Juba (Agenzia Fides) - Rev. Sr. Veronica Rackova, a member of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Spirit (SSPS), who was shot and seriously wounded in South Sudan, has died. Sr. Veronica was allegedly shot by Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers (the former rebel movement that took power after the country's independence in 2011) on Monday May 16.
Sister Veronica died on May 20 at the Nairobi Hospital in Kenya, where she had been flown on Monday morning for specialized treatment following the shooting incident.
According to information sent to Agenzia Fides, at around midnight on May 16, Sr. Veronica received an emergency call from a woman who had complications giving birth, which could not be dealt with at the health center that the sisters run, St Bakhita’s Medical Centre in Yei. She used St Bakhita’s ambulance to drive the woman to Harvester’s Health Center, a more specialized facility for women and children. She was midway on her way back when the incident occurred.
At the time of the incident, Sr. Veronica was alone in the ambulance because the driver had gone home. Sister Veronica had suffered serious injuries on her hip bone as well as numerous perforations on her intestines and other internal organs.
Sister Veronica was 58 years old. She previously worked in Ghana, before coming to South Sudan where she worked for 6 years.
The religious funeral will be held on May 26.
Three suspected SPLA Soldiers have been arrested and are being held by the police as investigations continue. The Secretary General of the Diocese of Yei, Fr. Emmanuel Sebit, believes that the death of the religious is due to "a tragic accident that has shocked the whole nation". Fr. Emmanuel said the unfortunate incident happened on the eve of anniversary celebrations to mark 30 years of the formation of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). Because of the celebrations, the army had been deployed in major towns for security reasons and they were mounting road blocks on major high ways. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 21/05/2016)