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11 people arrested in Mingkaman among them two pastors

11 people arrested in Mingkaman among them two pastors
Church congregation matching in Mingkmanan during Christmas Eve. Courtesy photo.

Authorities in Awerial County in Lakes State say they have arrested eleventh church members from the Episcopal Church of South Sudan. The commissioner says those arrested instigated and involved in a physical confrontation that left three people injured on Sunday in Mingkaman. He said they were hit with sticks and nobody sustained serious injuries.

Hon. Simon Jok Geng is the commissioner of Awerial County. He said the fighting broke out after the two zone senior leaders held meeting in the church to resolved misunderstanding among them during Christmas matching procession.

Jok said the 11 people included two pastors are detained at military unit in Mingkaman and investigation is ongoing to establish the cause. Jok said he is the one who ordered military unit to separate the fighting and apprehended the culprits. “These people will face the law, and they will justify their actions before the law,”said Jok.

The bishop of Awerial Diocese his lordship David Akau Kuol has condemned the violence describing it as “disrespectful behavior” from his church members.

He said the church will discipline the two clergymen involved in the fight according to their church policies. “We have our discipline policies to punished people who have not followed the law of God and those who go contrary to the church doctrine” Akau said.

He promised to take action that would prevent such kind of violence from happening again.”We are still maintaining our integrity, and we will allow the law to take its course before the church to disciplined those found guilty” he added.

Last year the primate of the Episcopal Church in South Sudan rejected  high court ruling over the leadership dispute in Bor, Jonglei State, describing it as a wrong decision.

The ECSS congregations in Jonglei split following the defrocked of Bishop Reuben Akurdit as the Archbishop of Jonglei internal province.