100 pics 10 months 1 life

Bahr-el-Gazal, South Sudan 1998 © Jørn Stjerneklar

A new year. New old tales to tell. This is from a story which was bizarre in all aspects. The man with the starving child is John Eibner, an American missionary, who had made a living buying slaves in the border area between South and North Sudan. He came riding in with a backpack full of cash dollars collected in the bible belt back home. Then he had contacts to slave traders who had brought back to Mr. Eibner some human cargo who had previously been taken as slaves by the Arabs and brought North. John Eibner made a deal with the traders and paid them in cool cash. Then all the slaves were set free and could return to their homes, where ever that was. A very noble idea and a good sell in US. But.....If you looked at the goods he bought it did not take a very trained eye to see Mr. Eibner was just a victim of a scam between the local warlords (SPLA) and some Arab slave traders. Many of the "slaves" wore their Sunday shoes and looked incredible well fed considering they were supposed to have walked for weeks to come back South. I am sure Mr. Eibner knew it was like that, but in the battle between Islam and Christianity that was a minor detail. I should of course show you one of the slave pictures, but I like this better. While waiting for the deal to go through (it took some days) he simply grabbed this poor starving boy from his mother to have a picture to use in his ongoing crusade. For PR purposes. The two whities made several different shots and angles while the boy had no idea what was going on and his mother not in position to interfere with the two holy men. I guess this took charity to another low. Happy New Year to all of you!