CSW-USA Slave Redemption Policy
As of 3/2002   Return to SUDAN PROFILE

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Dear Friends,

A couple years ago, we began to realize the potential for abuse of the "Slave Redemption" process in Sudan. Our first trips were successful in releasing several thousand slaves by purchasing their freedom. Subsequent trips, about which we felt uneasy, fell through for reasons which now become clear.

When CSW representatives were in Sudan in October of 2001, they traveled with top officials of Southern Sudan and were told quite frankly that the officials have discovered a man among them who was defrauding, on a very large scale, several organizations which were redeeming slaves.

This man began setting up organizations to redeem as many as 5,000 people at once. Our source, Dr. Samson Kwaje, told us that he doubted that even 5% of the supposed ‘slaves’ had ever actually been slaves, and that they were coached in how to act, and stories to tell. One man's conscience began to bother him, and he came to the top officials of the SPLM/A (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/ Army) and confessed his involvement in this fraud. That was the final proof they needed. Although many of their own family members are slaves, the SPLM/A leadership now discourages "slave redemption" officially.

As you can imagine, this was shocking to us, but did confirm a suspicion we had for some time. Thank the Lord we had suspended slave redemptions before the abuses began.

Peace agreements have been worked out between members of regions where slaves were abducted, and the Khartoum-supported tribal militias conducting the raids. They are now releasing slaves at no cost whatsoever. About 15,000 have been released so far. This also puts the abuser of the process out of business!

It would therefore be a major misuse of funds to offer to "buy slaves into freedom" at this time. We have therefore suspended any further ‘slave redemption’ operations indefinitely.

Rather, we have chosen to emphasize our medical and practical aid programs. We are re-supplying hospitals and plan to provide doctors’ services in upcoming trips. Opportunities exist to supply food to villagers who have had their livestock and livelihoods destroyed, in addition to funding the rebuilding of both their homes and their lives. Cal Bombay, of CSW-Canada, has even been asked to be Co-Chairman of a 12,000+ acre Sudanese farmer’s co-op, providing both advice and monitoring of the machinery and distribution of funds.

We say all this in hopes of giving you a fairly clear insight into the situation as it now stands, and an idea of how you can effectively impact the life of a Christian in Sudan.

Could we therefore ask that you let us transfer any donations from ‘slave redemption’ to use in the medical and other urgent needs of the people of Sudan, or to another region of persecution.

We trust that you can understand our position here at CSW, and that you will agree with our present approach to the still dire needs of the Southern Sudanese. If you have any questions, please call us at (307) 235-4800/ (877) 450-4516.

Yours sincerely in Christ,