US-Led Delegation to Investigate Slavery in Sudan
The United States has said it would be sending a US-led team of experts to Sudan next month to investigate the practice of slavery in the war-torn country.
"The group, supported by a research team, expects to make two trips to visit northern and southern Sudan between now and the late spring rainy season," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said, according to AFP.
He said the first visit to investigate "slavery, abductions and forced servitude in Sudan" would occur in early- to-mid April.
They are expected to "study the issue and to recommend steps that can be taken by parties to the conflict and the international community to end such abuses," Boucher said.
The creation of the so-called "eminent persons group" was agreed to by both the government of Sudan, which denies that slavery is a problem in that country, and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) in December, 2001 after talks mediated by the US special envoy for Sudan, former senator John Danforth.
The team will be led by Penn Kemble, a top scholar at Freedom House and will include Sudan experts from a number of European countries including Norway, Britain, Italy, France and the Netherlands, Boucher said. (Albawaba.com)
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