Bishop-elect in South Sudan Shot, Evacuation Plans for Specialized Treatment Underway

Bishop-elect for Rumbek in South Sudan, Christian Carlassare

The Bishop-elect for South Sudan’s Rumbek Diocese who was shot last night is nursing bullet wounds at a health facility in the South Sudanese Diocese, multiple sources have told ACI Africa.

“Our Bishop-elect was shot last night. He is currently receiving treatment at CUAMM hospital in Rumbek,” a source told ACI Africa Monday, April 26, making reference to the health facility under the auspices of Italy-based non-governmental organization focused on healthcare, Doctors with Africa CUAMM.

“The incident happened at 12.45 last night. I heard the Father (Bishop-elect) shouting,” Fr. Andrea Osman of Rumbek Diocese who was in his room next door has told ACI Africa.

“The two people were armed. I tried to knock the door of my door from inside so that I can scare them away, but they didn't seem bothered,” Fr. Andrea said, adding that the armed men targeted the Bishop-elect, a testimony confirmed by the Rumbek-based head of logistics for the South Sudanese Diocese, Abenego Marol who was also scared away with gun shots.

“The armed men targeted his (Bishop-elect) room. They knocked the door and started shooting the door till they broke it. They shot the door till it opened,” Mr. Marol told ACI Africa, adding, “After they shot the Bishop, they ran away. It is really a targeted shooting.”


In his recounting of the events, Fr. Andrea told ACI Africa in reference to the armed men, “When they saw me, they told me to go away. One of them fired two bullets at me. The shots landed on the chair behind him.

Fr. Andrea added making reference to the Bishop-elect, “I think they shot him three bullets, two on one leg and the other one on the other leg. This is what happened. He was shot in front of his door.”

He is in a stable condition, a source said, quoting a doctor attending to the Bishop-elect, adding that doctors have controlled the heavy bleeding.

Plans are underway to airlift him to Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, through the services of the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), a source involved in organizing the Bishop-elect’s evacuation has told ACI Africa.

The Italian-born Comboni Missionary Cleric was appointed Bishop for Rumbek Diocese March 8. His episcopal ordination was scheduled to take place on Pentecost Sunday, May 23.

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He had been serving in South Sudan’s Malakal Diocese since he arrived in the East-Central African country in 2005

He traveled to Rumbek Diocese April 15 following days of spiritual retreat in South Sudan’s capital, Juba.

Rumbek Diocese became vacant in July 2011 following the sudden death of Bishop Caesar Mazzolari. The Comboni Missionary Bishop collapsed during the celebration of Holy Eucharist on the morning of 16 July 2011, one week after South Sudan’s independence, and was confirmed dead at the Rumbek State Hospital that morning.

Fr. Fernando Colombo, a member of the Comboni Missionaries governed the Diocese as Diocesan Administrator until 27 December 2013, when Fernando Cardinal Filoni, then Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, appointed Fr. Mathiang Diocesan Coordinator.