AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - After the release of the main suspect, Bishops call for a “thorough investigation” into the attack on Bishop Carlassare

Friday, 19 April 2024 bishops   violence  

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - "We ask the authorities to ensure a thorough investigation into this incident and to bring those responsible to justice", say the Catholic Bishops of Sudan and South Sudan, who have jointly called on the authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into the shooting of the Bishop of Rumbek Christian Carlassare on 25 April, 2021 (see Fides, 26/4/2021).
Meanwhile, the former diocesan coordinator of the Diocese of Rumbek, Father John Mathiang Machol, was initially sentenced to seven years in prison by the Juba High Court in 2023 for his involvement in the attack on Bishop Carlassare.
However, last month the Supreme Court overturned the priest's conviction after his defense lawyer Malith Jokthiang said the court had found no evidence against his client.
Last Tuesday, April 16, the local bishops announced the suspension of Father Machol “a divinis” in accordance with canon law.
The President of the Bishops' Conference and Archbishop of Juba, Cardinal Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla, told the press in Juba that the Church stands in solidarity with Bishop Carlassare following the release of Father Machol. "We express our deep solidarity with our confrere, Bishop Christian Carlassare of Rumbek, following the recent release of Father John Mathiang Machol, the main suspect in the attempted murder of the bishop three years ago," he said.
The bishops condemned the "cruel act of violence" against Bishop Carlassare and called on the authorities to ensure a thorough investigation in order to bring those responsible to justice. "We condemn in the strongest possible terms the cruel act of violence against a church clergyman. Attacks on religious representatives have no place in a just and peaceful society." (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 19/4/2024)