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27 arrested in wake of violent clashes in Bor Episcopal Church

Police in Jonglei State has arrested 27 individuals following Sunday’s fighting between two opposing camps in the Episcopal Church of St. Peter’s Parish in Bor town.

Maj.Gen.Elia Costa, the police commissioner of Jonglei state, said on Tuesday that James Deng Aker, the Bishop of Makuach Diocese and Samuel Maridi, the pastor in charge of St. Peter’s parish in Langbaar are among the 27 suspects in police custody.

“The incident happened on Sunday, the bishop of Makuach dioceses came to Langbaar parish, claiming that the parish is under him but people reacted, they could not allow him to come to their church, they started fighting until we intervened,” he told The Juba Echo on Tuesday by phone.

James Deng Aker, the Bishop of Makuach Diocese backs the defrocked Archbishop; Ruben Akurdit Ngong while Samuel Maridi supports Moses Anur Ayom, the incumbent Archbishop of Jonglei ECSS internal province.

The Anglican Church in Jonglei split in August 2020 when the church’s Primate Justin Badi Arama defrocked Bishop Reuben Akurdit Ngong accusing him of canonical disobedience for rejecting suspension a year earlier.

Akurdit disagreed with Arama’s actions, arguing that the latter did not follow lawful procedure to relieve him from church duties.

The enraged Akurdit later filed a lawsuit at Juba high court that overturned the decision of Arama to relieve him of his canonical duties.

However, the high court dismissed the case after advising the two conflicting parties to solve the dispute through the church tribunal.

Last year, President Salva Kiir held a meeting with the leaders from Bor community in Jonglei state in a bid to resolve the ongoing dispute in Jonglei Internal Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan.

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