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Archbishop of South Sudan responds to violent attacks in Christian diocese

by Chantalle Edmunds

The Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, the Most Reverend Dr Justin Badi Arama has condemned attacks in the country that have left dozens killed and wounded.

The Diocese of Abyei sits in the most northern part of South Sudan and is an area that has experienced harassment, intimidation and frequent attacks carried out by Arab Islamist militias. 

Responding to an attack over the weekend, the Bishop of Abyei, Rt Rev Michael Deng Bol, wrote: "I want to inform you that a village of Dungob-Alei 5km north-east of Abyei town has been barbarically attacked by militiamen of Sudan since around 5.30am on Sunday 16 May, killing 13 people and wounding eight others. The fighting is still continuing up to now (late Monday night)."

In 2020, two villages under 20km from Abyei town were also attacked in the same way, with 38 killed and 22 wounded, together with the abduction of 17 children and burning down of 77 houses, including prayer centres and medical facilities, as reported by the Anglican Communion.

The Most Reverend Dr Justin Badi Arama called the attacks barbaric and has called for an end to the violence, which he said was "by the few - in a country where Christians and Muslims live side by side."

"Your prayers for the people of the Diocese of Abyei are requested along with prayers for wisdom and protection for Bishop Michael Deng Bol as he ministers in this situation," he added.

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