President Kiir directs authorities to investigate catholic bishop-elect shooting in Rumbek

Father Christian Carlassare in Rumbek Hospital on Monday, April 26, 2021 | Credit | Courtesy

The president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir has told authorities in Lakes State to investigate the shooting of the catholic bishop elect of Rumbek diocese.

Fr. Christian Carlassare shot in both legs in residence by unknown gunmen on Sunday night. He was flown to Kenya’s capital Nairobi on Tuesday for further treatment.  Sources says he is recovering from the wounds. 

President Kiir called for investigation and prosecution of those who were involved in the shooting.

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

Kiir wished the bishop elect a speedy recovery.

“If those who carried out this shameful act were doing so to intimidate the church, they are sadly mistaken. The catholic church  faithful Bishop Elect, Christian Carlassare was chosen to lead and authorities in Lake State will stand by him and will not allow action of few criminals to affect the plan of the ecclesiastical authority,”

The catholic archbishop of Juba diocese, Dr. Stephen Ameyu has reacted to the shooting of the bishop elect.

According to Catholic Radio Network, the religious leader has appealed to the government to restore peace in the country. He described the situation as “stressful” because of the insecurity affecting civilians.

Police have arrested 20 suspects in connection to this crime.

“Among the twenty people; seven are police officers and the rest are workers within the diocese including priests,” Capt. Elijah Mabor, area police spokesperson told Eye Radio.

The acting minister of Information and Communication, William Kocji Kerjok condemned the attack  of the bishop elect which he considered as assassination attempt.  

“This case is so special and we are treating it as politics within the Catholic Church itself. And this one of the Bishop seems to be something within his administration because he is very new to the place and he has no problem with anyone but he was shot on target,” the minister said in an interview with Radio Tamazuj. 

Fr. Carlassare was elected to lead the diocese of Rumbek in March, 2021. This position has been vacant since 2011.