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Three injured in Bor youth attack on clerics

Three injured in Bor youth attack on clerics

By Mamer Abraham

Three injured in Bor youth attack on clerics
The map of South Sudan highlighting Jonglei State (photo credit: Wikiwand)
The bishops’ residence at Langbaar B, Bor Town, was attacked this morning by armed youths, leaving two men and one woman injured.

The police commissioner in Jonglei State, Maj. Gen. Joseph Mayen Akoon told The City Review that the bishops accompanied the newly enthroned Archbishop of Jonglei Internal Province, Moses Anur Ayom, as he came to Bor to assume his duties as the Archbishop of the province.

“The Archbishop came with other bishops so that he could assume his duties in Bor. This is why the youth who supported the former Archbishop Reuben Akurdid mobilized themselves and attacked the bishops’ residence,” he explained.

Mayen said that the police had launched an investigation into the incident as the suspects’ names had been put down and they were being pursued by the police. He said the state government was working on ways of solving this church dispute amicably.

“We have registered some names of the people who are accused and we are currently pursuing them, for further investigation,” the police commissioner said.

He said that the bishops were fine and one of them got an injury from a stone that was pushed onto him by the bullet. He added that it was a minor injury.

The Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, Justine Badi Arama, today convened a press conference where he condemned the attack, referring to it as a bad intention towards the church by some politicians who involved themselves in church affairs.

“It is sad to learn that some senior politicians from Jonglei are misleading innocent citizens to commit such evil acts against the church. We appeal to all Christians in Jonglei to refrain from violence and we will continue to pray for the safety of bishops, clergy and other ECSS workers as they carry on with their pastoral activities,” said the Primate, Justine Badi Arama.

He said the attack was the third of its kind to happen in Bor and called on the politicians to stop involvement in church activities.

Badi called for the intervention of Jonglei State authorities by allowing the ECSS bishop to work within the state as the only solution to the stalemate.

The spokesperson of the defrocked Archbishop of Jonglei Internal Province, Reuben Akurdid, Philip Maluak, admitted that the attack was carried out by youth from the Makuach diocese who did not want the ECSS bishops to stay in their territory.

“The case is not between Akudid and ECSS, it is between Makuach diocese and ECSS. The bishops, who include Moses Anur, Gabriel Thuch Agoth, and Zecharia Manyok, came to Bor and wanted to come and enthrone another bishop of Makuach,” Maluak explained.

“The youth wanted them to leave yesterday, but they refused. They were ordered by the government of Jonglei State to go back to Juba, but they refused. This is why the youth decided to take action without waiting for the promised dialogue by the state government.”

In August 2021, High Court Judge Lawrence Jaja passed judgment in the case of Reuben Akurdid and the ECSS under Primate Justin Badi Arama.

The ruling concluded that the church should sit down and solve the case through the ECSS tribunal court. However, Akurdid was dissatisfied with the ruling and appealed. He, therefore, proceeded to Jonglei State, where he declared himself the Archbishop until the case is resolved.

He united with the Malek Diocese under Bishop Peter Joh Mayom and said the ECSS bishops should not visit Bor Town.

Bor community elders later approached the primate, asking him to forgive Reuben Akurdid, but the primate asked for an apology, which Akurdid refused to give.

The community eventually declared that Akurdid would remain their archbishop, adding that the office of the primate should forgive Akurdid according to God’s doctrine.



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