Over time, [Sudan’s] Muslim northerners became increasingly vicious toward their southern co-nationals, culminating in the 1980-90s with massacres, chattel slavery and genocide. Given Africa’s many tragedies, such problems might not have made an impression on compassion-weary Westerners except for an extraordinary effort led by two modern-day American abolitionists.
Starting in the mid-1990s, John Eibner of Christian Solidarity International redeemed tens of thousands of slaves in Sudan, while Charles Jacobs of the American Anti-Slavery Group led a Sudan Campaign in the United States that brought together a wide coalition of organizations. As all Americans abhor slavery, the abolitionists formed a unique alliance of left and right, including Democratic Rep. Barney Frank and Republican Sen. Sam Brownback, the Congressional Black Caucus and Pat Robertson, black pastors and white evangelicals. In contrast, the Nation of Islam’s Minister Louis Farrakhan was exposed and embarrassed by his attempts to deny slavery’s existence in Sudan. The abolitionist effort culminated in 2005 when the George W. Bush administration pressured Khartoum to sign the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the war and gave southerners a chance to vote for independence. They enthusiastically did so in January 2011, when 98 percent voted for secession from Sudan, leading to the formation of the Republic of South Sudan six months later, an event hailed by Mr. Peres as “a milestone in the history of the Middle East.”
Read Pipes’ full piece at The Washington Times.