know about my work.  She became sick with high blood pressure.  When they finally released her, she was paralyzed on one side of her body.  She died a year and a half later.  That’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to me.  I was responsible for my mother, and she died because of my work.

CSI: Does your family know about your work?

SR: No, my work is very secret.  I cannot tell my friends, my wife or my children.  They only know that I am a trader.

CSI: What do you think of slavery?

SR: What I know is this: slavery will never stop unless the whole system of government in North Sudan is changed.

CSI: Will you and the other slave retrievers be able to bring all the slaves who were captured during the civil war (1983-2005) back home to South Sudan?

SR: Yes, we can.  If they are in the cattle camps, we can get them back.

CSI: How many people do you think are still in slavery in Sudan?

SR: So, so many.  Four slaves are used to herd 100 cows.  A single family in North Sudan can have as many as 10,000 cows.  And then there are the people who work on farms, or on local projects.  There are so many places we have never entered.

CSI: Will you enter them eventually?

SR: Yes, we will go.  We know how to get them out.  This is humanitarian work.  It is good work to bring people from slavery to freedom.  It is good for human beings to be free.  We are very happy because of the warm welcome the South Sudanese government has given us in our work.  But I’m very upset with the North Sudanese government.  I have suffered so much from them because of my work.  I will not give it up.  I’ve already lost too much to do that.

CSI: What would you like to tell people in America and Europe?

SR: Please stand with us to bring these people out of slavery.  We want to bring each and every one back to freedom.


AUGUST 1, 2015

Akeen Gon Bol (Liberated February 2014)

Achol Deng: Akeen is too small to remember being abducted.  He was just a toddler at the time.  It was a disaster.  We had fled from South Sudan to Mujlet, Kordofan, in North Sudan, to escape the fighting.  The murahileen attacked us before we could reach Mujlet.  People ran in all different directions.  I ran one way.  Akeen ran another.  We were both captured separately.  I was taken to Mujlet; he was taken to Matek.

I was freed from slavery two years ago.  The Arab slave retriever brought Akeen back here a month ago.  He is a good man. 

We hugged when we saw each other.  I felt so good.  He’s an adult now!  I gave praise to the people who brought him back.  I was always thinking about him, but I didn’t think we would meet again.  This is by the grace of the Lord.

I have four smaller children.  They and Akeen’s father are all here.

Akeen: I don’t remember the South, only that I was abducted.  I am happy to be back here in my homeland.  Life in the North was bad.  The Arabs beat me and ordered me around.  I haven’t met the rest of my family yet, but we will meet tonight.  I am very excited.  We will hug each other and celebrate.  I didn’t know we would meet again.

Akeen’s freedom was secured for about $50 of cattle vaccine. Thousands more South Sudanese people are still trapped in slavery in North Sudan. Please help us bring them home: www.csi-usa.org/donate/

8:13AM | URL: https://tmblr.co/ZxvwPw1qzmpYW
(Notes: 2) FILED UNDER: Sudan South Sudan Genocide Persecution Slavery Christians Christian Solidarity International

AUGUST 1, 2015

Abuk Ucoak Bol (Liberated May 2014)

Female, 50s

Arab/Muslim name: Merem

Enslaved: 1986

Liberated: May 2014

I am from Buol Toch, near Aweil Town.  I was kidnapped there at a time of a great famine.  Locusts attacked the sorghum across our whole region, and there was no harvest.  I was young at the time, and I had three children.

There was fighting.  My community had no guns, but we had spears and shields and we wanted to fight the murahileen.  When they came riding on horses and camels, they shot and killed four people right away, including my husband.  Everyone ran away, because they could kill people with something we couldn’t see.

I was kidnapped with my parents and my children.  They tried to separate my older children, Agueil Wol and Dut Wol, from me.  My parents tried to hold on to them, and they were shot.  Then my youngest child, a boy named Diing, ran to his grandmother’s body to hold her.  The murahileen hit him with a stick, and he died.  I have no idea where Agueil and Dut are now.

I was beaten with a camel whip, and they scratched my wounds with their fingers.  My body swelled up and I was sick.  It left me with massive scars on my chest and left arm.

I lived in Abu Meth with Madoi Eyaiya, the man who killed my parents.  He was a militiaman.  He went to the South all the time and came back with cows, goats and people.  I was the only Dinka in his house, but there were other slaves nearby.  I washed clothes, collected water and cleaned the grounds for him.  He beat me.  His wife, Kartouma, was a bad woman.  She beat me too.  If I asked her why, or tried to resist, Madoi would come in and join her in the beating.  I have a problem walking, because Madoi once stepped on my feet with his boots after beating me.  The slave retriever had to bring me here in a cart.

There was no church by us in the North, and they tried to force me to be a Muslim.  But I always thought I would come back to South Sudan, so I refused.  My mind was completely in South Sudan.

Madoi used me like a wife.  I had one child with him in the North, a girl named Awut.  She’s an adult now.  She was recently forced to marry a Dinka male slave.  Their master’s name is Hamad Hamad.  I would like to see Awut again if she can come back.

I have had this ear tumor for more than 10 years.  It is very painful.

The slave retriever brought me here.  He gathered us, and placed us in a camp in a small town while he went around collecting other slaves.  It was a good place, and the people there were good.  The slave retriever gave us lots of bread, and sodas.  He worked very hard for us.  If he saw Dinka people in the North, he would go see the owner of the house to try to get them out.

I am so happy to be in South Sudan.  I will stay here.  My life is in God’s hands now.

Abuk was freed for about $50 of cattle vaccine. Thousands of people, including her daughter and son-in-law, are still waiting to be freed. Please help us bring them home: www.csi-usa.org/donate/

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FILED UNDER: Sudan South Sudan Genocide Slavery Persecution Christians Christian Solidarity International

AUGUST 1, 2015

Abuk Alieu Yom (Liberated May 2014)

Arab/Muslim name: Hawa

Enslaved: 2001

Liberated: May 2014

I am from Adieng in South Sudan. I remember that when I was taken, I had a brother named Alieu who was old enough to walk, and my mother was pregnant again.

We all went to Catholic church.  I was a member of a group called the “Alleluia Dancers.” I liked church, because I heard about Jesus.  But after I went to the North, there was no Jesus.

I was captured near Aweil Town. My family was there to visit the market. When the slave raiders came, my family ran one way, and I ran the other.  I never saw them again.

The raiders put me on horseback with another Dinka person, Garang.  There were 5 Arabs with us.  The raiders beat us when we cried, asking, “Why are you crying?” On the way north, we were joined by another group of Arabs, but they didn’t have any Dinka people with them.  Maybe they killed theirs.

When we arrived in the North, they sold Garang and me to another man, named Abdullah, who lived in Meiram.  He was unkind.  He forced me to work, cooking and washing the cooking utensils. Garang was the only other Dinka person there, and he was soon sold to somebody else.  Abdullah hit me all the time.  Maybe because I wasn’t his child.  He didn’t beat his own children.

Abdullah had a wife, and a boy and a girl, both younger than me.  They were unkind too, but not as bad as him.  His children gave me the scars on my legs.

Abdullah renamed me “Hawa.” He didn’t want me to have a Dinka name.  He also called me “abd” [slave] and “jengai” [a racial epithet]. But he forced me to call him father.  When I refused, he beat me terribly.

Abdullah sometimes forced me to pray like a Muslim.  But he didn’t take me to the mosque.  He only took his own children.  Then later, in the house, he would ask me to pray alongside him.  He forced me to be circumcised at the same time his daughter was.  During Ramadan, I cooked food for his children, but not for him and his wife, or for myself. I had to sneak food while he was away.  It was hard.  I always hoped Ramadan wouldn’t come.

One day, Abdullah brought me two Arab men, and asked me to choose one for a husband.  I cried, and wouldn’t give him an answer.  The next day, he brought a third man, and told me I was his wife.  I forget his name now; he came temporarily and then left.  This happened three different times.  Maybe the men were paying him.  I don’t know.

I thought of escaping, but I didn’t know the way home.  There was no way.

The slave retriever was the first person to tell me that the war was over.  I met the slave retriever in the village.  He came with me back to Abdullah’s house, and talked with him at a distance.  Then he came to me and said, “We are going.” Abdullah asked me if I wanted to go, and I said “yes.” He was angry, and said, “Why do you dislike me?” I didn’t answer.  I didn’t want him to become angrier and change his mind.

I thought, “I’m free!” and I was happy.  I’ve come home to Dinkaland, and I will look for work to do freely.  No one will force me.  I will go to church again.

Thank you very much for bringing me back from slavery, for coordinating all this, and for the gifts of a goat and survival kit.

Abuk was freed for about $50 of cattle vaccine. Thousands of people, including her brother Garang, are still trapped in slavery. Please help us bring them home: www.csi-usa.org/donate/

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(Notes: 2) FILED UNDER: Sudan South Sudan Genocide Slavery Christians Christian Solidarity International Persecution

AUGUST 1, 2015

Amel Dor Manyuol (Liberated May 2014)

Arab/Muslim name: Hawa

Infant’s name: Kuol

Enslaved: c. 2000

Liberated: May 2014

I am from Macam Tit in Aweil East County.  I don’t know how old I was when I was taken.  I don’t remember being taken.  I wouldn’t recognize my parents, but I still remember their names.

The slave raiders came at night, on horses.  I watched them shoot some of my brothers and sisters, and I saw the rest flee into the bush.  I assume they’re dead.  We were four brothers and three sisters: Adup, Akot, Achier, Abuk, Adut, Akuol and me.  I haven’t seen any of them since.

A man named Mohammed Abdullah took me to the North.  He might have been one of my siblings’ killers; I’m not sure.  He and the other slave raiders made us walk to the North.  Nothing happened on the journey.  But the slave raiders cut one person’s throat, and beat two others to death.  The Arab in charge of them said, “I don’t need these people.”

I lived with Mohammed in Karega in the North.  I was the only Dinka person in his house, but there were others living with the neighbors.  They were slaves too.

Even though I was very young, I experienced serious beatings all the time in Mohammed’s house.  I had to wash their cooking utensils and take care of his wife’s young baby girl. 

Mohammed had one wife and two older sons.  They were all unkind to me.  You can see on my left arm I have a scar from a bite, and a burn-scar.  These were given to me by the baby girl I had to take care of, after she grew up.  On my left leg is a knife scar, from Mohammed’s children. When Mohammed saw these wounds, he said, “She’s a jengai [a racial epithet.] It’s no problem.”

Mohammed’s sons raped me.  So did Mohammed.

Mohammed had me circumcised.  An old man named Abdullah did it.  They told me, “If you join us, you have to be like us.” At first I refused, but I was terribly beaten until I agreed.  Before that, they gave me a new name: Hawa.

I was young, so I was not allowed to pray with them.  But sometimes they asked me to imitate the way they prayed.  Sometimes, Mohammed forced me to pray like a Muslim, holding a stick above my head.  Sometimes, they took me to where they teach children about Islam.  I didn’t learn very much there, because I had to spend a lot of time working.  I remember my relatives used to go to church in the South, but  I thought that I was a Muslim in the North.

My baby is named Kuol.  He is two months old.  Mohammed is his father, and he was born in Mohammed’s house.  Mohammed called him “Juma’a.” As soon as I left Mohammed’s house, I gave him a Dinka name, because “Juma’a” belongs to the Arabs, and I experienced so many bad things at my master’s hands.  When I left, there were no clothes for Kuol, so I picked up this blanket from a rubbish pile on the way South.

The slave retriever brought me here.  He came to Mohammed’s house, and told him that he wanted to take Dinka people.  Mohammed agreed.  As I was leaving, he whispered to me, “When you reach the South, escape and come back to me.” But I don’t want to go back.  I’m happy here, because the people are my color.

We walked here through the bush, not on a road.  The slave retriever explained on the way, “We are going to Dinkaland.  Sudan is split in two now.  You are going home, and the Arabs will stay on their own land.” He is a good man.  That’s why he brought us here.  If we find our relatives, it will be because of him.

I will now have to decide whether to go to church or to the mosque. I hope to see my siblings again.  I have good memories of them.  As long as I stay here, I will find them.

Amel and her baby were freed for the equivalent of $50 in cattle vaccine. Thousands of enslaved South Sudanese are still waiting for their freedom. Please help us bring them home: www.csi-usa.org/donate/

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FILED UNDER: Sudan South Sudan Genocide Slavery Persecution Christians Christian Solidarity International

AUGUST 1, 2015

Agol Chan Gop (Liberated February 2014)

Female, mid-20s

Muslim/Arab name: Saydia

Enslaved: Unknown

Liberated: February 2014

I am from Nyinbuli in South Sudan.  A man named Ibrahim abducted me when I was a young girl.  He and the other raiders took twelve other people to the North with me, both children and grownups.  I remember I was raped on the journey.  I was separated from the other kidnapped people when we arrived in the North.

I remember that in the South, I had a sister, an older brother and a brother who was still a baby.  I had friends who I played with, too.  I don’t know where they are now.

I lived with Ibrahim in Kareau, Darfur.  He forced me to be his wife, and didn’t let anyone else rape me.  When I tried to resist sleeping with him, he sliced me on my breast with a knife.

We had two children together: Mohammed and Musa.  They were both taken away from me when they were about one year old.  I don’t know where they are, or even if they are alive.  How can I get them?  Once, I asked Ibrahim to give me back my children.  He replied, “Are you really so secure in your life that you want children?”

 In Ibrahim’s house, I washed the clothes, swept the compound and did all the housework.  Ibrahim had two other wives and many children.  They would beat me with sticks if I made even a small mistake.  Sometimes I was given good food to eat, sometimes bad leftovers, and sometimes no food at all. 

I saw another slave executed in the North.  The Arabs took her away from the people to rape her.  When she refused to be raped, they slit her throat.  I saw it happen; even though they had removed her from the group, it was in our line of sight.

Ibrahim forced me to be circumcised.  He changed my name to “Saydia,” and forced me to pray like a Muslim and fast during Ramadan.  I was afraid not to; I saw fasting as a way to escape being killed by Ibrahim.  But it was terrible; I couldn’t drink at all until evening, and I still had to work.

I always wanted to come back to the South, but there was no way.  It’s very good that I was taken out of Ibrahim’s hands.  I will try to find my parents now.

Agol was freed for the equivalent of $50. Thousands of other South Sudanese people, including her two sons, are still trapped in slavery in North Sudan. Please help us bring them home: www.csi-usa.org/donate/

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FILED UNDER: Sudan South Sudan slavery genocide persecution Christians Christian Solidarity International

AUGUST 1, 2015

Nyang Deng Jiel (Liberated February 2014)

Male, about 14

Muslim/Arab name: Saddam

Liberated: February 2014

I am from Nyala, in Darfur.  I never thought about South Sudan.  I don’t remember it.  I was very small when I was taken to the North, but old enough to know my Dinka name.  I don’t know my hometown in the South, but I know I had four sisters and three brothers, and that I was the youngest.  I have good memories of them – playing with them, being together.

I lived with a man named Hamad Hassan in Nyala.  He was a cattle owner.  Hamad had six wives, twelve children, and six slaves.  He lived in the village, but I was sent into the bush to look after his cattle.

He treated me badly.  If I lost a cow, I was beaten and called “son of a jengai [a racial epithet],” and then I had to go back out to find it and bring it back.  This happened several times, and when it did, I was not given good food to eat, only sorghum shells.

His family treated me badly also.  If I looked lonely, and they asked me what I was doing and I answered, “Thinking about my parents,” they would say, “Why? We’re you’re family now.” Hamad made me call him father, and beat me if I didn’t.  He called me his son.

I was never allowed to meet or talk with the other slaves.  They were kept in separate houses. 

I was renamed “Saddam,” and I prayed like a Muslim and fasted during Ramadan.  It was hard to fast and work at the same time, but I accepted these things, and wanted to be a Muslim.  I wanted them to accept me.

I was so excited when the slave retriever came.  The first day he came, Hamad refused to let him take me.  He came again the next day and spoke in private with Hamad, and then took me away.  I stayed in a different place with him for a few days, and then he brought me to a place with many more Dinka people, and told us, “We are going to South Sudan.”

I will look for my parents now.

After a lifetime in slavery, Nyang was freed for the equivalent of $50. Thousands of South Sudanese people are still in slavery in North Sudan, still waiting to be freed. Please help us bring them home: 

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FILED UNDER: Sudan South Sudan Slavery persecution Christians Genocide Christian Solidarity International

AUGUST 1, 2015

Ayak Piol Mabior (Liberated February 2014)

Muslim/Arab name: Fatima

Enslaved: Unknown

Repatriated: February 2014

People tell me I am from Nyamlell in South Sudan, but I don’t remember it.  I lived in Joushier, in Darfur.  My baby is named Achuil.

When I was abducted, my father was killed in front of me.  They slit his throat with a knife.  Then the attackers took me, my mother and my siblings to the North.  I had three older sisters and two brothers.  Both my brothers died.  One of them was beaten to death on the way to the North.  I don’t know why the other one died, but he was very small – still nursing.  Once we arrived, we were separated from each other.

I was taken to Mammud’s house.  He mistreated me.  Even though I was small, he beat me on my chest and back.  I still can’t lift heavy things because of it.  He raped me, even though I was a small girl.  I tried to resist, but he sliced my left breast with a knife, and then did it anyway.

I had to collect water and firewood for Mammud’s household.  He had a wife named Asha and two children, Mamus and Yaya.  They were not my friends.  They wouldn’t let me eat with them, and gave me bad food to eat.  I slept in an outdoor hut with the goats. I was all alone.  I thought of my brothers and sisters often.  When I was sick and no one was there to care for me, I thought about them, because they would have taken care of me.  But I had no way to reach them.

Mammud changed my name to Fatima, but it’s not my real name.  The Arabs told me they were planning to circumcise me.  One of Mammud’s children said, “It will make you our sister.” I felt bad, because this is not for the Dinka.  Dinka girls cannot be circumcised.  So every time they told me they were going to circumcise me the next day, I would run away in the morning and hide in the bush all day.  It became a problem for them.  They were angry, but they were worried I would get lost.  So they gave up. 

They tried to make me pray like a Muslim.  I even fasted for three days during Ramadan, but I felt terrible and was suffering.  They didn’t want me to die, so they let me drink during the day and gave me some leftovers.

Mammud tried to make me his wife, but I refused.  The father of my baby is a Dinka man named Rau.  He was a free worker who I met in the marketplace.  I decided to be his wife.  We kept it secret.

After I became pregnant, I ran away.  I told my master I was going to the market for him, and when I got there, I disappeared.  I went to Matari, to Rau’s house, where the baby was born.  When I heard that there was an Arab man taking Dinka people back to South Sudan, I took my baby and went to meet the Arab man.  I wanted to see my family again.

The slave retriever is a good person, because he brought us back to our land.  I will try to find my family, and if they are still in the North, I will keep waiting for them to come back.  If God is there, they will come.

Thousands of enslaved South Sudanese are still waiting for their freedom. Please help us bring them home: www.csi-usa.org/donate/

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FILED UNDER: Sudan South Sudan Genocide Slavery Persecution Christians Christian Solidarity International

AUGUST 1, 2015

Agany Ateny Angony (Liberated February 2014)

Male, 46

Enslaved: 1986

Escaped: 2000

Repatriated by CSI’s Network: February 2014

I am from Uyon in South Sudan.  I am 46 years old.  I was abducted in 1986.  At the time, I was married with two wives, and I worked as a cattle keeper.

The Arab raiders found me and ordered me to take them to the Dinka cattle camp.  At first, I refused.  One of the raiders was a Dinka man who was living and fighting with the Arab army. He had been renamed Ajabana Abakar.  He tried to stab me with a knife, but the other raiders stopped him.  Then they beat me with sticks on the head until I agreed to show them where the cattle were.  That’s where I got my head scar.  After I brought them to the cattle, they took me to the North.  Ajabana put a hook in my mouth, and tied the hook to a horse to force me to go with them.

In the North, I lived in Debeb in Kordofan, with a man named Mamoot Abdullah, one of the raiders who stopped Ajabana from killing me.  When I arrived in the North, I was told, “If you want to be free, you must become a Muslim.  If you do, we won’t bother you anymore.” So I did.  After that, the beatings stopped.  But I still had to work on the farm, and they still wouldn’t let me eat with them.  I asked them, “Why?  I’m a Muslim now,” but they refused.  If I had tried to leave, I would have been killed.

There was a big famine at the time I was abducted, so after I was taken, my wives moved to the North to get food.  They stayed in the North, in an IDP camp in Meiram.  Fourteen years ago, I ran away from Mamoot and joined them.  The Arabs didn’t chase me, because by then, I was too old to be valuable to them.

Life was not good in the IDP camp.  It was congested, and didn’t have anything we needed.  There was only an occasional sorghum distribution.  One of my wives and two of my children died of sickness in the camp.  My other wife, Ayak Akuei, is still alive.  We have two children.

The slave retriever brought me here.  Without him, it would have been impossible to return to South Sudan – too dangerous.

I am so happy to be here.  I didn’t think such a thing could happen.  I have everything here now – sorghum and the survival kit.  I will build a hut and a farm for my family.

Thousands of enslaved South Sudanese are still waiting for their freedom. Please help us bring them home: www.csi-usa.org/donate/

8:13AM | URL: https://tmblr.co/ZxvwPw1qzmjr7
FILED UNDER: Sudan South Sudan Persecution Genocide Slavery Christians Christian Solidarity International

AUGUST 1, 2015

Aguil Mawien Tang (Liberated February 2014)

Enslaved: 1996

Liberated: February 2014

I am from Marial Bai in South Sudan.  The Arabs abducted me there, many years ago.  At the time, I was married with three young children: Garang, Abuk and Deng.  My husband was a farmer, and I would cultivate as well.  I don’t know where my family is now.

There was fighting, and many people were killed.  They took so many people.  I couldn’t count how many because they were beating us.

They tied all the adults to a rope, and made us walk North.  They beat people who walked too slowly and sometimes left them for dead.  They also killed the cows that moved too slowly.  We didn’t go straight to the north; they traveled around the area capturing more people, cows and goats from the bush.  At night, they made the captured men put up a fence, and kept us inside it.  They shot anyone who left the fence.

The slave raiders raped the women.  I was raped by two groups of men, first three, then two.  They beat me terribly with sticks to get me to submit.  I still have the scars on my chest.  I felt very sick afterwards.  But no one can ask them what they’re doing. They do whatever they please.

When we reached the north, one of the raiders took me to be his slave.  His name was Amoth Akabar, and he lived in Tobung, in Kordofan.  He made me work to collect water, even though I was still suffering from my chest wound.  He had a big family, with many slaves.  He sold slaves to other people, and gave me to other Arab men for sex – any passerby who had a gun.  I complained to him about it, saying, “Why do you give me to these other men, when you are the one who took me here?”

I had two children because of this.  As soon as they were old enough to start working, Amoth took them away from me.  I don’t know where they are.  I don’t even know their names.  Amoth gave them Arab names but didn’t tell me, and wouldn’t let me give them Dinka names.

Amoth let me go after the slave retriever came and spoke with him.  The retriever told me he was taking me to South Sudan.  I was so happy, because life in the North was so bad, and I was beaten all the time for little mistakes, and often denied food.  But in the South, people are free.

We are so happy you are here with us.

Aguil was freed for the equivalent of $50. Thousands of others, including her children, are still trapped in slavery in North Sudan.  Please help us bring them home: www.csi-usa.org/donate/

8:13AM | URL: https://tmblr.co/ZxvwPw1qzmj1t
FILED UNDER: Sudan South Sudan Genocide Slavery Persecution Christians Christian Solidarity International

AUGUST 1, 2015

Abuk Garang Thiep (Liberated February 2014)

Muslim/Arab name: Nunu Adam

Enslaved: 1997

Liberated: February 2014

I am from Gok Machar in South Sudan.  I was a very small girl when I was abducted.  My stepbrother, Adim Garang Thiep, was killed in the Arab slave raiders’ attack.  He was grown and married.  I was shot in the back; the bullet exited through my chest.  I lost consciousness.  The Arabs tied up my wound, put me on a horse, and took me North.  The rest of the captives had to walk.  As we went north, they attacked other villages, looting and burning homes and killing people.

My master was named Adam Adam, and lived in Karega, Darfur, in North Sudan.  He made me cook for him and wash clothes.  He beat me if I didn’t do what he told me.  He had some male slaves too, but they worked on the farms and in the bush.  He had a wife and children also.  They were not good to me.  They forced me to be circumcised, because they wanted me to be a Muslim woman.  They would only stop calling me “jengai” [a racial epithet] and “abeed” [slave] after I was circumcised.  They renamed me “Nunu Adam.”

I always dreamed about coming back to the South, but there was no way.  I knew this because a slave of one of Adam Adam’s neighbors tried to escape once.  She was killed.

I was forced to be a wife to an Arab man named Adam Abdallah, a friend of Adam Adam.  We had two children: Adam, who’s five years old, and Adak, a girl, who’s three.  I will not see them again.  Their father took them away to the farm with their father, and I couldn’t wait for them to come back when the slave retriever came to get me.  [The CSI team has passed along the details of Abuk’s children and their whereabouts to the slave retrievers.]

It was night when we crossed the river Kiir into South Sudan.  We were afraid that if we did it during the day, we would be caught by the Arabs at the border.  But the South Sudanese army welcomed us on the other side.  They sang songs for us and asked us to sit with them.

I’m so happy and excited to be in the south.  This is the land for black people.

Abuk was freed for the equivalent of $50.  Thousands of people, including her son and daughter, are still in slavery in North Sudan.  Please help us bring them home: www.csi-usa.org/donate.