Religious flee fighting in South Sudan

Malakal ‘razed’ by fresh clashes

Bishops and religious of a flashpoint diocese in South Sudan have been forced to flee by fighting there.

According to Msgr Roko Taban Mousa, Apostolic Administrator of the northern Diocese of Malakal, intense fighting between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebel fighters has left the area devastated.

“We have lost everything, all our possessions,” Msgr Mousa reported. “Many of our churches, homes and so on have been razed to the ground, and everything has been looted.”

The monsignor further reported that all priests and religious have now left the diocese for their own safety, while the remaining four bishops were laying plans to follow as The Irish Catholic went to press. He added that civilians who have fled the fighting are now in dire need of food and emergency supplies.

South Sudan has been affected by civil conflict since December and a January ceasefire has been largely ignored.