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Jonglei bishop forced to cancel trip over threat

By James Atem Kuir

Jonglei Internal Bishop allied to the Archbishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan (ECSS), Dr Justin Badi Arama has been forced tocancel a trip to Bor town after being threatenednot to set foot there by the embattledBishop Reuben Akurdid Ngong Akurdid.

Bishop Moses Anur Ayom was appointed to take over from Bishop Akurdid as Archbishop of Jonglei Internal Province (JIP)and bishop of the diocese of Bor who was fired last year after falling out with the primateover establishment of three additional dioceses.

Moses Anur was on Wednesday set totravel Bortoassessthe newly Synod approved dioceses of Chueikeer, Anyidi, Makuach and Jalle but Akurdid who is leading an independent faction of the ECSShe formed after the fallout- petitioned the state government saying there would be ‘repercussions’shouldbishopAnur and his accompanying delegation visit Bor.

In an interview with Juba Monitor yesterday, Bishop Moses Anursaid he eventually cancelled his mission to the Jonglei State capital after the governor and Bor County Commissioner advised him not to go to Borsaying it might result in ‘insecurity.’

“My mission to Bor town was cancelled yesterday (Wednesday) because I listened to the governor of Jonglei who told me that it may cause insecurity. I was also told not to goby the commissioner of Bor County who said my going there may cause another insecurity after the recent alleged shooting of Murle traders in Bor town. So, I listened to them because they are the authorities on the ground. They said they will work it out. I am just waiting for them to tell me when to go to Bor town,” he said.

After his defrocking last year, Akurdid dragged ECSS administration to court saying he was unfairly removed but the court returned the case to be handled by the church tribunal saying it did not have the authority to adjudicate spiritual disputes.

Akurdid was recently joined by disgruntled Bishop of Malek Diocese who was accused bythe ECSS led by Primate Badi of causing the long running dispute within the leadership of the Anglican Communion that had triggered bitter divisions among the church faithful in Bor town.

Akurdid had in June this yearfirst banished Bishop Moses Anur from the territory of Bor County after the latter was enthroned as the archbishop of JIP and bishop of Bor diocese.

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