War and Slavery in Sudan

War and Slavery in Sudan

War and Slavery in Sudan

War and Slavery in Sudan

Synopsis

Exposes the enslavement of black peoples in Sudan which has been exacerbated, if not caused, by the circumstance of war. This book describes the various methods of capture, explores the heinous experience of captivity, and examines the efforts of slaves to escape.

Excerpt

The Murahileen chain people
as the fisherman chains his catch with a rope
The Murahileen take us into servitude in their land
The Murahileen drag us on the surface of our land
but we will not let go of our land
Sudan is our land

This verse is from a Dinka song that describes the experience of the people of South Sudan and the Nuba of central Sudan with the recently revived slavery and slave trade. It was in some ways inevitable that I would focus on this area of study. I am a South Sudanese anthropologist who has been studying Sudan all my academic life. I now teach at a university in the United States. My career as a Sudanist, without a doubt, began with the knowledge I acquired from personal experience as a native son. But this knowledge became more specialized after 1993 when I undertook field study in South Sudan for my doctorate at the University of California, Los Angeles. That research project examined the impact of the unresolved North-South civil war on the family, gender relations, and reproductive health in northern Bahr el-Ghazal in southwestern Sudan. Moreover, while I was in Bahr el-Ghazal conducting research, I also worked for a humanitarian relief agency, and this role enabled me to travel extensively in the areas that have now become the subject of this book.

Having been seriously understudied due to war, which made travel in the region difficult, South Sudan presents an ambitious researcher with the temptation to do it all. Therefore, while I was documenting the interaction between the behaviors and attitudes of militarized youth, on the one hand, and traditional gender relations, on the other, during my first period of fieldwork, my research extended into more issues . . .

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