South Sudanese Catholic Priest “disappointed” at Looting of Multiple Catholic Premises

One of the containers at St. Comboni Marial Lou Parish of South Sudan's Rumbek Diocese that was broken into and looted amid intercommunal clashes 8-10 July 2021. Credit: Catholic Diocese of Rumbek, South Sudan

A member of the Clergy of South Sudan’s Rumbek Diocese has expressed disappointment over massive looting of a number of Catholic mission schools and a hospital during deadly intercommunal clashes in a Parish.

Speaking to ACI Africa Wednesday, July 14, the Priest in charge of St. Daniel Comboni Marial Lou Parish of Rumbek Diocese, Fr. Benjamin Madol Akot said, “The Church premises in Marial Lou Parish have been looted by the fighters from Luacjang community. We are yet to find out the estimated value of all that we lost.”

Tonj North County of Warrap State was attacked a week ago, on July 8, by the neighboring community of Tonj East, an attack that lasted till July 10, Fr. Madol said.

“The attack came from a neighboring community in the Eastern part of Tonj. Marial Lou Parish is in the Northern part of Tonj. It is the group of people from the East who came to attack the Payam (Sub-County) in the North,” the South Sudanese Priest said, adding that 16 people were killed and about 30 others seriously wounded in the clashes.


He told ACI Africa that the attackers looted the mission hospital, broke school doors and windows and took away everything valuable from the Parish premises.

Fr. Madol added in reference to those involved in the looting of the Catholic mission premises, “They took a lot of chairs, tables and food stuffs but no buildings were destroyed. They took a lot of things from the hospital except the medicines; they couldn’t be able to take the medicines because it is protected, and the store was locked.” 

In an interview with ACI Africa, a source who chose anonymity said, “All the mattresses in the wards of the hospital, laboratory equipment, and offices’ materials including laptops were taken away. The bulkier desktop computers were all destroyed.”

He added, “Stores with food from the World Food Program have been looted; Comboni School and St. Bakhita Boarding for girls have also been looted.”

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“Food provided by Mary’s meal has been stolen together with solar panels, which provide power to the hospital. Solar panels for Marial Lou Parish, which pump water for the leprosy mission hospital have been looted,” the source further said.

The source went on to explain, “The people didn’t destroy the school; they only broke doors and windows to take things kept inside. No Priest was around at that time; Fr. Benjamin Madol is in Rumbek but the compound has been terribly looted.”

Intercommunal clashes in Tonj County of Warrap State, which is covered by South Sudan’s Rumbek Diocese has claimed hundreds of lives in the last three years.

In August last year alone, at least 80 people were reportedly killed and more than 90 others injured in violent clashes that involved soldiers and civilians in the region.