On April 23, 2023, Governor Alfred Futuyo of WES sponsored some SSPDF and National Security Forces in Tombura to attack an armed group in Bambuti (Central African Republic (CAR).
On April 22, the governor sent his MI Officer Francis Chondo Bakata with a total amount of 20 million South Sudanese Pounds and ammunition to the SSPDF and National Security Commanders in Tombura and Source Yubu respectively. Francis traveled with 20 SPLA-IO Militia soldiers who are based in Rii-Rangu. After arrival in Tombura, Francis’ forces were joined by some SSPDF and National Security Forces in Tombura to go and carry out the sponsored mission in Bambuti.
On April 23, at 6am, the joint forces attacked the armed group in Bambuti but inflicted heavy casualties. Seven people died and several others were injured among them and were transported to Tombura for treatment.
Governor Futuyo is fighting the armed group across the border because they dislodged SELEKA and Ambororo from Bambuti. SELEKA and Ambororo are his allies that have been transporting and supplying ammunition from DRC and within South Sudan to his militia in Namatina and Bangaru Payams in Tombura County.
SELEKA participated in the inter-communal conflict that took place in Tombura in 2021 alongside the Balanda. Futuyo through an agreement, has been using these Islamist groups against the Azande tribe in WES since he came to power in June 2020. To back this fact, Bambuti is closest to Source Yubu where the disbanded Seleka would have easily sought refugee; however they decided to seek refuge to Namutina, Nagero, and Wau areas, after being disbanded from Bambuti.
It is clear that Futuyo has been collaborating with them as was evidenced when a Seleka fighting along the iO forces in Tambura that were targeting Azande population. Picture of the dead Seleka is available as it was circulated on social media at the time.
Since SELEKA seized power in Bambuti in 2016, they have closed the trade route between CAR and South Sudan and killed several Azande traders who tried to cross the borders into CAR and vice versa. This is what angered some Azande youth in CAR and they decided to form an armed group against them. The group calls itself “ANI KPI GBE” which literally means enough is enough…no more death.
This group is well known by the government of CAR; they are fighting to liberate their territory from UPC (SELEKA) and not to fight the government of South Sudan as claimed by the governor.
However, to fight ANI KPI GBE group, Futuyo launched propaganda that the group is fighting to form a nation; he also bribed the SSPDF and National Security Commanders in Tombura to send a false report to the army headquarters in Juba that ANI KPI GBE attacked the army barracks in Source Yubu on April 22. A fake report the local population denies.
As I speak now, the SPLA-IO MI Officer Francis Chondo Bakata is distributing ammunition to Futuyo’s militia in Bangaru and Namutina Payams within Tombura; he is also mobilizing the Balanda youth to join the militia, and giving each recruit 50,000SSP.
Yesterday, he delivered ammunition to Namutina; today he went to Bangaru using the national security vehicle. The Director of National Security in Tombura Mr. Philip is facilitating the movement of Francis in the county and the sponsored mission.
By: John Mandela, Civil Society Activist Based in Tombura, WES; email: email@example.com