Slavery in Sudan

history of the slave trade and practice in Sudan

Slavery in Sudan began in ancient times, and recently had a resurgence during the 1983 to 2005 Second Sudanese Civil War. During the Trans-Saharan slave trade, many Nilotic peoples from the lower Nile Valley were purchased as slaves and brought to work elsewhere in North Africa and the Orient by Nubians, Egyptians, Berbers and Arabs.


  • The train pulls in and the refugees are herded out. Then they are sold… into slavery. Slavery, not forced labor or some such euphemism… The number in Sudan [of slaves] can only be estimated–tens of thousands. Only owners take precise slave counts.
  • [O]n the African continent, a resurgence of human slavery has occurred in Sudan. In this zealously Islamic nation, black Christians have been enslaved by the thousands, largely by Baggara Arab Muslims. … [W]hat would it take to abolish slavery in Sudan? There is no principle of individual rights in the nation’s history–and Islam, the dominant religion, permits slavery of non-Muslims.

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