A number of parents and relatives have used their own initiative to seek the freedom of their children. To retrieve them they have had to pay money, cattle or, sometimes in the SPLA zone, guns and ammunition.
These transactions reportedly take place within both the areas controlled by the NIF Government and the areas controlled by Southern fighting forces. The prices range from 1,000 to 100,000 Sudanese pounds, 2-5 cows or a gun and ammunition per child. There seems to be no fixed value as the prices depend upon the health, physique of the captive and the whims of the seller. Top
Cases of trading in children have been brought in al-Obeid, the main town in North Kordofan, over children who have been sold for an average of 13,000 Sudanese pounds. The judicial process is long and complicated, and the traders usually refuse to let the children go free until they are repaid the money they claim to have spent on the children. Often the parents agree to an out of court settlement and raise the money needed to "compensate" the traders.Top
In mid-1994 the court in al-Obeid began bearing a claim by two Dinka leaders in respect of Dinka children kidnapped during a raid on Mabior village, close to Aweil, on 25 January 1987.
These children had been transported via Adila to al-Obeid, although only 30 out of 486 actually arrived in the regional capital. The rest were assumed to have been sold in the other villages, to have fled or died. Top
A Dinka leader discovered one such kidnapped youth, the son of his aunt, in the suburbs of al-Obeid. He learned that the boy's sister had been sold at nearby Bara, and two others at Um Kredem and Um Ruwaba.
The man accused of the sales was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Popular Defence Force. After three court sessions, the children were handed back to their relatives on 18 August Top