Beneath a solitary tree in the sun-scorched village of Mulual Baai, more than 400 Dinka women and children sit passively in the 110-degree heat. Their clothes are filthy and tattered, and only a few wear shoes. Swarms of green flies cluster around their nostrils and eyes, but they are too exhausted to swat them away. Some of them have just walked hundred of kilometers from the north of Sudan, where they were slaves to Muslims. Their "retriever," a Muslim named Ahmed, has led them to their home region, the desolate southern province of Bahr el Ghazal, to sell them into freedom.
As they rest in the shade, John Eibner of the human-rights group Christian Solidarity International (CSI) counts out the cash for their release $50 a head, paid in stacks of Sudanese pounds. Ahmed wearing sunglasses and flip-flops, gathers the bundles of bills in the lap of his white djellaba; more than he can cram into his knapsack. Then Eibner walks over to the slaves and declares: "You are all free.."