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Western Equatoria Governor accused of masterminding ethnic cleansing

Juba, South Sudan,

June 02, 2021 – The Governor of Western Equatoria State Alfred Futuyo Karaba has been accused by some residents in Tobura County of colluding with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA-IO) to wipe out the Azande tribal group in Tombura County.

Western Equatoria Governor accused of masterminding ethnic cleansing
Governor of Western Equatoria State Alfred Futuyo Karaba (photo credit: courtesy)

In a document addressed to the Governor and copied to SPLM-IO Chairman Dr. Riek Machar, Kandi Kereyo, a concerned citizen claims that Mr. Futuyo has gone silent on all atrocities being perpetrated on a tribal basis alleging that the Governor was directly involved in orchestrating some of the incidents.

“On 21 June 2021, a small boy whose name is withheld, and who was kidnapped by SPLM-IO who came from Namutina (being protected in a secured location), has identified the names of the people who kidnapped him and those who are contributing and causing havoc in Tombura including your own name. He mentions your name as the supplier of logistics to SPLM-IO forces (the audio is available on social media),” part of the statement addressed to the Governor reads.

The report says five days after the above incident, two motorists from the Azande ethnic group fell prey to Balanda-filled SPLM-IO forces on their way from Wau to Tombura County.

“On 27 June 2021, two motorbike riders who were returning from Wau were arrested by Balanda ethnic composed SPLM-IO forces in Nagero, interrogated in Balanda language, however, because they were unable to speak the language and were identified as Azande ethnic individuals, they were killed,” the report says.

In another staggering revelation, the petition says a 13-year-old child who could not be named for ethical reasons, was gang-raped to death by the same SPLM-IO forces.

The incident came after Mr. William Inihe, a resident, and his entire family of six members was killed instantly by the SPLM-IO forces who came from and returned to Namutina.

This, according to the document, was followed by the killing of two students, who were allegedly gunned down based on their tribal identity by the SPLM-IO forces, who proceeded to burn over 300 grass houses to ashes forcing residents to seek refuge at a military barracks in Nagero.

The Governor was also accused of being silent when a committee he formed to investigate causes of violence in the county discovered slaughtered bodies.

“On 21 June 2021, the SPLM IO forces kidnapped people from Riiyubu of whom your Ministerial committee discovered 13 slaughtered bodies of some of the kidnapped people in Tambura (Giaara Boma),” part of the letter tells the minister.

Mr. Kereyo called on the Governor to form another independent committee including faith-based organizations to launch an investigation into the matters raised.

“Hon. Governor, you needed to set up a neutral body including people from the interfaith groups to go to investigate the situation in Tombura,” he said.

On 24th June, Eduardo Hijboro Kussala, the bishop of Tombura diocese told an international media agency that the reasons for the escalation of tension in the county have not been established.

“Nobody knows what the real reasons are for the clashes that are taking place in our County of Tombura and Ri-Yubu,” Eduardo was quoted by Agenzia Fides to have said.



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