Protest Calls for End to Slavery in Sudan

Article excerpt

Under a hot sun yesterday morning, 50 persons marched from the historic home of Frederick Douglass in Anacostia to the steps of the Capitol to commemorate the day the last slaves were freed in Texas and to call for an end to modern-day slavery in Sudan.

The march, sponsored by the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation and the Southern Sudanese Voice for Freedom, brought together an eclectic mix. A 22-year-old escaped Sudanese slave, the House majority leader, and a representative from the Promise Keepers were in attendance.

Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican; Rep. Mike Pence, Indiana Republican; and Rep. Dick Armey, Texas Republican and House majority leader, spoke out against the Sudanese government.

"It's unthinkable that slavery could still exist today in the 21st century. It's time to end slavery. It must stop. . . . It shall stop," Mr. Brownback said.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill last week 422-2 to impose trade sanctions on U.S. oil companies conducting oil exploration in Sudan. Since the British pulled out of Sudan in the late 1950s, the country has suffered nearly continuous civil war between northern Sudan, which is predominantly Islamic, and southern Sudan, which is mostly Christian.

But the speakers said Sudan is not just facing a war.

"They argue that this is merely a civil war. …