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Friday, November 4, 2011

Ending Arab slavery

My life has been profoundly changed by a blind teenage boy. His name is Ker Deng. He belongs to the Dinka tribe in southern Sudan.
Arab raiders from northern Sudan enslaved Ker in his infancy. His mother later told him how they were captured and forced to leave their home in southern Sudan. Many of their relatives and neighbors, especially men, were killed. Homes were burned. Cows and goats were stolen. Ker and his mother were tied to a camel and taken to the north as booty of war.

Ker will always be haunted by the vivid memories of abuse meted out by his sadistic master: frequent beatings and death threats, racial abuse, forced conversion to Islam and, of course, ultimate denial of his humanity.

His meals consisted mostly of horse food. At night, he slept with the goats.

His mother faced indescribable abuse as their master’s sex slave. I’ve spoken to dozens of freed Sudanese slaves, who have told me that rape and beatings are frequent, and that most women’s genitals are mutilated.

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