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In the Nigerian village of Tajaé, a woman named Rakany (with her great-grandson) says she was given as a slave to her owner when she was an infant. She is now 80 years old. (Paul Raffaele)

Born into Bondage

Despite denials by government officials, slavery remains a way of life in the African nation of Niger

In April, the government arrested Weila and another Timidria leader in response to the failed release of the 7,000 slaves. Weila was freed on bail in June but is awaiting a ruling on whether there is enough evidence to try him. The charge against him amounts to fraud: he solicited funds overseas to fight slavery in his country, the government contends, but of course there are no slaves in Niger.

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