In a startling revelation, Western Equatoria State Governor Gen. Alfred Futuyo Karaba has called for the immediate removal of the Speaker of the national parliament, Jemma Nunu Kumba.
He faults her for allegedly being involved in various grave offenses, including criminal projects, the Tambura massacre, instigating border wars, and the killing of Chief Agbiamamu.
Gen. Futuyo’s assertions were detailed in a letter dated 31 August 2023 and addressed to President Salva Kiir which Radio Tamazuj has seen. The letter was also copied to United Nations agencies and the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In the letter, Gen. Futuyo accuses Speaker Kumba, who holds a position of significant authority as the leader of the second-highest institution in the country, of committing numerous atrocities in Western Equatoria State.
“This can be traced back to 2008 when Hon. Jemma Nunu was appointed as Governor of Western Equatoria State and she initiated a tribal downsizing of civil servants from Maridi and Mundri counties, adversely affecting the Baka and Muro ethnic groups to this day,” he charged.
Futuyo also accused Kumba of involvement in the killing of school-going children at Nakpangau Primary School in 2009.
“These school children had participated in several events during the celebration of the CPA and they deserved to be paid but when these school children sought their promised payments, Jemma ordered the military to shoot and kill them,” he wrote.
Furthermore, Governor Futuyo asserted that Speaker Kumba’s actions are driven by a divisive agenda, aiming to establish a new nation exclusively for her tribe, known as the “Azande Nation.” This new nation, according to the governor, would encompass parts of the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and South Sudan.
The letter also accused Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba of inciting tribal conflict in Tambura resulting in the loss of hundreds of lives and the displacement of thousands of women and children. 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.
“In 2021, Rt. Hon. Jemma Nunu Kumba initiated a massacre project in Tambura between Azande and Balanda, resulting in many casualties and the displacement of thousands of women and children,” the document signed by Gen. Futuyo states, “Nunu mobilized the Avungara clan in Tambura, providing them with ammunition and funds to start the war. Several investigation committees sent to Tambura consistently report the same findings.”
“In 2023, Rt. Hon. Nunu initiated inter-border warfare along the borders of South Sudan, CAR, and DRC and formed a rebel group called Community Patriotic Front (CPF) in South Sudan and Ani Kpi Gbe in CAR and DRC,” the letter added.
According to Futuyo, Kumba seeks to establish a country out of lands inhabited by Azande people in South Sudan, DRC, and CAR with the proposed name ‘Zandeland.’
“Nunu has mobilized young people from DRC, CAR, and South Sudan, where this conflict started,” he stated.
Gen. Futuyo further claimed that the recent killing of a trader and chief in Yambio was orchestrated by Speaker Kumba. He argued 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. The second reason for the killing of the chief, according to Futuyo, was the chief’s refusal to endorse and support the idea of creating a Zande nation.
Governor Futuyo wrote Kiir that being the third most senior government official in the country, while advocating for the creation of a new nation that would annex parts of South Sudan, was not tenable. He alleged that this pursuit had resulted in the loss of 480 lives.
He went further to list 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 being directly involved in border conflicts aimed at territorial expansion for the ‘Zandeland’ nation, for operationalizing Kumba’s plans.
Other high-profile individuals Futuyo accused of being associated with Kumba and her plans and supporting the creation of ‘Zandeland’ include Dr. Kennedy Gaaniko, the SPLM state chairperson who is also the deputy governor, Tambura County Commissioner Mathew Mabenge, Ezo County Commissioner Abel Sudani, Suzana Perembata, a TNLA member, and Ezo Paramount Chief Sultan Ture, among others.
Futuyo expressed dismay that his deputy, Gaaniko Kennedy, was reportedly hindering security personnel from intervening and said that Kumba and her associates had mobilized criminals who were terrorizing the state.
Governor Futuyo recommended that President Kiir dispatch a fact-finding committee to investigate and address the matter. He also proposed the instant removal of Speaker Kumba and the institution of legal action against her saying that the ICC should hold Kimba accountable for her alleged role in waging wars against neighboring countries.
He called upon the governments of DRC and CAR to acknowledge that the border conflict, which has seen many dead at their borders, was initiated by Kumba. He further urged the foreign affairs ministers of South Sudan, DRC, and CAR to closely investigate these border wars for which he faults the Speaker.
Efforts to reach Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba for comment on this developing story were unsuccessful.