National, News

Four injured in Church demolition protest

By Bida Elly David

At least four people were wounded on Tuesday after security officers open fire on Nakasongola Church members protesting a demolition exercise near South Sudan parliamentary building.

Police spokesperson, Gen. Daniel Justin said the gunshots started after a strange man, believed to have been a member of the church appeared and started firing at the security officers.

“As a result, four people got wounded: one police officer was shot at the shoulder, and national security personnel were shot in the hand. A civilian was shot in the stomach and another in the head,’’ he said.

The police spokesperson stated that the man was neither apprehended nor identified, as he escaped after the act.

The police have launched an investigation to arrest the unidentified man.

The wounded civilians were rushed to the hospital in critical condition, and they are yet to receive a report from the hospital.

The Church and the parliament had a historical dispute over the land that formerly took them to court for legal process to claim the title deed, but the final ruling favored the parliament, according to Gen. Justin.

He said the church was formerly informed and given an interval of time by the court to evict and empty the holy building, but they resisted.

“I am not sure if the church was compensated or not, but I heard they were compensated and given a plot of land by the government,’’ he said.

“If there was an appeal, the order of demolition would not have been implemented until receiving the results. Whenever there are decisions from the court, both sides are informed of what next to do,” he said.

He said that there were no damages caused in the area or in the market since the incident only affected the main road and the circumference of the church where the exercise was.

On her part, a woman who identified herself as the wife of the pastor in charge of the church said they were threatened last Friday by military officers allegedly sent by the government to evict the church on Monday.

The woman in her narrative said they have been fellowshipping in the Church for a number of years without being threatened.

She criticized the authority for demolishing the church, saying that they (the government) would face the consequences of putting the Lord on trial.

“We asked them why they wanted to demolish the House of the Lord where Christians have been praying for 48 years. If this church was to be laid down, it would have happened during the Arab regime,’’ she said.

She accused CES state governor Emmanuel Adil and parliament speaker Nunu Kumba of bribing the officers to breakdown the church.

“Nunu Kumba was called to attend the court case outside the country, but she never went. As a government, she used force and wanted to use the church plot as a marketplace,’’ the woman alleged.

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