Opinion » Columnists

Sudan Cries Rape: Former Captives Recount the Crime of Boy Rape in Sudan

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Perhaps the most graphic account of male rape was given by Aleek. "I watched my master and four Murahaleen [soldiers] violently gang-rape a young Dinka slave boy,” Aleek said.  “The boy was screaming and crying a lot. He was bleeding heavily, as he was raped repeatedly. I watched his stomach expand with air with each violent penetration. The boy kept screaming. I was very frightened, and knew I was likely next. Suddenly the boy's screams stopped as he went completely unconscious. My master took him to the hospital. I never saw him again."

Many of the boys told me that in order to avoid rape some of the male slaves tried to escape, but were quickly hunted down by their captors. They said that the punishment for resisting rape is severe beatings, limb amputation or death.

Mohammed, a Bagarra nomad, who has helped to free slaves, broke down in tears as he spoke. “What they are doing in the North is against the Koran,” he explained.  “Allah says that no man should be a slave to another man, but all should be a slave to Allah.”  Mohammed said that as a Muslim he was heartbroken that the extremists have perverted his religion into a political weapon to torture and oppress people. 

When I arrived in Sudan, Ngong, one in a group of five former female slaves that I interviewed, told me that children were raped while in captivity.

“Yes, I saw with my eyes them raped, boys and girls,” Ngong said. 

Though I knew about the rape of slave girls, I did not know this could also be happening to boys.  I decided to investigate this further, when two females from the same group said they had seen slave boys taken away at night to the “special place” for rape.
I interviewed a total of 15 male slaves, for one to two hours each.  Six of the boys interviewed said they were raped and the majority of these six said they were eyewitnesses to other boys being raped.  Most of these six boys said they were raped numerous times, by more than one perpetrator.  Some of the boys gave the full names and the home towns of the men they said had raped them. 

Though five in this group of 15 boys said they were not raped, they did say they were either sexually harassed or were eyewitnesses to other slave boys being raped. Only four of the 15 boys interviewed said they were not raped or sexually harassed, and were not eyewitnesses to the rape of other boys.  All of the boys said they were never sexually abused or raped prior to their enslavement. 

In 2004 the rape of boy slaves is not unique to young Sudanese males, as recently exposed in a CNN Presents documentary “Easy Prey: Inside the Child Sex Trade.” Sadly, the ugly arm of slavery reaches far beyond Sudan and shockingly touches every continent except Antarctica. Slavery expert Kevin Bales of Free the Slaves ( says there are approximately 27 million slaves worldwide. To date, however, there has been no comprehensive report on how many male slaves have been traumatized by rape. 

Maria Sliwa

Maria Sliwa, founder of Freedom Now News (, often lectures on slavery and has compiled recorded interviews on slave boy rape, which she conducted while in Sudan and is preparing for publication.

Photo: Maria Sliwa interviews Aleu Akechak Jok, an appellate court judge of South Sudan.


Pages: 12

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