There are an estimated 465,000 people living in modern slavery in Sudan (GSI 2018). Between 1983 and 2005, the central government of Sudan enslaved tens of thousands of black South Sudanese Christian and traditionalist people. It was part of a genocidal war against South Sudan, with a simple aim: to force South Sudan to become Arab and Muslim.
Agol Chan Gop was kidnapped as a young girl and forced to be the wife of a man named Ibrahim. Agol was forced to do all the housework and was raped repeatedly, having two children by Ibrahim. Agol was also subjected to forced female circumcision and had her children taken away from her.
I am from Nyinbuli in South Sudan. A man named Ibrahim abducted me when I was a young girl. He and the other raiders took twelve other people to the North with me, both children and grownups. I remember I was raped on the journey. I was separated from the other kidnapped people when we arrived in the North.
I remember that in the South, I had a sister, an older brother and a brother who was still a baby. I had friends who I played with, too. I don’t know where they are now.
I lived with Ibrahim in Kareau, Darfur. He forced me to be his wife, and didn’t let anyone else rape me. When I tried to resist sleeping with him, he sliced me on my breast with a knife.
We had two children together: Mohammed and Musa. They were both taken away from me when they were about one year old. I don’t know where they are, or even if they are alive. How can I get them? Once, I asked Ibrahim to give me back my children. He replied, “Are you really so secure in your life that you want children?”
In Ibrahim’s house, I washed the clothes, swept the compound and did all the housework. Ibrahim had two other wives and many children. They would beat me with sticks if I made even a small mistake. Sometimes I was given good food to eat, sometimes bad leftovers, and sometimes no food at all.
I saw another slave executed in the North. The Arabs took her away from the people to rape her. When she refused to be raped, they slit her throat. I saw it happen; even though they had removed her from the group, it was in our line of sight.
Ibrahim forced me to be circumcised. He changed my name to “Saydia,” and forced me to pray like a Muslim and fast during Ramadan. I was afraid not to; I saw fasting as a way to escape being killed by Ibrahim. But it was terrible; I couldn’t drink at all until evening, and I still had to work.
I always wanted to come back to the South, but there was no way. It’s very good that I was taken out of Ibrahim’s hands. I will try to find my parents now.
Narrative provided by Christian Solidarity International