Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Africa's New Slave Trade

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Africa's New Slave Trade

Article excerpt

"My Career Redeeming Slaves" by John Eibner, in Middle East Quarterly (Dec. 1999), 1500 Walnut St., Ste. 1050, Philadelphia, Pa. 19102-3523; and "The False Promise of Slave Redemption" by Richard Miniter, in The Atlantic Monthly (July 1999), 77 N. Washington St., Boston, Mass. 02114.

Slavery survives today in Mauritania (see WQ, Winter '98, P. 140) and Sudan, Africa's largest country. Indeed, chattel slavery, which had been suppressed in Sudan by the British, has been "experiencing a great revival" there, writes Eibner, an official with the Zurich-based Christian Solidarity International (CSI).

Islamic fundamentalists "gain[ed] the upper-hand in Khartoum" in the mid-1980s, he says, and set about subduing mostly Christian and animist southern Sudan. Slavery returned, as armed Baqqara Arab tribesmen raided the villages of black Dinkas, killing men and enslaving many women and children. After the radical National Islamic Front seized full power in Khartoum in 1989, Eibner says, slavery became "an instrument of a state-sponsored jihad." Today, he estimates, there are about 100,000 chattel slaves in Sudan--while many other Sudanese are in "concentration camps [ldots] and in militant Qur'anic schools, where boys train to become mujahidun (warriors of jihad)."

What is to be done? In late 1995, Eibner's organization began "redeeming" Sudanese slaves, that is, buying their freedom through Muslim Arab intermediaries who usually pose as slave owners. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.