Sudanese Cardinal Survives Assassination Attempt

Assailed on Feast of St. Comboni

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KHARTOUM, Sudan, OCT. 12 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop of Khartoum escaped unhurt from an assassination attempt that was directed at him on Sunday, the feast of St. Daniele Comboni.



The Catholic Information Service for Africa (CISA) reported today that during a Mass held at the Comboni playground in Khartoum, marking the anniversary of the 1881 death of St. Daniele Comboni, a man with a dagger posed as liturgical dancer and managed to come within a few steps of Archbishop Gabriel Cardinal Zubeir Wako.

The man was apprehended, and has been identified as Hamdan Mohamed Abdurrahman, an Arab of the nomadic Messiria tribe from Southern Kurdufan. He is in police custody as authorities determine his intentions and whether or not he was acting alone.

The master of ceremonies, Barnaba Matuech Anei, is reported to have been the one to spot the would-be attacker, and disarm him. He told CISA that the Church in Sudan will seek to "find out what was his mission [...] and why he did carry a dagger with him. After that, we will see what to do next.

"We must know his background and identity. If he has people backing him to carry out such actions in the church, we would like to know."
 
The Archdiocese of Khartoum celebrates the feast of St. Daniele Comboni every year, as the saint and founder of the Comboni Missionary Institute (1867) was also the first archbishop of Central Africa, which is currently the Archdiocese of Khartoum.

St. Comboni is also credited with bringing the first missionary sisters to Central Africa, and in 1872 he founded the Comboni Missionary Sisters. St. Daniel was beatified in 1996, and canonized in 2003.

Cardinal Wako is the seventh successor of St. Comboni, and the first Sudanese bishop to succeed Comboni as archbishop of Khartoum.