Date: 8 July 03

 

 

Lt General Lazaro K Sumbeiywo

Special Envoy

 

IGAD Sudan Peace Process

Nairobi

Kenya

 

  

Re:   Inclusion of Reparation for Northern Bahr El Ghazal Victims of Slavery into The Final Peace Agreement

 

Dear Lt. General Sumbeiywo

 

Your Excellency

 

We, the UK representatives of the people of Aweil and Twic communities of Northern Bahr El Ghazal, South Sudan, met in the United Kingdom on 6th July 2003 in the City of Oxford, to review the current IGAD Sudan Peace Process. The meeting resolved to make the following observations on behalf of our people: While we approve of and support the Machakos Protocol of 20th July 2002 and several addenda following it, because it recognises the right of the people of South Sudan to Self-determination, it is our humble view that victims of the infamous slavery in Northern Bahr El Ghazal must not be ignored by the Sudanese peace negotiators.

 

The people of Northern Bahr El Ghazal, especially those of Aweil, Twic and Abyei, have been and continue to be victims of a colossal injustice, which has lasted for more than sixteen years of the twenty one years of the current civil war in Sudan for which you are now leading the search for its resolution. Successive regimes in Khartoum have, since 1987 at least, orchestrated and executed policies which killed strong men of Aweil and Twic and removed children and women from their homes and transported them to Northern Sudan as slaves. This has not only caused great suffering to the people of these areas, but it has also resulted in the plunder of their resources and destroyed social fabrics of these communities, because of massive displacements of their populations. As a result, millions of people from Aweil, Twic and other areas of South Sudan have moved to Northern Sudan, where they now live under sub-human conditions and in slavery.

 

Independent international human rights organisations, International NGOs and academics and journalists from Sudan and elsewhere, have documented this “crime against humanity”. We feel that at the very least, the question of the continuing enslavement of the people of Northern Bahr El Ghazal should have

 

 

been addressed as part of the peace process that you now lead, in terms of how to return the members of these communities still being held in slavery in Northern Sudan back to their communities, compensating all the slaves and their families and rehabilitating them back into a normal life of freedom.

 

Your Excellency

 

Since the two warring parties, The Government of Sudan (GOS) and The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), have not addressed this human tragedy in the current negotiations for peace in Sudan, as sons and daughters of these blighted communities, we would like to speak out on behalf of our voiceless people. We therefore would like, on behalf of the people of Aweil, Twic and others, to appeal to the IGAD mediators through your Excellency, to include reparations for the victims of slavery into the final peace agreement. In more specific terms, we would like compensation exacted from The Government of Sudan, as an indemnity from slavery for its victims, similar to the compensation demanded of Germany by the Treaty of Versailles after the First World War. The idea being proposed here, is that compensation should be in the form of money worth the damage done, coupled with an immediate special development programme for these areas.

 

This is not the first time that this type of reparation has been done. Jewish groups have secured compensation against several German firms which used Jews as slave labour during the Holocaust. The US Government has also paid $6.9 million U.S. dollars compensation to over 2000 Japanese-Americans who were interned during the Second World War. We urge you to persuade the Government of Sudan to co-operate in this matter.

 

The issue is so important to the Northern Bahr El Ghazal communities that if it is included in the peace agreement and implemented, it would generate positive results for a sustainable peace in Sudan. If not, we fear, there will be no guarantee that these communities will accept and co-operate with a peace agreement that has failed so blatantly to address their plight caused by the war that is now to be resolved by the peace agreement that you are so ably negotiating.

 

This appeal to you, your Excellency, has the grassroots support of our communities of Northern Bahr El Ghazal and we hope that our appeal would be endorsed by the negotiating parties and incorporated into the final peace deal.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

For Aweil Community:

 

For Twic Community:

 

 

Mrs Aluat Anei

 

Mr Mayom Kuoc Malek

Leader,

 

Leader,

Aweil Community, UK

Twic Community, UK

                                                                               

   

Dr Omer Yak Tong

Mr Abel Chol

 

  

Mrs Aluk Ring

 

 

Mr Beek Awan Deng

Mrs Martha John

 

  

Mr Duang Ajing Arop

Mr Garang Yel

 

  

Mr Chol Victor Bol

Mr Macam Macam

 

  

Mr Nicola Nyuol Bol

Mr Ateny Wek Ateny

 

   

Mr Deng Ajak

Mr Aldo Ajou Deng

 

 

 

Mr Bona Malwal

 

 

 



 

Aweil and Twic Communities of Northern Bahr El Ghazal

in The United Kingdom (UK)

c/o 22A Trafalgar Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8BH, UK