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     Home > Politics  >  2014-03-07 18:06:17
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Catholic Mission at Leer in South Sudan looted and set on fire by government troops

Reports from South Sudan say a Catholic Mission run by Comboni Missionaries at Leer in Unity State was attacked and looted by government troops who later burnt down what they could not take. Some of the missionaries were detained by the soldiers and others hid in the houses of the faithful. The detained priests and nuns were released a few days ago. They were transported to the capital, Juba, by the United Nations mission in the country in a helicopter. One missionary told Vatican Radio that the mission was completely destroyed. Humanitarian agencies that had been operating in the area were also forced to leave after their premises were attacked and looted by government troops before being set on fire. Through Vatican Radio, the missionaries expressed gratitude to the faithful and other people of good will who provided them with accomodation, food and security during the difficult moments.
One missionary wrote an E-mail to Vatican Radio saying when the attack took place he escaped with nothing, but managed to pick the Blessed Sacrament from the tabenacle and a statue of Our Lady of Apparecida, and disappeared in the bush for his life. Unity State is inhabited mainly by the Nuer ethnic group. It is one of the battle zones between the troops of the government of South Sudan and rebels loyal to former Vice President, Riek Machar. The current conflict in South Sudan started last year on December 15th as a power struggle within the ruling Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement Party between President Salva Kiir and Mr. Riek Machar. It soon spread to different parts of the country taking with it ethnic undertones. Since then President Kiir's ethnic group, the Dinka, and Machar's tribe, the Nuer, have targeted each other.


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