| Published11 June 2002
THE MEDIA AND SUDAN:
WHY SUCH POOR JOURNALISM
The Sudanese civil war has been
fought off and on since 1955 between the Sudanese government
and rebels in southern Sudan. Since 1983 the war in the
south has been largely conducted by the Sudan People's Liberation
rmy (SPLA) led by John Garang. (1) Media coverage of Sudan,
and the Sudanese conflict, beset as most conflicts are by
propaganda and disinformation, provides observers with example
after example of remarkably poor journalism. Western, and
particularly English-language, media coverage of Sudan is
important as it has a clear capacity to influence public
opinion within the United States and United Kingdom with
regard to Sudan, opinion which in some cases can itself
further influence government policy towards that country.
Despite this responsibility, in many instances Sudan has
been poorly served by international journalism. This is
at least in part because until comparatively recently Sudan
was not seen as an important issue for serious reporting.
No international newspapers keep correspondents in Sudan
itself: the events within Sudan are covered by correspondents
in Nairobi, Cairo or in some instances by journalists who
fly in from abroad for a few days and then leave. There
are also many journalists who only visit one side to the
conflict. News agency reports by Reuters and Agence France
Presse, also provided by local stringers, tend to dominate
what coverage there is. At least some of the misinterpretation,
or outright misrepresentation, of Sudanese issues has been
the result of poor, sensationalistic and sometimes politically
partisan reporting by elements of the international media.
This type of reporting has a distinct responsibility for
some of the problems Sudan now faces.
Andrew Buckoke, a British foreign correspondent who has
written for 'The Guardian', 'The Economist', 'The Observer',
'The Financial Times' and 'The Times', has described prime
examples of blatant media distortion with regard to Sudan,
even on issues unrelated to war. Stating that:"Most of the
writers settle for the exaggeration of the romantic or
sensational aspects" (2), Buckoke provides the example of
the sensationalistic coverage of the floods of August 1988.
Torrential rain on the headwaters of both the White Nile
and Blue Niles had resulted in intense press prediction
and speculation that Khartoum "would disappear under a gigantic
whirlpool". (3) Buckoke was sent to cover this impending
disaster and found there was none to report on: "The Nile
never did burst its banks, nor was any significant damage
due to the downpour evident in central Khartoum". (4) This,
however, did not stop "the story...being taken very seriously
in the outside world, and I was rebuked by a telex demanding
more drama and detail". Despite their being a non-event,
"the floods were the biggest story out of black Africa".
(5) Buckoke questioned the international coverage: "Words
like catastrophic and devastating were freely bandied about,
even before any considered eyewitness reports had emerged.
How did the coverage and the response of relief agencies
get so distorted and imbalanced, as they so often do when
Africa is involved? Well it was August, but there were other
reasons. The floods were relatively easy to get to and made
good television." (6) He also notes that:
"Many of the journalists who flooded into Khartoum did not
know how little changed most of the city was, never having
been there before, but before they even arrived the whole
story was out of control. Journalists, aid agency workers,
the government and donors had been caught from the beginning
in a self-sustaining spiral of exaggeration. Initial reports
made it sound like the greatest natural disaster of the
Buckoke concludes that: "the media were simply stuck with
their initial overestimation of the story and the editors'
continuing demand for drama". Much the same can be said
about allegations of "slavery", international terrorism
and weapons of mass destruction in Sudan. In the absence
of consistent reporting many newspapers have been more
than content to go with "accepted" wisdom on Sudan - wisdom
characterised in large part by bias, pivotal factual inaccuracies,
misperceptions and often blatant disinformation. Even for
those who have sought to put together a "balanced" article,
questionable sources often result in questionable journalism.
There are several reasons that can be advanced to explain
why it is that the media has on many occasions seriously
misrepresented both the Sudanese situation and events within
A Case Study in Poor Journalism: Claims that southern Sudan
is "Christian" or that the SPLA is "Christian"
There are many facets of poor journalism. The inability
to get simple but strategically important facts right in
coverage of Sudan is a clear example of unacceptably weak
journalism. Newspaper claims of a Christian majority in
southern Sudan is a case in point. Not only is this factually
inaccurate but more importantly it is a fundamental distortion
of the situation in Sudan. This is an unforgivable inaccuracy
for any newspaper to make. Sudan is an overwhelmingly Islamic
country, with Muslims making up well over 75 percent of
the population. (8) Christians make up 4 percent of the
national population, and perhaps between 10-15 percent of
the southern population. (9) By far the majority of southerners
are neither Christian nor Muslim, and are adherents of native
animist religions. Claims of a "Christian south", forced
to live under Islamic law, with all the implications for
religious conflict, merely perpetuate an inaccurate stereotype
of Sudan, and an equally inaccurate and superficial context
for the Sudanese conflict. This is somewhat similar to claiming
that Northern Ireland is Catholic. Such elementary mistakes
would not be allowed in reporting of First World affairs,
but apparently appallingly inaccurate journalism is perfectly
permissible in "coverage" of the developing world.
Unprofessionalism of this sort in coverage of Sudan can
be found across the board. Newspapers of record such as
The Washington Post have also made this very error. (10)
The BBC has repeatedly done so (11), with its religious
affairs correspondent claiming at one stage that Christian
churches "minister to about 40 percent of Sudan's population".
(12) 'The Economist' has also made similar mistakes (13),
as have news agencies as diverse as Reuters (14), Kenya
News Agency (15) and Africa Online (16), television companies
such as ABC (17) and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation
(18), relief organisations (19), and newspapers such as
the 'South African Mail and Guardian' (20) and 'The Financial
Post' (21) and 'The Globe and Mail' of Canada. (22)
'The Daily Telegraph' in particular provides observers with
a clear example of how a newspaper of record, Britain's
largest circulation title, has repeatedly, and possibly
even knowingly, seriously misrepresented the issue of Christianity
in Sudan and southern Sudan especially. The newspaper has
referred to the "Christian" south in Sudan for a number
of years, since, for example, 1995. (23) The newspaper has
also repeatedly referred to SPLA rebels as a "Christian"
organisation, ignoring the fact that if that were the case
it would be representative of a small minority within southern
Sudan itself. (24) It has made these claims, at least since
1998, having been made perfectly aware that its assertions
were widely inaccurate and distorted perceptions of the
Sudanese conflict. (25) It cannot be said that it is inexperienced,
cub, reporters who are making such elementary mistakes.
A 'Daily Telegraph' article, "The Church in Rags", written
by the veteran reporter Lord Deedes demonstrated a continuing
disregard to facts in speaking of "the Christian south".
A Case Study in Sensationalism: Allegations of "Slavery"
and "Slave Redemption" in Sudan
One of the most damaging and recurring media themes with
regard to Sudan has been allegations of government-sponsored
"slavery" and "slave trade" in Sudan. As "proof" for this,
a great number of newspaper articles have "reported" instances
of "slave redemption" in which alleged "slaves" were said
to have been "bought" back from "slave
traders", stories presented to them by the Swiss-based Christian
Solidarity International (CSI). Articles essentially taking
Christian Solidarity International claims about "slavery"
and "slave redemption" at face value have appeared throughout
the world, and have been published in several reputable
newspapers and journals, including 'Newsweek' (27), 'Time'
(28), CNN (29), 'Reader's Digest' (30), 'The Wall Street
Journal' (31), 'The New York Times' (32), 'The Washington
Post' (33), 'International Herald Tribune' (34), 'USA Today'
Times' (36), 'The Observer' (37) and 'The Daily Telegraph'
(38). Important regional newspapers as far apart as 'The
Los Angeles Times' (39) to 'The Houston Chronicle' (40)
have also repeated CSI claims. Reputable news agencies such
as Reuters has also repeatedly reported CSI claims seemingly
as fact. (41) So have other news agencies such as Agence
France Presse (42), Associated Press (43) and UPI (44).
Several regional news agencies have also run with the claims.
(45) The BBC also conspicuously accepted CSI claims at face
value, publishing numerous articles citing their claims.
(46) Christian Solidarity International's newspaper propaganda
outreach extended all the way down to school groups in Colorado
(47), radio talk show hosts (48) through to rock stars.
The Canadian media has also been remarkably unprofessional
in accepting CSI's controversial claims. 'The Ottawa Citizen'
ran a five-day series on "slavery" in Sudan. (50) In 1997,
'The Calgary Sun' ran an eight-part series uncritically
citing CSI claims. (51) In April 2000, 'Maclean's', Canada's
premier magazine, also ran an extensive, front-cover, CSI
Christian Solidarity International was also able to get
its anti-Sudan propaganda "theatre" onto American network
television. The 1999 season premiere of the CBS network
show, "Touched By An Angel", featured "slave redemption"
in Sudan. (53) By the show's executive producer own admission,
this episode was intended to influence the passage of anti-
Sudanese legislation through Congress. (54) This CSI propaganda
piece, based on claims of a CSI-style "slave redemption"
of the sort subsequently seen to be fraudulent, was viewed
by an estimated 20 million Americans.
The damage done to Sudan's reputation by Christian Solidarity
International's claims of "slavery" and "slave redemption"
in that country is clear. Yet these claims have now been
comprehensively exposed as fraudulent and untrustworthy.
A Western diplomat in Khartoum stated that CSI has "zero
credibility" among mainstream aid organisations and
the United Nations. (55)
It should be noted that Sir Robert ffolkes, director of
the Save the Children (UK) programme in Sudan, an organisation
at the forefront of the abductions issue, has publicly stated:
"I have seen no evidence at all of slave trading. And believe
me, we have looked". (56) Sir Robert has also said: "I do
not believe the government in involved in slave-taking."
(57) Exposes of the claims made by CSI began to emerge as
early as 1999. (58) Also in that year, respected Italian
priest Father Renato Kizito Sesana, long active in southern
Sudan, questioned CSI's claims. Writing in the Kenyan Sunday
Nation, he observed: "When you know the reality of Sudan
on the ground, you cannot believe that it is possible to
come to Nairobi from Switzerland, the following day hire
a plane at Wilson Airport, fly somewhere in Sudan with a
pocketful of money and redeem 1,050 slaves. Somebody, somewhere,
plays a dirty trick." (59) One month later, Father Renato
added that he was "afraid" that CSI "might have fallen victims
of some fraud perpetrated by local people, possibly with
the connivance of elements living abroad who have some more
or less legitimate interests in the area. Only the Swiss
branch of CSI is involved in the redemption of slaves. The
German and Austrian branches, that were involved at the
beginning, have withdrawn. What were their reasons? Did
they smell a rat, too?" (60) In 2000, the Canadian government
also clearly questioned the credibility of large-scale "slave
redemptions" as claimed by CSI: "[R]eports, especially from
CSI, about very large numbers were questioned, and frankly
not accepted. Mention was also made to us of evidence that
the SPLA were involved in "recycling" abductees..." (61)
In February 2002, in an unprecedented international focus,
and as the result of some excellent investigative journalism,
'The Irish Times', London's 'Independent on Sunday', 'The
Washington Post' and 'International Herald Tribune', chose
to publish, or republish, articles exposing the deep fraud
and corruption at the heart of CSI's claims of "slave redemption"
in Sudan. (62) These articles are the culmination of long-standing
concerns about the activities of several organisations involved
in what had become a Western-financed "redemption" industry
in parts of Sudan. The claims by organisations and people
such as John Eibner and the Swiss-based Christian Solidarity
International (CSI), and
Baroness Cox's Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) themselves,
to have "redeemed" tens of thousands of Sudanese "slaves"
have been sharply called into question. 'The Washington
Post' reported that in numerous documented instances "the
slaves weren't slaves at all, but people gathered locally
and instructed to pretend they were returning from
bondage". (63) 'The Independent on Sunday' reported that
it was able to "reveal that 'redemption' has often been
a carefully orchestrated fraud". (64) Rev. Cal Bombay, whose
Crossroads Christian Communications organisation in Canada
had been involved in "slave redemptions" revealed that SPLA
leaders such as Dr Samson Kwaje, in candid comments about
"slave redemption", "doubted that even 5%" of the "slaves"
had ever been abducted, and that "they were coached in how
to act, and stories to tell." (65)
'The Irish Times' reported "According to aid workers, missionaries,
and even the rebel movement that facilitates it, slave redemption
in Sudan is often an elaborate scam." 'The Irish Times'
article also stated that in many cases "the process is nothing
more than a careful deceit, stage-managed by corrupt officials".
In reality, many of the 'slaves' are fakes. Rebel officials
round up local villagers to pose for the cameras. They recruit
fake slavers - a light skinned soldier, or a passing trader,
to 'sell' them. The children are coached in stories of abduction
and abuse for when the redeemer, or a journalist, asks questions.
Interpreters may be instructed to twist their answers. The
money, however, is very real. CSI can spend more than $300,000
during a week of redemptions at various bush locations.
After their plane takes off, the profits are divvied up
- a small cut to the "slaves" and the "trader" but the lion's
share to local administrators and SPLA figures.
In an open letter in 2000 senior SPLA commander Aleu Ayieny
Aleu stated that "slave redemption" had become a "racket
of mafia dimensions". He also revealed, as an example, that
one of his lighter-skinned relatives, SPLA captain Akec
Tong Aleu, had been "forced several times to pretend as
an Arab and simulate the sale of free children to CSI on
camera". (66) Aleu declared: "It was a hoax. This thing
has been going on for no less than six years". (67) This
account, 'The Washington Post' stated,
"coincides with descriptions of the scam offered by Sudanese
officials and Western aid workers, who said the sheer volume
of money flowing into the south made corruption inevitable."
(68) The newspaper also reported that "prevalent fraud is
acknowledged by senior rebel officials". The newspaper stated:
"By many accounts, individual rebel commanders are deeply
involved in redemption scams". 'The Irish Times' observed
that one SPLA commander has earned enough from the scam
to acquire forty wives. (69) Other SPLA figures were said
to have built houses or financed businesses with their cuts.
'The Irish Times' further made clear that:
"[T]he warning signs have been there for years. Within the
SPLA whispers of suspicion have swelled into a chorus of
criticism in recent years. Acrimonious rows have broken
out and accusations profiteering levelled at individuals.
Outside the rebel ranks, aid workers have been puzzled.
It seems almost incredible that tens of thousands of abducted
civilians could cross a dangerous frontline undetected by
government forces. Moreover, aid workers north of the line
saw no evidence of large movements south, and their colleagues
in the south saw no sudden demand for extra food or medicines
by redeemed salves. Put simply, the numbers didn't add up.
And yet no questions were asked. The dollars rolled in and
the redemptions continued. "
The issue of "slave redemption" fraud straddles several
themes including the ability of pressure groups to get their
stories into local and national media. The self-styled American
Anti-Slavery Group, based in Boston, has managed to place
a number of questionable articles in local media.
The Issue of Bias in the Media
American Civil liberties lawyer Morris Ernst, who represented
the Newspaper Guild in the 1930s, noted in a legal brief:
"The Constitution does not guarantee objectivity of the
press, nor is objectivity obtainable in a subjective world.
The question really raised is not whether news shall be
unprejudiced, but rather whose prejudices shall
color the news." (71)
The 1999 American Society of Newspaper Editors report stated
that "Among the majority of the public that believes the
news media are biased, 42 percent see TV as the worst offender;
23 percent say that newspapers are the most biased news
medium." (72) There were at least three working definitions
of bias offered. Thirty percent of the American public saw
bias as "not being open-minded and neutral about the facts."
Twenty-nine percent defined bias as "having an agenda, and
shaping the news report to fit it." A similar percentage
saw bias as "favouritism to a particular social or political
A Case Study in Bias: Claims of Christian Persecution in
'The Daily Telegraph' of London has sadly provided numerous
examples of questionable journalism. One article which met
all three of the working definitions of bias mentioned above
was 'The Church in Rags', published on 30 March 1999. This
article was written by veteran British journalist Lord Deedes
and Victoria Combe. That this was biased reporting was very
clear. The article referred to the Sudanese Catholic Archbishop
Gabriel Zubeir Wako being released from a police cell in
Khartoum, "having been arrested on a trumped-up charge involving
an unpaid grocery bill." There are several facts with regard
to this which Lord Deedes and Victoria Combe appear to have
ignored or missed. The "grocery bill" in question was more
than US$ 660,000. This bill was incurred by Sudanaid, the
Sudanese Catholic Church's own relief agency, in 1988-90,
and was owed to the private Sudanese trading firm Abu Huzaifah.
The firm has gone to court on numerous occasions over the
past decade to recover the US$ 660,000, and in 1998 secured
a court order freezing Sudanaid's accounts as well as seizing
several Sudanaid vehicles to be held against the outstanding
bill. The civil court on learning that Sudanaid personnel
had resisted the seizure of vehicles ordered the arrest
of the head of Sudanaid, Archbishop Zubeir, on 1 May 1998.
In considerably more accurate coverage of the issue Agence
France Presse on 1 May 1998 reported that:
"Sudanaid...was unable to get the Omdurman
civil court ruling overturned when it first went to the
appeal court and then to a tribunal of five judges set up
by the chief justice. Under the initial ruling, the Omdurman
court ordered the freezing of Sudanaid's accounts with Citibank
and the seizure of the relief agency's vehicles. The court
Wako's arrest after being informed by police that Sudanaid
personnel had 'resisted' the taking away of the vehicles."
This course of events is remarkably similar to how a comparable
civil case would have proceeded in Britain. That this was
a civil rather than a political decision was evident in
the Sudanese government's embarrassment given that Archbishop
Zubeir was to be present during peace negotiations that
month in Kenya. The Sudanese President intervened to request
the suspension of the arrest, but the local courts went
ahead. The Archbishop was subsequently bailed. 'The Daily
Telegraph' article was a prime example of "not being open-minded
and neutral about the facts", of journalists "having an
agenda, and shaping the news report to fit it", and in so
doing demonstrating "favouritism to a particular social
or political group."
Sudan, Journalism and Disinformation
The importance of the media within any conflict or controversial
issue is clear. It is equally obvious that there will be
attempts to influence media coverage of conflicts by parties
to any such conflicts. A particularly insidious sort of
manipulation has been the systematic and deliberate use
of "disinformation". Sudan has been a repeated focus for
such attention. As much was admitted by American officials,
and there are numerous, well-documented examples of such
media manipulation. In his account of his time in Sudan,
for example, former United States ambassador to Sudan, Donald
Petterson, provided one example of such anti-Sudanese disinformation
in the early 1990s:
"Reports appeared in the media that hundreds, even thousands
of Iranians, many of them Revolutionary Guard military and
security police advisers, had come to Sudan...The reports
were based in part on information provided by Egyptian intelligence
sources, which were conducting an assiduous disinformation
campaign against Sudan. The truth
was something far less alarming. There were Iranian advisers
and technicians in Sudan, and Shiite propagandists and clerics
as well, yet their numbers were relatively small, certainly
nothing like the numbers being reported by the Western press."
The United States government was also party
to spreading this particular piece of disinformation, with
news reports by the U.S. Information Agency claiming that
2,000 Iranian revolutionary guards were in Sudan. (75) Even
Time magazine saw fit to carry similar claims. (76) They
were also carried in several Western newspapers in the early
1990s. By 1994,
'The Independent' newspaper in London was also able to confirm
that "intelligence assessments...say that reports of Iranian
revolutionary guards [in Sudan]...are without foundation".
One example of a particularly questionable article was that
written by well-known American journalist, William Safire,
in 'The New York Times', and echoed in 'The Washington Times',
claiming that Iraq was financing a $475 million weapons
of mass destruction missile factory in Sudan. The source
was said to have been a "Pentagon intelligence agency report."
(78) The British government later revealed that there was
no evidence for such a claim. (79) This disinformation,
at the expense of Sudan and Sudan's reputation, was clearly
linked to attempts to justify the introduction of a National
Missile Defence shield, the "son of Star Wars", with the
spectre of convenient "rogue" states.
It must be said that 'The Daily Telegraph' and 'The Sunday
Telegraph' seem to have been remarkably accident-prone with
regard to anti-Sudanese disinformation. In 1994, for example,
'The Sunday Telegraph' repeated discredited claims about
an Iranian presence in Sudan: "At any given time there are
estimated to be 3,000 of Iran's Revolutionary Guards in
Sudan". (80) In August 1998, 'The Daily Telegraph' claimed
that the Iraqi air force had somehow been flown to Sudan
to avoid its destruction in the Gulf War. (81) The newspaper
did not explain quite how several hundred Iraqi fighter-bombers
were able to fly over Saudi Arabian or Israeli airspace
without being challenged or destroyed at that somewhat
sensitive time. In an equally inventive 1999 article, 'The
Daily Telegraph' claimed that Osama bin-Laden was buying
child slaves from Ugandan rebels and using them as forced
labour on marijuana farms in Sudan in order to fund international
terrorism. (82) When asked about this claim, the British
government stated they had seen no evidence for
such allegations. (83) On 26 August 2001, the London 'Sunday
Telegraph' newspaper published an article alleging that
China was deploying 700,000 soldiers to Sudan to protect
Chinese interests in the Sudanese oil project. (84) When
asked in Parliament asked about this allegation, the British
government stated that "We have no evidence of the presence
of any Chinese soldiers in Sudan, let alone the figure of
700,000 alleged in one press report". (85) Even the Clinton
Administration, as hostile as it was to the Sudanese authorities,
dismissed the claims, stating that even "the figure of tens
of thousands of troops is just not credible based on information
available to us". (86)
The above instances are just some of the many examples of
media inaccuracy, misrepresentation, bias and sensationalism
that have often grotesquely distorted how Sudan and the
Sudanese conflict has been seen internationally. It can
be said that media misrepresentation and distortion, in
fuelling prejudices within the United States and elsewhere,
has itself possibly prolonged the war in Sudan. It is time
that the media took its responsibilities seriously.
1 The SPLA is sometimes also referred to as the SPLM/A,
a reference to the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, ostensibly
the political component of the organisation. 'The Economist'
states that "the rebels have always, in theory, been a political
movement as well as an army. In practice, the army was the
movement" (March 1998). This publication refers to the organisation
as the SPLA.
2 Andrew Buckoke, 'Fishing in Africa: A Guide to War and
Corruption', Picador, London, 1992, p.42.
3 Ibid, p.41.
4 Ibid, p.44.
5 Ibid, p.43.
6 Ibid, p.44.
7 Ibid, p.44.
8 See, for example, 'Annual Report on International Religious
Freedom for 1999: Sudan', U.S. Department of State, Washington
DC, 9 September 1999.
9 There is a certain amount of divergence in respect of
estimates of the religious breakdown of the southern population.
Human Rights Watch states that 4 percent of the population
are Christian and that about 15 percent of southern Sudanese
are Christian ("Religious Persecution in Sudan", Testimony
of Jemera Rone, Human Rights Watch
before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee
on Africa, 25 September 1997). The Economist Intelligence
Unit in its report entitled 'Sudan: Country Profile 1994-95'
also puts the Christian population of southern Sudan at
15 percent. The definitive United States government guide,
'Sudan - A Country Study', published by the Federal Research
division and Library of Congress, states that "In the early
1990s possibly no more than 10 percent of southern Sudan's
population was Christian." Muslims may make up a similar
percentage in southern Sudan.
10 "Averting Famine in Sudan", 'The Washington Post', 4
January 1999, "largely Christian population of the south".
11 See, for example, articles such as "Sudan Haunted by
Slavery", News Article by BBC News, 15 August 1999, "largely
Christian south"; "Sudan Moves Turabi out of Jail", News
Article by BBC News, 30 May 2001, "mainly Christian south";
"US Peace Envoy Starts Sudan Mission", News Article by BBC
News, 14 November 2001, "mainly Christian rebels".
12 See, "George Carey Wants to Encourage Peace in Sudan",
News Article by BBC News World Service, 30 April 2000.
13 "Sudan: Coming out of the Cold", 'The Economist', 4 October
2001, "mainly Christian south".
14 See, for example, "Sudan Oil State Favours Secession,
Governor Doesn't", News Article by Reuters, 12 May 1998,
"mainly African and Christian south"; See also "Agencies
Protest Over Sudanese Food Centre Attack", News Article
by Reuters Alertnet, 5 March 2002, "mainly Christian south"
and "Oil Firm Could Face Sanctions", News Article by
ABC News, 26 October 1999, "predominantly Christian south".
15 "Factions Accused of Derailing Sudan Peace Efforts",
News Article by Kenya News Agency, 19 June 2001, "mainly
16 "Sudan: Military Solution Won't Work Says Afeworki",
News Article by Africa Online, 1 December 2001, "mainly
17 "Oil Firm Could Face Sanctions", News Article by ABC
News, 26 October 1999, "predominantly Christian south".
18 "Child Soldiers Continue the Battle in Sudan", Program
Broadcast by Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 18 July
2001, "the predominantly Christian south".
19 "Sudan on Brink of 'Unprecedented Calamity' as War, Famine
Continue", News Article by Disaster Relief, 16 December
1998, "Christian South".
20 "Massacres End Three Month Sudan Ceasefire", 'Mail and
Guardian' (Johannesburg), 8 March 1999, "mainly Christian
21 "Analysts Upbeat About Talisman's Sudan Role", 'Financial
Post' (Toronto), November 1999, "largely Christian south".
22 'My week on the cusp of war', 'The Globe and Mail', 17
December 1999, "Christian South".
23 See, for example, "Ugandans 'helping rebels' in Sudan",
'The Daily Telegraph' (London), 31 October 1995, which refers
to "the Christian south"; "Rebel victories revive 'forgotten
war'", 'The Daily Telegraph' (London), 11 January 1996,
refers to "the predominantly Christian south"; "Sudan rebels
take control of south after key victory", 'The Daily Telegraph'
(London), 9 May 1997, refers to "the largely Christian African
south"; "Talks on Sudan offer scant hope of averting famine",
'The Daily Telegraph' (London), 5 May 1998, refers to
"largely Christian southern rebels"; "Charities buy freedom
for Sudan's child slaves", 'The Daily Telegraph' (London),
24 May 1998, refers to "mainly-Christian southern Sudan
region"; "The Church in rags", 'The Daily Telegraph' (London),
30 March 1999, refers to "an African Christian south"; "Old
War claims new victims", 'The Daily Telegraph' (London),
15 February 2000, refers to a "mostly Christian south".
24 "Little faith in Sudan's Islamic regime", 'The Daily
Telegraph' (London), 15 July 1995, refers to "Christian
rebels in the south"; "Sudan regime 'blocking food aid'",
'The Daily Telegraph' (London), 2 August 1995, refers to
"Christian rebels"; "Spectre of famine creeps up on Sudan",
'The Daily Telegraph' (London), 12 April 1998, refers to
SPLA as "a largely Christian southern rebel group".
25 There were several letters from the British-Sudanese
Public Affairs Council to the foreign editor of 'The Daily
Telegraph' outlining in detail the independently-verifiable
facts of the religious composition of southern Sudan and
26 "The Church in Rags", 'The Daily Telegraph' (London),
30 March 1999.
27 "Out of Bondage", 'Newsweek', 3 May 1999. See, also,
the sympathetic article on Baroness Cox, ""Grandmother,
Lord, Rebel", 'Newsweek', 12 March 2001.
28 "Baroness Who Frees the Slaves", 'Time' (European Edition),
26 July 2001.
29 See, for example, "Buying the Freedom of Slaves in Sudan",
News Article by CNN, 20 December 1997.
30 "Slavery Shameful Return to Africa", 'Reader's Digest',
31 "Black Slaves in Africa", 'The Wall Street Journal',
2 November 1995.
32 There have been several Articles. See, for example, "Selling
Sudan's Slaves into Freedom", 'The New York Times', 25 April
1999; "Modern-Day Slavery", 'The New York Times', 9 September
2000; "Redemption of Sudanese Slaves", editorial, 'The New
York Times', 27 April 2001
33 "The Price of Freedom in Sudan", 'The Washington Post',
1 May 1999.
34 See, "Two Goats Can Free a Slave in Sudan", 'International
Herald Tribune', 29 June 2001.
35 "Congress' Words, Sudan's Slaves", 'USA Today', 26 September
36 "Sudanese children sold as slaves, say Christian groups",
'The Times' (London), 16 March 1996.
37 "Sudan revives the slave trade", 'The Observer' (London),
9 April 1995.
38 See, for example, "2,000 Slaves Freed in one Week", 'The
Daily Telegraph', 9 July 1999, "Slave Traders Cash in on
Human Misery", 'The Daily Telegraph', 8 February 2000.
39 See, "In Sudan, a 12 Year-Old Girl Can be Bought for
$50", 'The Los Angeles Times', 28 December 1998; "Swiss-Based
Rights Group Helps Buy Freedom of 1,050 Slaves", 'The Los
Angeles Times', 29 January 1999.
40 "U.S. Cannot Ignore Horror of Slavery in Sudan", 'The
Houston Chronicle', 20 May 2001.
41 See, for example, "Swiss Group Says it Freed 1,783 Sudanese
Slaves", News Article by Reuters, 20 April 1999; "Aid Group
Redeems Over 2,000 Slaves in south Sudan", News Article
by Reuters, 8 July 1999; "Aid Group Tries to Break Sudan
Slavery Chain", News Article by Reuters, 11 July 1999; "Christian
Group Buys Freedom for More Sudan Slaves", News Article
by Reuters, 7 October 1999; "Mass Liberation of Slaves in
Sudan, Group Says", News Article by Reuters, 20 December
42 "Swiss NGO Buys Freedom for 4,000 Sudanese Slaves", News
Article by Agence France Presse, 1 February 2000.
43 "Slave Trade Thrives in Sudan", News Article by Associated
Press, 9 February 1998.
44 "Boston Group Pays to Free Sudan Slaves", News Article
by UPI, 13 July 2001.
45 See, for example, "Redeemed Slaves Speak of Assault.
Brutality by Masters", All Africa News Agency, 2 March 1999.
46 See, for example, articles such as "Slaves Freed in Sudan",
News Article by BBC News, 28 January 1999; "More Slaves
Freed in Sudan", News Article by BBC News, 22 February 1999;
"More Slaves Freed in Sudan", News Article by BBC News,
8 July 1999; "More Slaves Freed in Sudan", News Article
by BBC News, 7 October 1999; "More Sudanese Slaves Freed",
News Article by BBC News, 8 October 1999; "Freedom for Thousands
of Sudanese Slaves", News Article by BBC News, 22 December
47 "Youthful Crusaders Get Boost", 'The Denver Post', 2
March 1999; "Aurora Kids Fighting Sudan Slavery Visit D.C.",
'The Denver Post', 9 June 2000; "Fifth-Grade Freedom Fighters",
'The Washington Post', 1August 1998; "Students Protest Slavery
in Sudan", 'The Philadelphia Inquirer', 19 May 2001.
48 See, for example, "The Black Eagle Swoops into Sudan",
'Village Voice', 16 May 2001.
49 "Rock Star Helps Free Slaves in Sudan", 'Miami Herald',
15 December 2001.
50 See article in response, "Sudanese Diplomat Blasts Slavery
Stories", 'The Ottawa Citizen', 7 March 1999.
51 For a critique of this series see 'Fuelling War in Sudan
and Prejudice in Canada? The Calgary Sun and Sudan', The
European-Sudanese Public Affairs Council, London, 2000.
52 "Freeing the Slaves of Sudan", 'Maclean's' (Toronto),
10 April 2000.
53 "For Such a Time as This", 'Touched by an Angel', CBS,
26 September 1999. Ironically, it was a CBS '60 Minutes'
programme, "The Slave Trade and Mass Redemptions Hoax in
Sudan", screened on 16 May 2002, that subsequently exposed
the fraudulent nature of CSI's claims.
54 See, for example, "Basis for our Statement that the Writer
of the 'Angels in Sudan' Episode Said it was 'Propaganda'",
South Sudan Friends, at http://southsudanfriends.org/tba2.html
55 "Baroness Faces Anger Over Sudan 'Slave Scam'", 'The
National Post' (Toronto), 20 April 2002.
56 Sir Robert ffolkes was quoted in "'Sudan', A Special
International Report", 'The Washington Times', 10 July 2001.
57 "Anti-Slavery Drive in War-Torn Sudan Provokes Response
Critics Say Buyback Boost Market", 'The Washington Times',
25 May 2000.
58 See Richard Miniter, "The False Promise of Slave Redemption",'The
Atlantic Monthly', July 1999.
59 'Sunday Nation', 21 February 1999.
60 See, "Redeeming Slaves in Sudan: Truth of Trickery?",
'Africa News', Nairobi, March 1999.
61 John Harker, 'Human Security in Sudan: The Report of
a Canadian Assessment Mission', Prepared for the Minister
of Foreign Affairs, Ottawa, January 2000
62 "The Great Slave Scam", 'The Irish Times', 23 February
2002; "Scam in Sudan - An Elaborate Hoax Involving Fake
African Slaves and Less-than-Honest Interpreters is Duping
Concerned Westerners", 'The Independent on Sunday' (London),
24 February 2002; "Ripping Off Slave 'Redeemers': Rebels
Exploit Westerners' Efforts to Buy Emancipation for
Sudanese", 'The Washington Post', 26 February 2002; "Sudan
Rip-Offs Over Phony Slaves", 'International Herald Tribune',
27 February 2002. "Slave Redemption" has also been extensively
questioned. See, for example, Richard Miniter, "The False
Promise of Slave Redemption", 'The Atlantic Monthly', July
1999; 'The Reality of Slave Redemption', European-Sudanese
Public Affairs Council, London, March 2001; 'The Use of
Intertribal Raiding as 'Slavery' Propaganda in Sudan: A
Statement of Concern to Mrs Mary Robinson, The United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights', European-Sudanese Public
Affairs Council, London, March 200, all available at http://www.espac.org.
Christian Solidarity International's Sudan activities have
long been seriously questioned. See, for example, 'Time
to Speak out on Christian Solidarity International and Sudan:
An Open Letter to Anti-Slavery International', European-Sudanese
Public Affairs Council, London, June 2001; 'Prejudiced and
Discredited: Christian Solidarity International and Sudan',
European-Sudanese Public Affairs Council, London, 2000,
available at http://www.espac.org;
David Hoile, 'Sudan, Propaganda and Distortion: Allegations
of Slavery and Slavery-Related Practices', The Sudan Foundation,
London, March 1997.
63 "Ripping Off Slave 'Redeemers': Rebels Exploit Westerners'
Efforts to Buy Emancipation for Sudanese", 'The Washington
Post', 26 February 2002.
64 "Scam in Sudan - An Elaborate Hoax Involving Fake African
Slaves and Less-than-Honest Interpreters is Duping Concerned
Westerners", 'The Independent on Sunday' (London), 24 February
65 "Slave Redemption", Email message from Rev Cal Bombay
to the European-Sudanese Public Affairs Council, 8 April
66 "The Great Slave Scam", 'The Irish Times', 23 February
67 "Ripping Off Slave 'Redeemers'", 'The Washington Post',
26 February 2002.
68 "Ripping Off Slave 'Redeemers'", 'The Washington Post',
26 February 2002.
69 "The Great Slave Scam", 'The Irish Times', 23 February
70 "Scam in Sudan - An Elaborate Hoax Involving Fake African
Slaves and Less-than-Honest Interpreters is Duping Concerned
Westerners", 'The Independent on Sunday' (London), 24 February
71 Cited by Washington Post media columnist Dick Harwood
in 'Summary of the New York Forum. Session II: Bias, Cynicism,
Superficiality and Elitism', Project for Excellence in Journalism,
Committee of Concerned Journalists, Washington-DC, 1997.
72 Christine D. Urban, 'Examining Our Credibility: Perspectives
of the Public and the Press', A Report for the American
Society of Newspaper Editors, 1999.
74 Donald Petterson, 'Inside Sudan: Political Islam, Conflict,
and Catastrophe', Westview Press, Boulder, 1999, pp.42-43
75 See Berta Gomez, "Iran Exports Fundamentalism, Says Resistance",
News Article by USIA, 25 February 1992.
76 "Is Sudan Terrorism's New Best Friend?", 'Time', 30 August
77 See, "'Innocent Sudan' Exploits Carlos Case", 'The Independent'
(London), 23 August 1994.
78 "Saddam's Sudan", 'The New York Times', 23 March 2000
and "Saddam's Rogue Alliance", Editorial, 'The Washington
Times', 3 April 2000.
79 'House of Lords Official Report', Written Parliamentary
Answer, 27 September 2000, column WA 169.
80 "Sudan Trains Terrorism's New Generation", 'The Sunday
Telegraph', 15 May 1994.
81 "Did Saddam pull the strings of the terrorist bombers?",
'The Daily Telegraph', 12 August 1998.
82 David Blair, "Bin Laden Buys Child Slaves for his Drug
Farms in Africa", 'The Daily Telegraph', 29 March 1999.
This particular story was also carried in other articles,
such as "Bin Laden and his Quest for Slaves", 'The Chicago
Tribune', 23 January 2002, and "Searching for Slaves in
bin Laden's Attic", 'Jewish World Review', 25 January 2001.
83 'House of Lords Official Report', Written Parliamentary
Answer, 5 March 2001, column WA 10.
84 "China Puts '700,000 Troops' on Sudan Alert", 'The Sunday
Telegraph' (London), 26 August 2000.
85 'House of Lords Official Report', Written Parliamentary
Answer, 5 March 2001, column WA 10.
86 "U.S.: Reports of China's Role in Sudanese War Are Overstated",
News Article by UPI, 29 August 2000.