Jonglei ECSS faithful cautioned against violence amid a leadership wrangle
The police in Bor Town of Jonglei State have called on faithful to desist from violence as the row over a leadership position intensified among the Episcopal Church of South Sudan bishops in the state.
Last Tuesday, a brawl allegedly erupted in Bor after supporters of Bishop Ruben Akurdit attacked the residence of the newly appointed Episcopal Church Bishop commissary for Bor Diocese Rev. Panchol Kon Achiek, who is in Bor town to assume his duties.
Panchol was appointed in August to replace Akurdit defrocked over disobedience.
The appointment, however, has since been a point of tension among the faithful in Jonglei.
Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Thursday, Major-General Joseph Mayen, the state police commissioner, urged supporters of the two clergymen to desist from violence as efforts to resolve the leadership dispute are ongoing.
“Misunderstanding started after Rev. Panchol came to Bor. So, as police, we intervened by temporarily holding Rev. Panchol and Thomas Agou (Cathedral Dean) to avoid more problems among their followers. Then, it was also resolved in a meeting that the two rival bishops return to Juba for a solution to be found by Bor Community there,” he explained.
He added,” Come Sunday, we do not know what will happen among the two groups. But, as police, we want all worshippers to observe restraint.”
For his part, Rev. Panchol Kon, the new Bor Diocese Bishop Commissary, confirmed they will travel to Juba to resolve the tension.
He accused Bishop Akurdit of inciting the worshippers to maintain his position.
“As the new bishop commissary, my position is that I will serve my three months as directed by the authority,’ he stressed.
Reuben Akurdit, the embattled Bor Diocese Bishop, declined to comment when contacted by Radio Tamazuj.