JUBA – South Sudan army has said in a statement this afternoon that it is ‘highly unlikely’ that its members are responsible for the killing of Church worshipers in Central Equatoria state County of Lainya over the weekend and said the practice ‘bore hallmarks’ of the National Salvation Front led by General Thomas Cirilo Swaka.
Archbishop of Central Equatoria state Internal Province Paul Yugusuk said armed men dressed in military fatigues raided and arrested Pastor Comas Kwaje Matayo who was a Parish Priest at Gumbri on Sunday.
He said others who were also arrested along with the pastor include a 10-year-old Sunday school boy who was also killed in cold blood on Monday.
In a statement this afternoon, the SSPDF said it is unlikely that its members carried out the killings, but then offered condolence over the gruesome murder.
“SSPDF top leadership noted with great concern accusations leveled against forces deployed in Lainya County of Central Equatoria State,” the statement extended to Sudans Post reads in part.
“Although it’s highly unlikely that own forces were responsibility, the Chief of Defense Forces takes this opportunity to pass his heartfelt condolences to bereaved Families as well as promised to conduct a thorough investigation,” it added.
It went on to suggest that the killers maybe members of National Salvation Front (NAS), a holdout opposition group led by General Thomas Cirilo Swaka, of being behind the killing that has sparked outrage among the public and the Church.
“Finally, it’s worth bringing to attention of the leadership of Internal Province of Episcopal Church that picking up and gruesome killings bore hallmarks of NAS’ clandestine activities in Greater Lainya County,” the statement concluded