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Human rights in Sudan

From Academic Kids

Human rights organizations have documented a variety of abuses and atrocities carried out by the Sudanese government over the past several years. Conflicts between the government and rebel groups--the civil war involving north-south tensions, the Darfur conflict involving Arab-tribespeople tensions in the Darfur region in the west--have resulted in rape, torture, killings, and massive population displacements (estimated at over 800,000 as of 2004), earning Sudan comparison to Rwanda in the press.

According to the Christian Science Monitor on March 25, 2004:

The Darfur region war boils down to this: African tribes have long been at odds with Arab groups in the region over access to good land. Then, last year, two armed African groups began a rebellion against the Khartoum regime. The government responded by apparently giving military support to Arab militias. There are reports of Sudanese military planes bombing villages, after which Arab militias go in and rape and kill survivors.

The conflict has been described by Mukesh Kapila, UN coordinator for Sudan, as ethnic cleansing, as Arab militias carry out systematic massacres of tribespeople in the Darfur region. According to Kapila, "The government has a close knowledge of what's going on - and can influence the [Arab] militia." The UN estimates that 10,000 civilians in the Darfur region have died thus far, and over 100,000 have fled into neighboring Chad.

Enslavement persists in Sudanese society. Writing for The Wall Street Journal on December 12, 2001, Michael Rubin said:

...[O]n Oct. 4, Sudanese Vice President Ali Uthman Taha declared, "The jihad is our way and we will not abandon it and will keep its banner high." ...Between Oct. 23-26, Sudanese government troops attacked villages near the southern town of Aweil, killing 93 men and enslaving 85 women and children. Then, on Nov. 2, the Sudanese military attacked villages near the town of Nyamlell, carrying off another 113 women and children. A Kenyan aide worker was also abducted, and has not been seen since.
What's Sudanese slavery like? One 11-year-old Christian boy told me about his first days in captivity: "I was told to be a Muslim several times, and I refused, which is why they cut off my finger." Twelve-year-old Alokor Ngor Deng was taken as a slave in 1993. She has not seen her mother since the slave raiders sold the two to different masters. Thirteen-year-old Akon was seized by Sudanese military while in her village five years ago. She was gang-raped by six government soldiers, and witnessed seven executions before being sold to a Sudanese Arab.
Many freed slaves bore signs of beatings, burnings and other tortures. More than three-quarters of formerly enslaved women and girls reported rapes.
While nongovernmental organizations argue over how to end slavery, few deny the existence of the practice. ...[E]stimates of the number of blacks now enslaved in Sudan vary from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands (not counting those sold as forced labor in Libya)...

Also see the entry on the Persecution of Christians.

Other links to reports of abuses and atrocities:

  • Human Rights Watch reports on Sudan [1] (http://www.hrw.org/doc?t=africa&c=sudan)
  • International Christian Concern [2] (http://www.persecution.org/newsite/countryinfodetail.php?countrycode=11)
  • ColorQ 1996-1998 [3] (http://www.colorq.org/HumanRights/)
    • 12 year old raped before her execution [4] (http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/commission/country52/62-sdn.htm)
    • Human-induced famine: crops destroyed, food distribution centers bombed [5] (http://www.colorq.org/HumanRights/article.aspx?d=Sudan&x=famine)
  • International Freedom of Expression eXchange monitors attacks on the press in Sudan [6] (http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/42/)

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