South Sudan: Gunmen Shoot, Injure Catholic Bishop in South Sudan

Juba,

Two South Sudanese gunmen on Sunday night attacked a newly deployed Catholic bishop in his Lakes State church residence and shot him in the legs, Lakes State authorities have said.

Speaking to Nation on Monday, Lakes State Acting Information Minister William Kocji said: "The bishop was attacked by two gunmen who went to his residence at the church compound and asked him to open his door, after failing to open, they started shooting at the door before forcing their way in."

Mr Kocji added: "After entering the house, the gunmen ordered the bishop to sit down before they shot his leg. This was a targeted attack, he is in stable condition, but he might be taken to Nairobi for further treatment."

He said the police have arrested some people for questioning. Two years ago, a senior pastor was killed in Cueibit.

In May 2019, a member of South Sudan Council of States representing Western Lakes State condemned the killing of two Ugandan teachers near Rumbek. The Ugandan nationals worked at Hope and Resurrection Secondary School in Atiaba.

Many UN reports have attributed insecurity in the country to the presence of arms in the hands of civilians. In July last year, President Salva Kiir launched a disarmament campaign across the country.

The campaign targeted armed civilians in Lakes, Terekeka, Warrap and Jonglei areas, among other areas.

But a survey released recently by a national a civil society organisation working to reduce and prevent gun violence across the country, said some communities rejected President Kiir's conflict resolution initiative, saying the approach leaves some communities vulnerable to others.

According to consultations done by South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms, the communities say it is not sensible for some of them to be armed.

This, they say, can leave some communities vulnerable to others. They also appealed to the government to create mechanisms that monitor, document, report and bring to justice members of forces that may abuse civilians during the process of disarmament.

The armed civilians said that for the exercise to be successful, there is a need to register, store and dispose of the recovered arms.

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