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March 17, 2005

Slavery Exists and Its Not Ending Anytime Soon

According to Anti-Slavery International and the Christian Science Monitor, "slavery is widespread across the Sahel Desert region, in countries that include Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Chad, and Sudan....there are at least 43,000 slaves still in Niger."

A Tuareg tribal chief, Arissal Ag Amdague, was supposed to release more than 7,000 slaves last Saturday. Apparently, he was harrassed by the government into rescinding his promise.

The Niger government declared that slavery no longer exists in Niger. Reaction from an Anti-Slavery International employee:

Romana Cacchioli, Africa program officer for Anti-Slavery International, wishes the public was invited to Saturday's event so they could hear the declaration that Niger is slave free. She calls the announcement "a de facto release of all Nigerien slaves. Now they are equal citizens," she says. "Now we will redouble efforts on the ground for civic education, for human rights education, about what it means to be a citizen, what it means to be free."
from "On the way to freedom, Niger's slaves stuck in limbo: 7,000 slaves in Niger were set to be freed last Saturday - until the government denied slavery even existed there." by Mike Pflanz and Georgina Cranston

Posted by cj at March 17, 2005 2:59 PM

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