Catholic Priest in South Sudan Blocks Discussions about Suspected Gold Treasure

Faithful at St. Fatima Gordhim Parish in South Sudan's Wau Diocese. Credit: Gordhim Comboni School/Facebook

The Parish Priest of a Catholic Mission of South Sudan’s Wau Diocese has written to the regional government of the State blocking discussions about gold and silver suspected to be buried by early missionaries where the Catholic Parish now stands.

Fr. Lino Piny Makuac of St. Fatima Gordhim Parish told ACI Africa that many parties including a private mining company are now interested in the matter, adding that he has taken measures to put an end to discussions “about gold in the Church.”

“I wrote a letter to the Governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal that from now on there is no talking about gold in the Church, whether it is the government or the Church, no more meeting over the issue of gold in the Parish,” Fr. Makuac said in the Monday, July 26 interview.

He added, “We suspended discussions about that gold or silver thing. I don’t want to talk about it now; I don’t need any investigation. It will remain confidential for now. Our position as the Church is that we don’t want to talk about this matter that is a burning topic at the moment.” 

The South Sudanese Priest said that he gave one copy of the letter to his Local Ordinary, Bishop Matthew Remijio, and a second copy to a government official.  


“When the situation cools down later, we will call the Bishop and the government and then the committee of the Parish will sit and decide what to do because we cannot plan what to do with it alone,” he further said.

Earlier missionaries, suspected to have hidden gold and silver underground, ministered in the South Sudanese Parish, according to Fr. Makuac, and were expelled in 1964 when the then Sudan’s administration of General Ibrahim Abboud was on the course of implementing Islamization and Arabization of the present South Sudan.

“I don’t know the name of the missionaries but they were named in Dinka language and I was not here. In fact, the time they were expelled was probably the time I was born,” the member of the Clergy of South Sudan’s Wau Diocese told ACI Africa July 26.

According to the Priest, the minerals are suspected to be embedded underground the mission offices. 

An old man who claims to have seen the missionaries bury “something” at the mission is said to have shown the Priest the specific room it was buried and refused to show the location to a private company that insists on digging up the suspected treasure.

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“The old man who saw something dug here by missionaries while he was young is called John Ajou. He said what was dug down he did not know but he is willing to show the place,” Fr. Makuac divulged to ACI Africa.

He added, “The area in which it is at the mission is like a tomb; it is inside a room in the parish…Nobody is sure if it is a mineral found in the place of the Church but is suspected to be something placed underground by early missionaries.” 

A month ago, some staff of a private mining company clashed with the Catholic Parish leadership over the suspected mineral at St. Fatima Gordhim mission and the area Commissioner seemed to be siding with the company, Fr. Makuac said.  

“We had some people who came from Juba, one of them is called Dut Diing, and he said he is working in the place of a company of minerals and mining,” the Priest explained, and added, “Dut said that he learned that the missionaries dug something underground here in the Parish, that gold is there, and silver is there.”

“The old man refused to show the company that place because he only wanted to show it to the Priest. He was overheard looking for the Parish Priest and then this company heard and now wants to dig it out forcefully,” Fr. Makuac explained.  


As the intention of the private company was to examine and dig out the mineral, the Priest told the staff of the company, “We are not sure what the missionaries buried in here but whatever it is, it belongs to the Church.”