Release of 9 Church Workers in Southern Kordofan

March 23, 2007 (Juba Post)

The SPLA in the Nuba Mountains (Southern Kordofan) have finally released 9 Church Workers who are followers of the ex-ECS bishop Peter Birish.

The former bishop of Kadugli had been dismissed by the Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS). He has formed a new entity. This confirms Shogi Butrus, Secretary General and Legal Advisor of the Kadugli Diocese, to the Juba Post.

The detained church workers were arrested about 20 days ago. The reasons for their detention are still unclear. But according to the ECS, the 8 men and 1 lady  were arrested for bringing in unlicensed medicines.

They also wanted to open a pharmacy and a Health Center without consulting the concerned authorities in the area, says Shogi Butrus. He says that the SPLA warned them in advance, but they continued with their activities.

The dismissal of Peter Birish for inappropriate relations have caused the ECS troubles over the past years, including an attempt by his followers to seize the ECS-Cathedral in Khartoum.

Butrus also says that the SPLA in the Nuba Mountains accused the men of working in the interest of the National Congress Party. He adds that these people are from the Moro-tribe in the Nuba-mountains (Gotorola clan of Birish).

According to Butrus the men involved are not trained to become priests or to preach the Gospel of Christ. The State controlled Sudan Media Centre released the names of the 9 detained 'priests' wrongly identified as members of the 'Orthodox Church in the Nuba Mountains'.

It adds that the nine men were arrested by SPLA Colonel Dawood Ashia of the 25th Brigade at Korji (Kadugli County). In an anonymous declaration the SMC claims that the men were 'mistreated and tortured
at Korji prison'.

It doesn't mention a source. The following names of detainees were released: Stephan Al Ful, Unan Al Jibna, Stephanos Hassan, Mujos Kamandor, Amanwil Kori, Elia Al Nadir, Adam Kua, Abdallah Mohamed Jabo and Awas Abdel Rahim.


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