Allegations of Atrocities and Territorial Ambitions: Governor’s Explosive Call for Speaker’s Removal Shakes South Sudan
In a shocking revelation, Gen. Alfred Futuyo Karaba, the Governor of Western Equatoria State, has made a compelling call for the immediate removal of Jemma Nunu Kumba, the Speaker of the national parliament. Gen. Futuyo has levelled serious accusations against Speaker Kumba, including her alleged involvement in a range of grave offences. These accusations encompass criminal projects, the Tambura massacre, instigating border conflicts, and the tragic killing of Chief Agbiamamu.
The startling details of Gen. Futuyo’s assertions are outlined in a letter dated August 31, 2023, addressed to President Salva Kiir. Radio Tamazuj has obtained a copy of this significant document, which was also sent to United Nations agencies and the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In the letter, Gen. Futuyo squarely accuses Speaker Kumba, who holds a position of immense authority as the leader of the second-highest institution in the country, of committing numerous atrocities in Western Equatoria State. He traces these allegations back to 2008 when Hon Jemma Nunu assumed the role of Governor of Western Equatoria State. According to the Governor, she initiated a tribal downsizing of civil servants from Maridi and Mundri counties, which had a lasting adverse impact on the Baka and Muro ethnic groups.
Gen. Futuyo further accuses Kumba of being involved in the tragic killing of school-going children at Nakpangau Primary School in 2009. These children had participated in various events during the celebration of the CPA and were entitled to receive promised payments. However, when they sought their rightful compensation, Jemma allegedly ordered the military to open fire, resulting in their deaths.
Governor Futuyo goes on to assert that Speaker Kumba’s actions are driven by a divisive agenda aimed at establishing a new nation exclusively for her tribe, known as the “Azande Nation.” This proposed nation would encompass parts of the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and South Sudan.
The letter also accuses Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba of inciting tribal conflicts in Tambura, leading to the loss of hundreds of lives and the displacement of thousands of women and children. Gen. Futuyo alleges that Kumba is closely associated with a group known as “Ani kpi gbe,” which translates to “We have died enough” in the Azande language.
He further claims that in 2021, Speaker Kumba initiated a massacre project in Tambura between Azande and Balanda communities, resulting in significant casualties and the displacement of numerous individuals. Nunu allegedly mobilized the Avungara clan in Tambura, providing them with ammunition and funds to start the war. Multiple investigation committees sent to Tambura consistently reported similar findings.
In 2023, according to Gen. Futuyo, Kumba initiated inter-border warfare along the borders of South Sudan, CAR, and DRC, forming a rebel group called Community Patriotic Front (CPF) in South Sudan and Ani Kpi Gbe in CAR and DRC. All of these actions, he claims, are part of her endeavor to establish the ‘Zandeland’ nation on lands inhabited by Azande people in South Sudan, DRC, and CAR.
Gen. Futuyo further alleges that the recent killing of a trader and chief in Yambio was orchestrated by Speaker Kumba. He argues that the slain chief played a crucial role in supporting Joseph Bakosoro’s candidacy and subsequent victory in the 2010 election, which had led to Nunu’s electoral defeat. Another reason for the chief’s murder, according to Futuyo, was his refusal to endorse and support the idea of creating a Zande nation.
Governor Futuyo emphasizes the incongruity of the Speaker, the third most senior government official in the country, advocating for the creation of a new nation that would annex parts of South Sudan. He claims that this pursuit has resulted in the loss of 480 lives.
He goes further to implicate senior army commanders like Gen. Patrick Raphael Zomoi, the former governor of the defunct Tambura State, and Brig. General James Nando of the SSPDF, whom he accuses of direct involvement in border conflicts aimed at territorial expansion for the ‘Zandeland’ nation.
Other high-profile individuals, according to Futuyo, are associated with Kumba and her plans to create ‘Zandeland.’ These individuals include Dr. Kennedy Gaaniko, the SPLM state chairperson and deputy governor, Tambura County Commissioner Mathew Mabenge, Ezo County Commissioner Abel Sudani, TNLA member Suzana Perembata, and Ezo Paramount Chief Sultan Ture, among others.
Governor Futuyo expresses dismay that his deputy, Gaaniko Kennedy, is reportedly obstructing security personnel from intervening, and he alleges that Kumba and her associates have mobilized criminals who are terrorizing the state.
In light of these grave allegations, Governor Futuyo recommends that President Kiir dispatch a fact-finding committee to investigate and address the matter. He also calls for the immediate removal of Speaker Kumba and the institution of legal action against her. He insists that the ICC should hold Kumba accountable for her alleged role in waging wars against neighboring countries.
Furthermore, he calls upon the governments of DRC and CAR to acknowledge that the border conflict, which has claimed many lives at their borders, was initiated by Kumba. He urges the foreign affairs ministers of South Sudan, DRC, and CAR to closely investigate these border wars for which he faults the Speaker.
Efforts to obtain Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba’s comments on this developing story have been unsuccessful. Below, you can find the full text of Governor Futuyo’s letter to President Kiir for your reference.