Amiir Akok Akok, now 24 years old, was enslaved with her mother in Sudan when she was one year old and later forcibly separated from her. After her liberation and return home to South Sudan, Amiir has been joyfully reunited with her mother again.
The story of the reunion of the two women after 16 years borders on a miracle.
Christian Solidarity International’s Finance Officer Markus Weber had the pleasure of meeting Amiir and her mother during a slave retrieval operation in November 2021. “The fact that the two are reunited was one of the highlights of my trip to South Sudan”, he says.
The story is indeed incredible. Amiir was just one year old when Islamist militants acting on the orders of the Sudanese government attacked her village in what is now the northwest of South Sudan in 1998. The toddler was abducted along with her mother and other villagers to Arab northern Sudan.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Amiir was cruelly separated from her mother when she was just eight years old. Their slave master had sold Amiir’s mother to another slave owner.
As a slave, Amiir had to obey her master unquestioningly and do any work that was forced upon her. Add to that the fact that she was regularly humiliated and beaten for over two decades. The young woman was also subjected to frequent sexual abuse.
In 2005, Amiir’s mother was freed and returned to South Sudan. However, Amiir had to endure a further 16 years in slavery.
When the young woman was finally freed by a Sudanese slave retriever working on behalf of CSI on November 20, 2021, she did not quite know what was happening to her. It was only during the repatriation that she realized that she had been given a new life in freedom and was now being taken to her unknown homeland, South Sudan.
Amiir, who is now a mother herself, could hardly believe it when she was introduced to her biological mother on her arrival. They had not seen each other for over 16 years. Mother and daughter were overcome with joy when they were finally able to embrace each other again.