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Catholic Bishop in South Sudan Condemns Recent Attacks on Church Institutions

Bishop Edward Hiiboro Kussala of South Sudan’s Tombura-Yambio Diocese/ Credit: Tombura-Yambio Diocese

The Catholic Bishop of South Sudan’s Tombura-Yambio Diocese has condemned the recent attacks on Church institutions in his Episcopal See, which resulted in the killing of a Catechist and the looting of property.

On October 26, the Catholic Parish of Mupoi was attacked by armed men who shot the head Catechist and vandalized the Parish. On October 30, the Solidarity community located at Riimenze Parish was also looted by unidentified gunmen.

In a statement issued Wednesday, November 10, Bishop Edward Hiiboro Kussala condemns the two incidences and invites the attackers to “refrain from further attacks on faith-based institutions throughout the State.”

In the statement, Bishop Hiiboro further calls on the National and State Governments “to safeguard the rule of law and to adhere to national and international principles of human rights.” 

“We ask the government to guarantee the recovery of all stolen properties, both in the Parish of Mupoi and in the Solidarity Community of Riimenze and other interreligious properties, and that the perpetrators be arrested and prosecuted according to the law,” the South Sudanese Bishop says.

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He urges the government to provide security and protection to the Church institution, her properties and personnel, noting that Church institutions play a pivotal role in the stability of the East-Central African country.

“The Catholic Church and other religious or other faith institutions are initiating services to improve lives spiritually and to uphold human dignity amidst the misery the country is going through,” the 57-year-old Catholic Bishop says.

Insecurity has been on the rise in South Sudan’s Western Equatoria State covered by Tombura-Yambio Diocese.

In September, religious leaders in the State called on the country’s government to intervene and to put an end to what they described as “the continuous culture of killings going on in the State”.

“We express concerns on the insecurity in this country South Sudan, particularly in Greater Tombura, and we adamantly call on the government of South Sudan at all levels to put a complete stop to the ongoing killing of innocent people,” the religious leaders said in their six-page letter that was dated September 2.

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They urged the South Sudanese government to intervene and to “immediately stop the attacks against civilians.”

The faith-based leaders further called on those at the helm of the national and State governments to “do the right thing thus, protection of civilians and enhancing of life!”

“Please put an end to the killing of innocent people right now in Greater Tombura,” religious leaders in in South Sudan’s Western Equatoria State said.