Sudan

Slavery, War and Peace in Sudan

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A Washington Office on Africa Briefing Paper

INTRODUCTION: US CHRISTIANS AND SUDAN

Through media coverage of Sudan over the past year, many North Americans know that the United States bombed a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, the Sudanese people suffered a famine, and slavery re-emerged as a human rights concern. A growing number of Christians in the United States have become especially concerned with Sudan through the slavery issue. While slavery points to the extremes of human rights abuses in Sudan, for the Sudanese the greatest tragedy is the tremendous suffering caused by a devastating civil war that has raged for 32 of the past 43 years.

Sudan, with a population of some 30 million and covering one million square miles, is Africa’s largest country by area. Since 1983 an estimated 1.9 million people have died from war related causes. More than four million people, mostly civilians, have fled their homes and are living as displaced people within Sudan or as refugees in neighboring countries. In 1998 alone, tens of thousands of people died of war-related famine and millions continue to face life-threatening food shortages. Human rights abuses continue to ravage the people living in southern Sudan and the Nuba Mountains of Kordofan. These include, among others, aerial bombings of civilian targets, looting of cattle and grain, wholesale destruction of villages, extrajudicial executions, and the abduction of women and children.

Understandably, slavery has grabbed the attention of many US citizens; it is a flagrant abuse of human rights. The purpose of this Washington Office on Africa briefing paper is to place the slavery issue in the context of the civil war. Our intent is to provide an overview of the Sudanese conflict and suggest how people of faith can support Sudanese initiatives to bring a just end to the fighting. Peace in Sudan is the only true solution to the related issues of slavery, famine, ethnic division, and violations of human rights and religious freedom.

CIVIL WAR: MORE THAN A RELIGIOUS CONFLICT

The roots of Sudan’s ongoing civil war have an ancient history, but the modern context was set in colonial times when the country was ruled jointly by the United Kingdom and Egypt (1899-1955). Northern and southern Sudan were administered separately. The Anglo-Egyptian colonialists made substantial investments in developing the North, while leaving the South "about one-third of Sudanese territory " economically and politically impoverished. At independence in 1956, the North and South became united under a government ruled from Khartoum in the North. The Government of Sudan began to impose its national vision on the South, and a civil war erupted.

A variety of motives fuel the war. The Sudanese government seeks political hegemony over a unified Sudan, while most southern Sudanese want self-determination either in the form of autonomy or independence from the North. Southerners rebelled on the conviction that the government in Khartoum sought to impose on them the Arabic language and the religion of Islam. Both sides seek control of southern resources, including oil fields, the Nile River waters, fishing sites and grazing land. Political ambitions also play a role. Finally, those engaged in arms sales and the diversion of relief aid are making profits from the war itself.

There is rich diversity to Sudan. Roughly 40 percent of the population is estimated to be "Arab" and 60 percent "African". Roughly 60 percent are estimated to be Muslim. There are close to 600 ethnic groups and over 100 languages spoken in the South. It is true that an Arab and Islamic identity prevails in the North, and an African and Christian identity in the South; still, it is an over-simplification to reduce Sudanese diversity to this equation. Some African Muslim leadership can be found within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), for example, and many southern Sudanese follow an African Traditional Religion rather than Christianity. Similarly there are some Christians in the North, both African and Arab. And, while the two most populous southern ethnic groups are the Dinka and the Nuer, no ethnic group represents even 20 percent of Sudan’s population. But the Arab-Muslim and African-Christian image, while qualified, carries with it some truth. Recent threats by the Sudanese government to seize church property add reality to this image. However, this oversimplified image has been used to fuel the conflict by manipulating religious sentiment.

The largely Dinka, mostly southern SPLM/A is the main rebel organization, although there has been significant fragmentation and rivalry within the South. In 1991 the SPLM/A split roughly along ethnic lines, with most Dinka remaining in the SPLM/A and most Nuer breaking away to form a separate faction called the South Sudan Independence Movement/Army (SSIM/A). In 1997, using "divide and conquer" tactics, the Government of Sudan signed a peace accord with the SSIM/A and other smaller rebel factions giving them support to fight against the SPLM/A. Since then these government-supported factions have formed an umbrella group called the South Sudan Defense Force (SSDF).

The war is being fought largely in the South, with devastating consequences for the southern Sudanese. Because the various factions use guerilla war tactics and target civilians, and because the factions are split along ethnic lines, rivalry and discord among southern Sudanese non-combatants flourish in the South. In fact, factional fighting in the South is responsible for a greater number of deaths than direct clashes between Sudanese government forces and southern rebels. Villages and villagers have become pitted against one another, competing for scarce resources, made scarcer through the many years of war.

Political opposition as well as some armed resistance to the government also exists in the North. Many of these opposition groups fall under the umbrella of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The Nuba Mountains in central Sudan is also a highly conflicted area. The rebel-controlled areas of the Nuba Mountains are religiously tolerant, with Muslims and Christians living together, using Arabic as the lingua franca. The Nuba have paid a high price for their sympathies with the South. Until mid-1999 rebel-held areas of the Nuba Mountains were not accessible to UN humanitarian relief drops; many people went without necessary supplies of food, medicine and clothing. The Sudanese government’s military has waged a scorched earth campaign to drive Nuba civilians away from rebel-held areas into government-run peace camps where they live in confinement and under conditions of forced labor.

The war has been characterized by widespread human rights abuses and humanitarian law violations. The government in Khartoum bears greater responsibility for these abuses. It has engaged in aerial bombings of civilian villages, hospitals, and relief sites; attacks on villages that involve looting, burning homes and abductions and killing of civilians; prevention of international relief flights; and the execution of captured combatants. It has tortured persons in security detention, carried out forced disappearances, and imposed undue restrictions on the religious freedom of non-Muslims. The government-supported militias and southern factions have also destroyed villages both separately and in joint operations with government troops and have abducted women and children. (Reports of government use of chemical weapons continue to circulate, though they remain unconfirmed.) The SPLM/A has diverted relief food in the South and occasionally carried out extrajudicial executions. All sides have utilized child soldiers and planted landmines.

The economic cost of the war is high. Profits from oil now flowing from the southern pipeline constructed by the Canadian company, Talisman Energy Inc. (with a consortium of Chinese and Malay companies), are said to be fueling the government’s war machinery. In the rebel-held territories of the South, the SPLM/A collects taxes from the people; much of this goes to the war, while what little infrastructure present in the South is sorely neglected. If not for the presence of the UN and NGOs invited to work in the rebel-held areas, there would be no provisions for health and education at all.

A series of Khartoum governments have existed since the fighting began. The fourth and current one - led by Gen. Omar Hassan al Bashir and the National Islamic Front (NIF)- came into power in a military coup in 1989 that blocked an imminent peace settlement. Since 1993 Sudan’s neighbors Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Djibouti, and Uganda, working through the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), have attempted to mediate a peaceful settlement of the civil war. Faith-based groups have actively worked for peace, and the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC) has recently had significant success in seeking reconciliation among conflicted southern non-combatants. The war continues, neither side able to win militarily, yet both remaining committed to military engagement.

SLAVERY AND SLAVE REDEMPTION

Slavery’s resurgence in Sudan is rooted in the civil war. Hard evidence of this resurgence dates from the mid-1980’s. Documentation published in 1995 by the respected organization Human Rights Watch heightened international attention. Recently, the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Sudan, Mr. Leonardo Franco, said slavery had, historically, been a feature of ethnic rivalry in Sudan, but the war had revived and increased the practice. With support from UNICEF and Save the Children, the Government of Sudan " which continues to deny the existence of slavery " did agree to establish the Committee for the Eradication of Abduction of Women and Children under the auspices of their Ministry of Justice in May 1999. Local people have been trained in tracing, retrieval and reunification of abductees. Although it is still too early to gauge progress, this initiative represents an unprecedented opportunity to address the issue.

Though inter-ethnic abductions have been a problem among southerners, slave raids are carried out primarily in the province of Bahr El Ghazal by a government-backed, armed militia of the Baggara ethnic group known as the Muraheleen. Through effective use of the Muraheleen the Sudanese government lowers its costs for the counter-insurgency war against the SPLM/A. Military trains are accompanied by Muraheleen, who raid civilian Dinka villages. In these raids, they loot cattle and abduct children and women to become domestic slaves or concubines. The children and women are considered war booty along with the cattle. Slavery has served to expand the government’s counter-insurgency program by providing an incentive for the Baggara to serve as a proxy force for the government. Since 1989 the Muraheleen have been incorporated into the government army, but in both their role as military and as militia, they continue to enjoy complete impunity in their raiding and looting of the Dinka.

A number of international groups, church members, and US school children have addressed the outrage of slavery in Sudan by buying back those who have been enslaved. This practice is often referred to as "slave redemption." Slave redemption is not new in Sudan. For years, for example, the Dinka themselves have sometimes been able to redeem their abducted children from non-Dinka areas of the country by paying the masters directly, or through middlemen, or by means of inter-community negotiations. The presence of international actors in slave redemption is what is relatively new. While many southern Sudanese perceive that it is not a conclusive solution, international intervention has been welcomed by the families of the slaves and their chiefs who long to be reunited with their family members.

Concern exists, however, that slave redemption by international groups creates a more substantial market for slave purchases and could increase the destructive raids and the number of people taken as slaves. While some slaves are freed, others may be enslaved in order to take advantage of the international money available. This potential is enhanced by the perception that international purchasers want to redeem enslaved people in quantity, rather than just one or two at a time, and that they can pay more than local family members.

There have been accusations of fraud, where unscrupulous southerners are said to have "borrowed" children who have never been abducted, offering them as "slaves" to augment the proceeds from the redemption. Some observers suggest that the SPLM/A and southern local government structures are implicated. Reportedly, the SPLM/A engages in currency exchanges for would-be slave redeemers and sets up the contacts for them. This creates concern that the enterprise of slave redemption could increase funds for combatants, guaranteeing the purchase of more arms to fuel the war. Highly publicized international interventions may discourage southern Sudanese from finding their own solutions to this problem.

People of faith in the United States may differ about the wisdom of slave redemption in Sudan. But all should be able to work together to encourage an end to the war that has intensified this practice, while bringing death and devastation throughout Sudan. Indeed peace is the true solution to this and other problems in Sudan.

THE UNITED STATES’ STAKE IN SUDAN

United States policy since Sudan’s independence in 1956 has been largely a product of Cold War politics. Both the United States and the Soviet Union, sometimes on one side, sometimes on the other, sought to use the historic north-south division in Sudan for their own purposes. The United States was supporting the Government of Sudan when Gen. Jaafar Nimeiri was overthrown in 1985. Its support declined thereafter, finally ending when the National Islamic Front took power in 1989. Sudan’s support for Iraq in the Gulf War did more to end US ties with Sudan than did Sudan’s domestic policies.

US policy in recent years has focused on isolation and containment of the Sudanese government. This policy is motivated more by US perceptions that the Sudanese government supports international terrorism than by concern about the civil war. However, the US relationship to Sudan is complicated by economic factors. US corporate and financial interests, for example those which use gum arabic in their products (soft drinks, candy and pharmaceuticals) and US investors in Talisman, the oil company, want the United States to maintain good relations with the Government of Sudan to secure their interests.

When the US government has turned its eyes to the war, it has sympathized with the South. The United States has seen a quest for greater autonomy, control of resources, and freedom from Islamic law by southern Sudanese as the fundamental realities to be addressed if peace is to be secured. Some elements in the US government have pressed for more direct support of the SPLM/A in particular.

The US government has directed its attention to four issues: International terrorism, regional destabilization, human rights abuses, and humanitarian concerns:

International terrorism: In 1993 the Clinton administration placed Sudan on its list of state sponsors of terrorism and applied unilateral sanctions. In late 1997 they announced more extended sanctions, prohibiting trade and financial transactions and freezing Sudanese assets in the United States. Suspicious of a Khartoum connection to the bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the United States bombed a privately-owned pharmaceutical factory in a suburb of Khartoum.

Regional destabilization: The United States pledged some $20 million in "non-lethal" military assistance to Eritrea, Ethiopia and Uganda in 1996, ostensibly to confront what it saw as Sudan’s efforts at undermining the political stability of nearby countries. Since then the United States has also run special military training programs in Ethiopia and Uganda through the African Rapid Deployment Force project. Human rights abuses: The United States sometimes condemns human rights abuses committed by the Government of Sudan and has imposed loosely observed economic sanctions. These condemnations take second place to US concerns for combating terrorism. Until 1998 the United States took the lead in developing resolutions in the UN General Assembly and Commission on Human Rights citing the Government of Sudan’s disregard for human rights. When it found itself isolated diplomatically after the bombing of the factory in Khartoum, the United States yielded to European Union initiative. The United States also lists Sudan as one of seven countries that engage in or tolerate "particularly severe" violations of religious freedom. Although the United States has also made statements about human rights abuses committed by the SPLA, the United States has never imposed penalties. The issue of slavery in Sudan has secured some attention.

Humanitarian concerns: Assistance to Sudan, both North and South, has come in the form of humanitarian aid. In 1998 total humanitarian aid, throughout Sudan, exceeded $110 million. The United States has been the largest supporter of the massive international UN-led relief effort, Operation Lifeline Sudan. Between 1989 and 1998 the US contribution exceeded $700 million. In the process, the United States made frequent protests over Sudanese government bans of relief flights.

Secretary of State Madeline Albright met with SPLM/A leader Dr. John Garang in December 1997 and again this October. The 1997 meeting led to accusations by the Sudanese government of "hostile intentions" by the United States. The United States has supported IGAD in its efforts to bring about a negotiated settlement. The United States is one of the IGAD Partners, together with various European nations. In 1999 the Clinton administration named a special envoy to Sudan, Harry Johnston, former US Congressman and chair of the African subcommittee, with a mandate to pursue three issues: human rights, humanitarian assistance, and the IGAD process.

Critics of US policy take two directions. Some emphasize US inattention to the incredible human dimension of the tragedy in Sudan. According to these critics, the United States has engaged more in rhetoric than in consistent, serious efforts to help end the war. Other critics see United States as acting inappropriately against the government in Khartoum, citing anecdotal reports of US military assistance to the SPLA, and non lethal aid to front line states finding its way to the SPLA. These critics suspect that the United States is playing a more active role in the war than it admits. Certainly the US preoccupation with the issues of international terrorism and destabilization in the region and in the Middle East suggests it is less concerned with the human tragedy within Sudan than with the effect of Sudanese government policies upon the region and the world.

THE THINGS THAT MAKE FOR PEACE

"Many friends of Sudan are very keen on relief work," observes Sudanese Catholic Bishop Paride Taban of the Diocese of Torit. "Spending on relief alone is like fattening a cow for slaughter. How long can one be doing work without spending time, energy, and resources on root causes?" As Bishop Taban so eloquently admonishes, the root causes of the Sudanese conflict must be addressed in order to facilitate true and lasting peace. Peace must be constructed at every level of the Sudanese conflict "local, country-wide and regional " and must encompass real and perceived issues of conflict.

The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, consisting of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda, is the official international forum for the peace effort, under the leadership of Kenya. One of IGAD’s primary mandates is to promote peace, security and stability within the region so that resources can be better used for development. Consequently, the ongoing conflict in Sudan is a primary concern. The member states of IGAD seek to address the root causes of the Sudanese conflict at the national political and military level and facilitate dialogue between the government in Khartoum and the opposition. IGAD’s "Declaration of Principles" includes the principles of self-determination and separation of religion and state. In the past IGAD has met infrequently and has lacked an ongoing structure to sustain peace initiatives, but despite its inadequacies, most observers believe that it remains the best framework for continued negotiations between the Government of Sudan and the SPLM/A.

In May 1998, after nearly four years of negotiations, the government joined the SPLM/A in accepting the principle of self-determination for the South. However, the IGAD principle that Sudan be affirmed as a "secular" rather than a religious state remains unresolved. Even within the broader issue of self-determination, several questions remain unanswered. These include when to conduct a popular referendum in the South, the definition of the geographical boundaries of the South during such a referendum, and whether political independence is an option, rather than some form of autonomy.

While IGAD addresses the north-south conflict, southerners themselves have initiated an important call to peacemaking facilitated by the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC) through a series of grassroots People-to-People peace conferences. These conferences are designed to address the ethnic conflicts among the various southern groups. The Wunlit peace conference held in Bahr el Ghazal province in February-March 1999 has been heralded as a key building block " the second in a series of peace conferences " to promote peace and reconciliation in the South.

A great source of suffering among southerners is the fact that southern rebel leaders have never been successful at brokering peace among themselves, and the tensions have essentially destroyed civilian security and life in the South. Through the People-to-People process local Nuer and Dinka chiefs, religious leaders and women on the West Bank of the Nile, who had been on opposite sides of the war since 1991, refused to wait for warring rebel leaders to meet and discuss peace. They developed a peace covenant signed by all participants, hoping that this action from the grassroots upward would have an impact on the leaders around them. It has already begun to do so.

Among the many fruits of this peace agreement are increased access to fishing sites, farmland, and grazing areas, resumed trade, an agreement to establish border courts, as well as the return of captured women and children taken during the course of the conflict. The peace covenant has also brought on an increased sense of security and trust among conference participants and their communities. The greatest example of this was in September 1999. Due to fighting in the Western Upper Nile area, fleeing Nuer found refuge among Dinka they had met at the conference. The Dinka received the Nuer, assigned them areas for themselves and their cattle, and welcomed their children in Dinka schools.

Women continue to be recognized as leaders in the grassroots peace process. Many were co-signers to the final Wunlit agreements. The efforts of women to promote peace and reconciliation through the establishment of jobs and services for other women is also critical.

The NSCC has already expanded these peace efforts to the East Bank of the Nile, to Equatoria. Many southerners place a great deal of hope in the People-to-People peace process feeling that if the southern Sudanese can unify themselves at the grassroots level, then the political and military leaders will have no choice but to follow. Some seem to be following. Several government-sponsored militia groups among the Nuer have now joined the reconciliation process. The process is to culminate in a broader All South Inclusive Conference.

The People-to-People peace process is compelling evidence that the Sudanese are engaged in their own initiatives for a just and peaceful Sudan. The role of the United States, and of faith-based communities in the United States, is not to "rescue" the Sudanese. Rather our role is to find ways to be supportive of Sudanese initiatives, ways that embrace genuine partnership and solidarity.

A generation of Sudanese people have known nothing but war - a war that has denied many access to health services, education, food and the enjoyment of basic human rights. While the international community has responded to the Sudanese tragedy with humanitarian relief aid, development assistance, denunciations, and statements and actions aimed at drawing attention to human rights violations, the root causes of these problems lie in the protracted civil war.

The war as a devastating root cause must be addressed. Any initiative that continues the war simply causes more suffering for the Sudanese people. In seeking a peaceful solution to the war, the Sudanese have embarked on a number of initiatives on international, national and local levels. At this time it is crucial that the international community accompany, encourage, and support these initiatives. Peace is not built from outside but from within, and as long as peace is a distant dream, the devastation and destruction discussed in this paper will continue. As US citizens we are called to solidarity with our Sudanese brothers and sisters. We must support them as they find solutions to their own problems.

THE THINGS THAT MAKE FOR PEACE: ACTIONS

A variety of suggestions have been proposed for helping the Sudanese people achieve a just and enduring peace. The Washington Office on Africa especially advocates the following steps toward peace to be taken by the Government of the United States:

Impose an immediate arms embargo on the sale and supply of arms and ammunition, as well as military materiel and services, against all sides in light of the human rights abuses by all parties to the conflict.

Maintain IGAD as the only viable international forum for peace talks on resolving Sudan’s civil war, taking steps to strengthen the mediation role of IGAD by providing funding and technical assistance, applying diplomatic leverage on the parties, and bringing the weight of the UN Security Council to the process. Currently the nations who are among the IGAD Partners Forum are funding an upgrade of the IGAD Secretariat, and there are further US proposals to strengthen the IGAD process.

Promote and strengthen grassroots efforts at peace and reconciliation, particularly in the South. Support the People-to-People peace conferences as they are extended to other communities in the South.

Urge the extension of the cease-fire to include all areas of southern Sudan and the region.

Insist on continued access of UN human rights monitors to all areas of Sudan.

Urge that the US Congress increase funding for capacity building, democracy promotion, civil administration, judiciary, and intra-South peace processes in Sudan. In addition, US AID should establish or expand programs in road building, health care, agriculture, animal husbandry, well-digging, education, and skills training.

Encourage the IGAD Partners Forum nations to develop a package aimed at Sudan as a whole for post-war settlement aid for reconstruction, future mechanisms for debt relief; and normalization of diplomatic and economic relations.

How can you and your immediate community be a part of this? You might bring together a group from within your congregation to discuss this briefing paper. Work together to discern what actions are meaningful to you. These actions might include some of the following:

  • Write a letter to Secretary Albright, Special Envoy Harry Johnston, and Undersecretary of State for Africa Susan Rice advocating US positions on issues raised above. Contact the Washington Office on Africa for details about current advocacy initiatives.
  • Raise money to support the People-to-People peace process in the South. (A current need, for example, is funding for three women organizers to attend the next grassroots conference.) The Washington Office on Africa can provide banking information for contributions to the New Sudan Council of Churches.
  • Encourage members of your church to investigate their pension plans and their individual investment portfolios. Urge that any money going to Talisman be divested.

Annual meetings, clergy associations, and women’s and youth organizations offer a chance to raise awareness of the tragedy in Sudan. Where appropriate, consider introducing a statement on the situation that could be affirmed by your church body, denomination, or general assembly.

Investigate whether your church body would want to send representatives to be observers and supporters in solidarity with the upcoming People-to-People peace conferences in Sudan. There are considerable dangers involved in traveling to be a part of such a meeting, so potential attendees should be thoughtful about their decision and mindful of possible risks.

You might also work to become more fully informed:

  • Consult your own national church for the latest actions they may recommend on Sudan. Some of our churches have been engaged in Sudan for many years. They will not only have explored ways to be supportive of Sudanese churches but may also have engaged in a witness for justice and assisted in refugee and humanitarian matters.
  • Contact the Washington Office on Africa as a way to link with others engaged in Sudanese issues as well as to stay current about opportunities for advocacy with the US Congress and administration.
  • Contact the Africa Office of the National Council of Churches/Church World Service to learn of their initiatives and suggested actions.
  • Contact other national bodies concerned with particular aspects of the situation in Sudan, such as human rights and refugee organizations.
  • Look for local opportunities to work ecumenically or within your own diocese, synod or convention.
  • Be inclusive. Africans, including Sudanese, are likely to be a part of your community or attending your local college. Include them in your plans. Hear what they have to say.

RESOURCES

Among resources available for further study, we wish to draw special attention to the ongoing "Faith in Sudan Series." There are currently six titles: Land of Promise: Church Growth in a Sudan at War, edited by Andrew Wheeler; Seeking an Open Society: Inter-faith Relations and Dialogue in Sudan Today, edited by Stuart Brown; ‘Struggling to Be Heard’: The Christian Voice in Independent Sudan, 1956-1996, by Barsella Gino and Ayuso Guixot Miguel Angel; Announcing the Light: Sudanese Witnesses to the Gospel, also edited by Wheeler; In Our Own Languages: The Story of Bible Translation in Sudan, by Janet Persson; and Gateway to the Heart of Africa: Missionary Pioneers in Sudan, edited by F. Pierli, M.T. Ratti, and Wheeler.

To be published in 2000 is Day of Devastation, Day of Contentment, an illustrated textbook of the history of Christianity in Sudan. Paulines Publications Africa in Nairobi are the publishers. The books are available in the US through Presbyterian Distribution Services at 1-800-524-2612, or through Daughters of St. Paul, 50 St. Paul’s Ave., Jamaica Plains, Boston, MA 02130.

For the Human Rights Watch March 12, 1999, background paper on slavery in Sudan, visit www.hrw.org/hrw/backgrounder/africa/sudan1.htm, their website. Human Rights Watch also published Civilian Devastation: Abuses by All Parties in the War in Southern Sudan in 1994 and Children of Sudan: Slaves, Street Children and Child Soldiers in 1995. Write to HRW at 350 Fifth Ave, 34th floor, New York, NY 10118, or at 1630 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20009.

The Sudan Infonet website cites ways to support grassroot initiatives for peace and reconciliation: www.members.tripod.com/~SudanInfonet/index.html.

A voluntary lay-led association concerned with human rights in Sudan, Vigilance Soudan, at http://perso.club-internet.fr/vigilsd, provides helpful information. The Africa Policy Information Center, at www.africapolicy.org, remains an excellent resource for a wide range of information about African issues.

The August 9, 1999, issue of Christianity Today has a special report on Sudan slave redemption, written by Christine J. Gardner.

Sudan Update and Anti-Slavery International in London published Peter Verney’s Slavery in Sudan in 1997. Contact Sudan Update at BM Box CPRS, London W1N 3XX, UK (e-mail sudanupdate@gn.apc.org).

Maryknoll NewsNotes is a useful resource for current information on Sudan and other international justice issues. Contact the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, PO Box 29132, Washington, DC 20017. NewsNotes is a bi-monthly newsletter of information on international justice and peace issues. Annual subscription is $12.

USEFUL ADDRESSES

For further information from the Washington Office on Africa, call us at 202/547-7503 or write to us at 212 East Capitol Street, Washington, DC 20003. Our e-mail address is woa@igc.org. Our website is www.woaafrica.org. The website provides links to the websites of the national church bodies that are our sponsoring organizations as well as to a variety of sources on African affairs.

For the Africa Office of the National Council of Churches (NCC), call or write Willis Logan at 475 Riverside Dr., New York, NY 10115, phone 212/870-2645. The Washington Office of the NCC/Church World Service, 110 Maryland Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002, phone 202/543-6336, can also provide further information.

The Africa Fund has given special attention to the Talisman divestment issue. Contact them at 50 Broad St., Suite 711, New York, NY 10004, phone 212/785-1024. Website: www.prairienet.org/acas/afund.html.

To contact President William J. Clinton, write to him at the White House, Washington, DC 20500. The White House comment line is at 202/456-1111.

Write to State Department officials at the US Department of State, 2201 C St NW, Washington, DC 20520.

Write to Senators at the US Senate, Washington, DC 20510, or call 202/224-3121; write to Members of Congress at the US House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515, or call 202/225-3121.