News, Western Equatoria State

Tambura MPs speak out on alleged violence

By William Madouk

Lawmakers hailing from Balanda have bitterly dismissed an allegation that their community, alongside other armed groups had been fighting the Azande people.

This comes after an April 26 and 28 reports by some MPs from Western Equatoria who alleged that Balanda community is supported by state authorities, some element from neighboring Congo, and Central Africa Republic to fight Azande people.

The MPs who are mostly from the ruling SPLM party, previously criticized the leadership of the governor of Western Equatoria state, Alfred Fututyo Karaba.

They demanded for the dismissal of the governor, linking him to be behind the unprecedented inter-communal violence that claimed lives of many civilians and destroyed properties.

In additions, they recommended swapping of Western Equatoria State leadership under SPLM-IO with other political parties such as SPLM-IG and SSOA, to address the insecurity issues facing the state.

Reacting to the matter, Pascal Bandindi, on behalf of Greater Tambura, trashed the said joint forces between Balanda, Seleka and Ambororo.

Hon. Bandindi stated that fact-checks revealed photo of a Seleka fighter killed in Sahel region.

“We are profoundly concerned that innocent Balanda Community is being labeled as conspirators with Seleka, Ambororo, etc., an allegation that we know is nothing but a fallacy of assumption as there is no evidence because none exists.” Bandindi said.

“The alleged so-called photo of a Seleka fighter said to have been shot and killed in Tambura was sent to Balanda diaspora for verification through electro-micro imaging teste and the image identified as taken in 2016 in one of Sahel region,” he added.

They appealed to their fellow lawmakers to shun tribal politics and unnecessary blame on the state government and instead focus on peace among communities.

“We MPs at the National Legislative Assembly should rise above tribal tendencies and shun all forms of hate speech,” he noted.

He called on his fellow MPs who demanded for removal of Futuyo to be patient till elections come, adding that the governor was appointed based on the agreement representing SPLM-IO as peace partner not on tribal basis as construed.

“The swapping of states for governors is negotiable matter, not a press release syndrome which has been new political propaganda aimed to unseat Hon, Futuyo,” MP Bandindi tells off disgruntled MPs.

Mr. Bandindi further appealed to the church and UNMISS to speed up the peace conference between the two communities in order to have comprehensive peace.

“We strongly call upon the Sudan Council of Churches [SCC] and United Nations Mission in South Sudan [UNMISS] to expeditiously complete the required preparation for the launch and convening of the delayed Peace and Reconciliation Conference to resolve the inter-communal conflict between the Azande and Balanda.”

According to him, the condemnation of SSPDF forces by discontented MPs earlier is very ‘unfortunate’, asserting that the military doctrine is on security and to defend territories without any bias.



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