Bishop-Elect In South Sudan Shot

The bishop-elect for South Sudan’s Rumbek Diocese was shot last night and is nursing bullet wounds at a local health facility, multiple sources have told ACI Africa.

“Our Bishop-elect was shot last night. He is currently receiving treatment at CUAMM hospital in Rumbek,” a source told ACI Africa on Monday, referencing the health facility under the auspices of the Italy-based non-governmental organization Doctors with Africa CUAMM.

Fr. Christian Carlassare, MCCJ, was appointed as bishop-elect for the diocese on March 8, filling a vacancy that lasted for almost a decade.

“The incident happened at 12:45 last night. I heard the Father (Bishop-elect) shouting,” Fr. Andrea Osman of Rumbek Diocese, who was in his room next door to Carlassare when the shooting occured, told ACI Africa.

“The two people were armed. I tried to knock the door of my door from inside so that I can scare them away, but they didn’t seem bothered,” Fr. Andrea said. He added that the armed men targeted the bishop-elect, a testimony confirmed by the head of logistics for the diocese, Abenego Marol, who was also fired upon.

“The armed men targeted his (Carlassare’s) room. They knocked the door and started shooting the door till they broke it. They shot the door till it opened,” Marol told ACI Africa, adding, “After they shot the Bishop, they ran away. It is really a targeted shooting.”

In his recounting of the events, Fr. Andrea told ACI Africa of the armed men, “When they saw me, they told me to go away. One of them fired two bullets at me.” The shots landed on the chair behind him.

Fr. Andrea added, making reference to the bishop-elect, “I think they shot him three bullets, two on one leg and the other one on the other leg. This is what happened. He was shot in front of his door.”

Carlassare is in a stable condition, a source said, citing a doctor who is attending to the bishop-elect. He added that doctors have controlled the heavy bleeding.

Plans are underway to airlift the bishop-elect to Kenya’s capital of Nairobi, through the services of the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), a source involved in the evacuation told ACI Africa.

The episcopal ordination of Carlassare, the Italian-born Comboni Missionary priest, was scheduled to take place on Pentecost Sunday, May 23.