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SSPDF denies alleged killing of church members in Lainya

By Yiep Joseph

South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) denied the alleged killing of four church members from Lainya County that were killed on Sunday last month.

The Archbishop of the internal province of Central Equatoria State and Lainya diocesan bishop Paul Benjamin Yugusuk laid bare blame on the SSPDF for the murder of four church members over the weekend in Lainya.

“Four people including the parish priest of Gumbiri Parish of Loka Archdeaconry, Diocese of Lainya were hand-picked while presiding over Sunday services,” Yugusuk said.

In an interview with Juba Monitor, the SSPDF spokesperson Lul Ruai Koang denied the allegation and termed it untrue.

“The alleged killing of worshippersin Lainya by us untrue, what we know there was a problem at Gumbiri which is two hours walk from Lainya town and it is inhibited by the NAS, it had no church, only plastic shelters used by rebels,” Lul said

“Accusation and location do not corelate at all,” he complained.

He added military reinforcement cannot be used as a base for making baseless allegation to level accusation on SSPDF

“Most parts of Lainya are considered as operational zones and we do normal reinforcement to our forces depending on the level of threat that is being posed against our forces and civilians in the area, so that should not be used as a scapegoat. Our forces did not kill anyone, what happened was a small engagement between the NAS and our arm forces “ Lul said.

“If the church is doubting us, we are ready to launch joint investigation comprising of representatives from the church and go to the area of the incident,” he said.

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