A ‘vicious’ attack on Nuns at a teachers training college in South Sudan has greatly distressed and saddened a Church a church official said. Bishop Edward Hiiboro Kussala of Tombura-Yambio said Violence and fear-mongering seem “rampant in both Church and society” in the north-east African country.
Noting that “not a day seems to go by without a news story that sends shivers down my spine,” Bishop Kussala said in a statement that he was devastated at recent attacks, including that on the religious sisters.
Five unknown armed men attacked and threatened religious sisters at the Solidarity Teacher Training College in Yambio, on Monday December 28.
The unmasked men climbed the fence around the Solidarity Teacher Training College in Yambio, just after the students had gone to bed, confronted the Nuns just as they were locking up for the night and demanded phones,guns, computers, money and cash. Although the Nuns were very cooperative, the armed men were still physically aggressive speaking English and Azande.
Director of Solidarity with South Sudan,De La Salle Brother Bill Firman,said in a statement , “Of course the sisters had no guns, but handed over the other items” and the men drove away in two cars, It was clearly a planned attack, but the assailants were not familiar with the compound,” he said, noting that it was “a very traumatic incident, but there were no casualties.”
Bishop Kussala called on the people of faith to “demand that our political representatives find ways to implement an August peace agreement signed by Kiir, Machar and other stakeholders and to work toward ending the “senseless violence.”
A deep sense of tragedy “hangs in the air and, in addition to praying for the perpetrators, those killed, injured, harmed and all of their families, I find myself lamenting the lack of progress” in ending the attacks, the Bishop said.
Considering religious leaders’ attempts to induce gun control, Bishop Kussala said “our awareness of the massiveness of the task should not lead us to give up in despair but encourage us to do what we can, where we are, with what we have.”
“We are called more than ever to be witnesses of hope,” he said.
President Kiir called for peace and reconciliation in his country after attending a prayer service at St. Teresa Cathedral in Juba on 27th December. The President further urged church leaders, other faith-based and civil societies to help his government establish and maintain peace, reconciliation and forgiveness.
More than 100 people have been killed since May in Western Equatoria, which until then had been relatively peaceful in war-torn South Sudan. In early December, violent battles erupted between armed groups in Yambio.