Catholic Bishop Appeals for Support for Civilians Fleeing Violence in South Sudanese State

Bishop Alex Lodiong Sakor Eyobo of South Sudan's Yei Diocese. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Catholic Bishop of Yei Diocese in South Sudan is appealing to humanitarian organizations to come to the aid of civilians fleeing violence in Morobo County of Central Equatoria State.

On October 6, authorities in Morobo County accused the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) forces of “committing crimes against civilians that have led to massive displacement.” SPLA-IO forces are accused of “looting, raping, and displacing civilians between September 30 and October 3.”

In an audio message shared with ACI Africa Tuesday, October 11, Bishop Alex Lodiong Sakor Eyobo speaks about the “dire need of humanitarian aid”.

“These people are really in dire need of humanitarian aid. Humanitarian organizations really need to respond to these people fast to make sure that our brothers and sisters are rescued from that condition created by our own people,” Bishop Lodiong says.

He adds in reference to those fleeing the violence in Morobo County, “There is no food for them because all their belongings were taken, and there is nothing for them to cover as you know the County is very cold.”


“I hope the Central Equatoria State government has responded by first condemning this activity and then responding practically by assessing the situation and beginning to appeal to humanitarian organizations to assist these people,” the South Sudanese Catholic Bishop says in the audio recording.

Morobo County that borders the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda has, in recent times, seen an influx of people fleeing violence.

“The situation in Morobo County is generally normal but there was recent rampant displacement, looting of goats, cows, harvested food produce, and house properties including the raping of two women,” Morobo County Commissioner, Joseph Mawa, has been quoted as saying.

In the October 6 RadioTamazuj report, Commissioner Mawa is further quoted as saying, “The recent displacements have caused panic and fear among the civil population in Kendila, Yayimba, Yondu, and Koroji villages.”

In his October 11 audio message, Bishop Lodiong says, “I am disappointed to hear that the situation in Morobo County is not good due to the displacement of the people by the men in uniform.”

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The 51-year-old South Sudanese Catholic Bishop who started his Episcopal Ministry on May 15 adds, “I have followed some of the statements in the media but also from the people on the ground that the situation there is really very bad.”

The Local Ordinary of Yei Diocese continues, “The situation on the ground is not so good especially areas like Kandila, Nyondu, Nyori are the most affected by looting of the animals, chicken and other valuable items by the men in uniform in the Panyume cantonment area.”

“The section of the SPLA-IO there decided to go into the houses of the people robbing food, animals, chickens and even clothes,” he laments, and adds, “As a result people have now come to Morobo center because the situation in their places is really not good.”

The challenging situation of the people of God in Morobo County is something “we don’t want to keep quiet about”, he says, adding that it is the government’s “primary responsibility to begin seeing that people who are in this kind of situation should be responded to.”

“This is exactly what I have been saying all along because when we talk about peace, we have to talk about security; but these people now don’t have proper security,” the South Sudanese Bishop further laments in his audio recording shared with ACI Africa.


Patrick Juma Wani is a South Sudanese journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. Patrick holds a Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication from Makerere Institute for Social Development (MISD) in Uganda. He has over 7 years of extensive experience in leading the development and implementation of media, advocacy, communication and multimedia strategy and operations, with an excellent track record of editorial leadership, budget management, and stakeholder outreach. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.