The Azande Youth Association has voiced deep concern regarding the escalating tensions between Governor Alfred Futuyo Karaba of Western Equatoria State and Jemma Nunu Kumba, the Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly. In response, the association has issued a heartfelt plea for both leaders to engage in a meaningful dialogue in order to resolve their differences.
The rift between Governor Futuyo and Speaker Kumba reached a critical juncture when, in a letter dated August 31, 2023, Governor Futuyo called upon President Salva Kiir Mayardit to remove Speaker Kumba from her position. The letter cited several grave allegations, including involvement in criminal projects, the Tambura massacre, incitement of border conflicts, and the killing of Chief Agbiamamu.
Governor Futuyo’s letter did not sit well with the Azande Youth Association.
Migbiakumba John, the Chairperson of the association, addressed the media in Juba on Saturday and shared their perspective on the matter.
John stated, “The Azande Youth Association has been made aware of a letter dated August 31, 2023, addressed to the President of the Republic of South Sudan by Gen. Alfred Karaba Futuyo, the Governor of Western Equatoria State, calling for the removal of the Rt. Hon. Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba from her current position.”
He continued, “Nevertheless, we, as the Azande Youth Association, have learned from the referenced letter that it contains imprecise and speculative information intended to tarnish and damage the image of the Azande Kingdom and indirectly besmirch our King.”
The Azande Youth Association emphasized the potential consequences of this escalating tension, expressing concerns that it could not only strain the relationship between the governor and the speaker but also foster division among the people of Western Equatoria. They also raised concerns about the impact on the personal and professional integrity of community leaders and Azande Youth Leaders.
The youth association acknowledged that they have been unable to obtain concrete evidence to substantiate the allegations made against Speaker Kumba. As a result, they have appealed to President Kiir to initiate a thorough investigation into Governor Futuyo’s claims.
“In the spirit of peace implementation,” John explained, “we recommend that the President of the Republic and the Vice Presidents investigate the Hon. Governor’s alleged misconduct, which has led to insecurity and a lack of political harmony in the state, for further scrutiny.”
In conclusion, the Azande Youth Association reiterated their commitment to promoting peaceful coexistence among communities in Western Equatoria State and the Republic of South Sudan as a whole. Their call for dialogue between Governor Futuyo and Speaker Kumba serves as a plea for unity and reconciliation in a time of uncertainty.