By Gladys Fred Kole
Western Equatoria Governor has denied committing crimes levied against him and called on the United State Department of the Treasury to provide evidence over the latest sanctions.
Gen. Alfred Futuyo Karaba also threatened to take watertight legal suit against the institution.
United States on Tuesday sanctioned Maj. Gen James Nando of South Sudan People’s Defense Forces, and Gen. Alfred Futuyo, Western Equatoria Governor in relation to “conflict-related sexual violence.
In response, Futuyo out rightly rejected the report, saying, basing on the fact that from December 2013 to September 2018, South Sudan was in crisis, any of the crimes might have happened.
Governor Futuyo responded through a statement issued by his press secretary, Alex Daniel Digi that he has never directed any commander, force or soldier to attack, kill or rape a civilian in Western Equatoria.
The governor also defended that there has never been any complaint raised to the SPLA-IO base regarding rape or any of the crimes, which the high command would investigate.
“If Gen. James Nando or any soldier who might have used a sole power to execute any of such crimes during the conflict, he or she is responsible for it,” the statement partly read.
On Tuesday, June 20, 2023, the US Department of State in a statement alleged that “Forces under Futuyo’s command carried out numerous attacks in Western Equatoria that resulted in the abduction of 887 civilians, at least 43 were raped or gang raped.
“We referred to this report as a policy applied by the U.S. or other individuals to tarnish the image of Hon. Lt. Gen. Alfred Futuyo Karaba leadership in governance,” Futuyo’s mouthpiece said.
According to the US Department of States, Alfred Futuyo was designated pursuant to E.O 13664 for being responsible for or complicit in, or having engaged in, directly or indirectly in South Sudan.
“…targeting of women, children, or civilians through the commission of acts of violence including killings, maiming, torture, abduction, forced displacement or attacks on schools or location where civilians are seeking refugee or through the conduct of abuse or violation of human right or international humanitarian law,” the report reads in part.
Lt. Gen. Alfred Futuyo Karaba was a Sector-6 Commander of SPLA-IO in Western Equatoria from 2013 to 2020 before his appointment to a Governorship over the same area,
At that time, he called upon the U.S. Department of The Treasury to convey an investigation and list out the names of IO soldiers who might have committed those crimes.
He said, this would enable SPLA-IO Military Base Western Equatoria to free the suspects to face the law.
The governor’s office maintained the stance that if Gen. Alfred Futuyo was directly or indirectly involved in any of the crimes, the US should present evidence for him to take responsibility.
US Treasury Department said that the moves were the first results of a dedicated US government focus on conflict-related sexual violence, since President Joe Biden signed a memorandum on the issue last November.
As a result, property and interests in property of the designated individuals under US jurisdiction are blocked and US persons are also generally prohibited from transacting with the named people.
Meanwhile, Gen. James Nando said he is not aware of the sanctions.