South Sudan: Kiir Demands Quick Probe, Persecution of Father Carlassare attackers

By Deng Machol

Juba – South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit has condemned the shooting of Catholic Bishop-elect in the country, demanded quick probe and persecution of the attackers.

Unknown assailants shot and wounded the Italian – born priest on Sunday midnight at his residence in Rumbek town in Lakes State.

On Monday, president Kiir has described the shooting of the Bishop-elect of Rumbek as a “shameful act of intimidation” by gunmen in Lakes state.

 He expressed his dismay over the incident that resulted in the injury of Father Christian Carlassare.

“The reprehensible act of violence meted on him is unacceptable and it must stop. I call upon all South Sudanese to condemn the criminals who carried out this heinous crime in strongest terms possible,” said Kiir in the statement.

He directed the government of Lakes state to carry out an expeditious investigation that will lead to the arrest and persecution of the perpetrators.

“To ensure no such act is carried out against the clergy, I call upon authorities in Lake State to carry out an expeditious investigation that will lead to lawful apprehension and prosecution of criminals who perpetrated this crime,” he added. “If those who carried out this shameful act were doing so to intimidate the Church, they are sadly mistaken.

Father Carlassare has flown to Nairobi – Kenya for a further treatment.

But multiple sources said his condition was stable.

On Monday, Lakes State government said they have arrested over 20 people for allegedly involved in a priest attacks.

President Kiir further said “we will stand by” Father Carlassare, who was chosen by the Pope to lead, arguing that the action of a few criminals should not be allowed to affect the plans of the ecclesiastical authority.”

The President concluded by wishing the Bishop-elect a quick recovery to enable him to return to his flock with renewed determination to serve the faithful in the Diocese.” “I wish him speedy recovery.

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.

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 Bishop collapsed during the celebration of Holy Eucharist on the morning of 16 July 2011, one week after South Sudan’s independence.

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