JUBA – The Bishop-elect for Rumbek Diocese, Christian Carlassare, was shot last night in South Sudan’s Lakes State by unknown gunmen, according to state official.
Lakes State Caretaker Minister of Information, William Kocji Kerjok said the bishop is now nursing bullet wounds at Cuamn hospital in Rumbek, in Lakes State.
“The bishop-elect was shot last night. He has been attacked by a group of people whom we still don’t know. Two people according to the bishop shot him in his room,” Kocji said this morning from Rumbek.
Kocji said that plans are underway to airlift the bishop to Kenya’s capital Nairobi for further treatment.
“Right now, he is in Rumbek and in good condition but there are plans to take him for further treatment in Nairobi,” Kerjok said.
Kerjok described the attack as a targeted assault on bishop-elect.
“It was a targeted attack. They went directly to the door, they knocked the door and started shooting the door until it opened and they reached him, ordered him to sit down and shot him on the leg,” he explained.
He disclosed that the police have arrested suspected people within the church compound and that investigations are underway.
“The police and other security organs have arrested people within the compound and more arrests will continue because we need to know exactly what is happening within the Catholic Church of the Diocese of Rumbek,” he said.
A source from the church in Rumbek who did not want to be named twenty-four (24) people have so far been arrested in connection with the shooting.
Lakes State caretaker Minister of Information, William Kocji Kerjok said the state is working to end the violence against the church leaders once and for all
“This is not the first time for this kind of a thing where senior church members are targeted, two years ago, one of the senior pastors was killed in Cuei-bet County and this time they launched an attack on the new bishop,” Said Kocji.
The Italian born Comboni Missionary Cleric was appointed Bishop for Rumbek Dioceses on March 8.
His Episcopal ordination was scheduled for a Pentecost Sunday May 23
He travelled to Rumbek Diocese April 15 following days of spiritual retreat in South Sudan’s capital, Juba.
Rumbek Diocese became vacant in July 2021 following the sudden death of Bishop Caesar Mazzolari.
The comboni Missionary Bishop collapsed during the celebration of Holy Eucharist in July 2011; one week after South Sudan’s Independence and was confirmed dead at Rumbek State Hospital.