Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Simon Caldwell

9/25/2009 (6 years ago)

The Catholic Herald (UK) (

One of the men was tied to a tree and mutilated while six other victims were nailed to pieces of wood fastened to the ground and killed.


By Simon Caldwell

The Catholic Herald (UK) (

9/25/2009 (6 years ago)

Published in Africa

TOMBURA-YAMBIO, Sudan (UK Catholic Herald) - Marauding bands of guerrillas have crucified seven Christians during a series of raids on villages in Sudan.

One of the men was tied to a tree and mutilated while six other victims were nailed to pieces of wood fastened to the ground and killed.

Villagers who found their bodies near the town of Nzara said it was like a "grotesque crucifixion scene".

Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala of Tombura-Yambio has now appealed for international help to stop the attacks by members of the Lord's Resistance Army.

He said his government appeared powerless to prevent attacks by members of the guerrilla force based in northern Uganda. He spoke out after a spate of killings and abductions in two towns near the borders of the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In one instance guerrillas stormed into Our Lady Queen of Peace church in Ezo during a novena prayer and desecrated the Host, the altar and the building before abducting 17 people mostly in their teens and 20s. One of the captives was later tied to a tree and killed while 13 others in the group are still missing, according to Aid to the Church in Need, a charity helping persecuted Christians.

The bishop said the attack, which happened on the feast of the Assumption, was "a huge shock to us".

"It was hard to take in the fact that we were so exposed to such a risk," he said. "The attackers clearly wanted to harm the people because they knew they were at prayer.

"Afterwards people kept coming to me with such suffering in their eyes, begging me to do something about the situation - to get back their children and grandchildren who have disappeared."

Bishop Hiiboro said that the attack in Ezo was part of a cycle of violence that could only be broken with international cooperation "The government here cannot make a real difference to the Lord's Resistance Army problem," he said. "They kept promising that they had the issue under control but now we see the reality. Nobody is coming to our aid. We are asking those who are responsible in the international community to do something about it."

A week after the first attack six people were ambushed in a forest near to the town of Nzara and killed after they were nailed to pieces of wood fastened to the ground. At about the same time a further 12 people were abducted from a village close to Nzara.

Bishop Hiiboro responded by ordering three days of prayer, culminating in some 20,000 people walking more than two miles barefoot in sackcloth and ashes in silent protest at the alleged government inaction to increase security in the region. Government ministers from the state capital, Yambio, and Juba, the provincial capital of south Sudan, took part in the event and said they would try to increase the police presence in the region.

Bishop Hiiboro has also written to the government in Khartoum, the capital, to remind officials that under the civil war peace settlement the regime has a duty to protect the south of Sudan as well as the north.

Sudan is predominantly Muslim in the Arab north of the country but the black tribal people of the south are mostly either Christians or animists.

The Lord's Resistance Army has waged war against the Ugandan government since 1987 but often forays into other neighbouring African countries. It has a reputation for extreme violence including random murder, abduction, mutilation, sexual enslavement of women and children, and forcing children to participate in hostilities. The group is considered a terrorist organisation by the United States.

It was founded and is led by Joseph Kony. He has formed the guerrillas into a religious cult based on a blend of Christianity, traditional African religion and witchcraft. He claims to be a spokesman of God and a "medium" of the Holy Spirit.


More Africa

Pope Francis does the unthinkable following emotional tragedy in African Muslim community Watch

Image of Reported violence near a mosque Pope Francis is slated to visit in Central African Republic caused the pontiff to reply with an immediate


Reported violence near a mosque Pope Francis is slated to visit in Central African Republic caused the pontiff to reply with an immediate "Can I go (be with them)?" according to a bishop who was standing close by. Bangui, Central African Republic (CNA/EWTN News) ... continue reading

Pope Francis tells Ugandans to remember their saints and to live by their example Watch

Image of The Pope, speaking in Uganda says that openness extends not only to our loved ones, but to our enemies as well.

By Ann Schneible, CNA/EWTN News

Marking his first full day in Uganda with Mass to celebrate the nation's martyrs, Pope Francis said the call to be missionary disciples falls on all of us, whether at home or abroad, with our families or among our enemies. Kampala, Uganda (CNA/EWTN News) - "Like the ... continue reading

FULL TEXT: Pope Francis speaks to Kenyan youth, and how to avoid terrorist recruitment Watch

Image of The Pope Francis delivered lengthy, powerful answers with his own anecdotes, revealing that he carries a rosary and a pocket-sized Stations of the Cross with him every day, which he said keep him from losing hope.


An impassioned Pope Francis went off-the-cuff in a vast, widespread speech to Kenyan youth, touching on challenging topics such as how to stop youth from being recruited to terrorist activities. Nairobi, Kenya (CNA/EWTN News) - The encounter fell on the Pope's ... continue reading

A special look into the inspirational meeting between Pope Francis and Kenya's poor Watch

Image of


During his tri-nation visit to Africa this week, Pope Francis made a stop at a slum in Nairobi and praised those he met for their love of and emphasis on community and relationships - over what he called a vacuous, "unbridled consumption" that often plagues the West. ... continue reading

Will Pope Francis make a powerful change in Kenya? Watch

Image of Pope Francis arrives in Kenya -and chooses to spent time with the poor instead of rich Kenyan leaders.


Pope Francis arrived in Nairobi, Kenya today and has already ruffled feathers by choosing to join a resident of a Nairobi slum for dinner, rather than accepting President Uhuru Kenyatta's dinner invitation. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In an act worthy of his ... continue reading

'I had my hand on the door': Woman survives Mali hotel attack Watch

Image of Kathie Fazekas survived a terrorist attack at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Mali (ABC).


Following the Mali hotel attack that claimed the lives of 19 victims, Kathie Fazekas, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) employee, has stepped forward to reveal her terrifying experience with a gunman just outside her hotel door. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

Pope Francis to visit Africa: 'How do you reconcile mercy and war?' Watch

Image of Pope Francis will be visiting Africa from November 25 through November 30.


Pope Francis is set to tour three African countries -Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic - November 25-30. Pope Francis is expected to address the secular lifestyle, competing Christian faiths and violence on the continent. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading

MORE THAN 20 DEAD - Terrorists holding over 100 guests, staff hostage at luxury Malian hotel Watch

Image of Armed gunmen, at last count eight men brandishing AK-47s, quizzed hotel guests about their knowledge of the Koran before they freed 80 people.


Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists have seized the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, the capital city of the African nation of Mali. At least 20 people including, a Belgian worker, a French national and two Malian security guards are believed to have perished in the ... continue reading

The terrorist group MORE DEADLY than ISIS that you NEED to know about NOW! (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES) Watch

Image of Boko Haram is the deadliest militant group in the world (Getty Images).


Despite the recent Paris terror attacks and ISIS extremism in the Middle East and Africa, a new study released at the Institute of Economics and Peace at the University of Maryland found that the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram is the deadliest group in the world. ... continue reading

Was Queen Nefertiti's hidden tomb finally found? Two secret chambers may have been discovered in King Tut's tomb Watch

Image of Dr. Nicholas Reeves spotted what appeared to be a secret entrance, uncovering the


It's very exciting news for the archaeological world. Researchers at King Tutankhamen's tomb say there are new indications of hidden chambers that may be concealed by walls. Infrared thermography used to measure the temperature of each of the walls of the tomb ... continue reading

All Africa News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Opium, heroin or cocaine: What drug is YOUR country known for?
  • Pope Francis does the unthinkable following emotional tragedy in ...
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • 'Body lifted from the ground': Young Central American woman dies ...
  • St. Eligius: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, December 01, 2015
  • Daily Readings for Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 10:9-18
9 that if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 4:18-22
18 As he was walking by the Lake of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 30th, 2015 Image

St. Andrew
November 30: Andrew, like his brother Simon Peter, was a ... Read More