Court Action
Trainloads of "War Booty"

Trains carrying military supplies to Wau, the capital of Bahr al-Ghazal, are regularly accompanied by government forces, described by the government of Sudan as on "a noble mission of protecting the relief routes and fighting banditry and outlaws who regularly interfere with the relief operations..." 

In practice the troops and militia forces routinely attack villages along the way and capture civilians as war booty, and usually go unpunished. When a train arrived in Wan in December 1994 it was accompanied by "Mujahideen " government fighters whose booty included not only cattle, goats, chickens and food items, but also a number of small children whose relatives had either been killed or had fled when the government forces raided villages some distance from the railway line. More captive children had been left at Gette, 25 miles northwest of Wau, in the custody of the army. Top

"The civil authorities in Wan are afraid to question the mujahideen and the army who have brought the children and the cattle of the innocent people in thousands. Soon the train will leave Wan for Babanusa, and the children, cattle and goats will find their ways into the northern Sudan markets." 

When the SPLA attacked a similar train and its armed 66protectors" in 1995, the government forces fled with their captives to Aweil, the nearest garrison town. 

"There, a southern police chief prevented the militia and army personnel from taking the women and children with them when they left for the garrison town of Wan. It was estimated that 500 captured women and children were left behind... The militia and soldiers, however, managed to hold on to the 3,000 head of cattle they pillaged from the villages." (Human Rights Watch/Africa) ..Top