• Noah Issa Philip

Clergyman and 3 church members murdered in Lainya County

The Archbishop of Internal Province of Central Equatoria state and Lainya diocesan bishop Paul Yugusuk said that parish Priest of Loka Archdeaconry Comas Kwaje Matayo was hand-picked up on Sunday, May 30th, 2021 by members of the SSPDF in Gumbri and then taken to where he and other Church members were killed.

“Rev. Cosmas Kwaje Matayo was arrested on Sunday 30th of May 2021 while presiding over Sunday service, together with four other church service members, Simon Taban a 10-year-old Sunday schoolboy, elder Moses Wani who is the chief in the area, and Lucky Ebidayo, an elder and headman in the area were all killed”. he stated in the video.

Moreover, Archbishop Paul Yugusuk has regretted informing all the Christians in central Equatoria state and Diocese of Lainya, particularly for the untimely death of their church clergy and other church members.

“I regret to inform the leadership and the Christians of Central Equatoria Internal Province and the Diocese of Lainya that Reverend Comas Kwaje Matayo was arrested on Sunday during a Sunday service together with four other church members,” Father Paul said.

Archbishop Paul Yugusuk has called on the South Sudan army leadership to investigate and examine what prompted the killing of church-ordained priest plus the three church members and hold the perpetrators accountable.

“I call upon the Chief of South Sudan people’s Defense Forces, General Santino Deng Wol, to immediately investigate the barbaric killing of clergy Comas Kwaje Matayo and the others and bring those undisciplined soldiers into books”.

Archbishop paul Yugusuk has also appealed to the South Sudan People’s Defense Force to release those who were detained by the army in the Gumbir barrack.

“I further call upon the release of those who were arrested and I offer my heartfelt condolence to the family, friends, and Pajulu community for the killing and loss of clerk Cosmas Kwaje Matayo and others may their souls rest in peace”. he added.

The motive behind the killing of the clergy and congregations remains unknown. An army spokesperson was not reached for the comments.

This is not the first time that the government soldiers have killed civilians in Loka, of Lainya county. In December last year, SSPDF arrested a number of people including women, children, and elderly people, and were beaten up and two people died of their beaten injures while no court marital for the arrest of the perpetrators went unheard.

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