JUBA — A South Sudan holdout opposition group is alleging that a militia group from Western Bahr el Ghazal state allied to First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny’s SPLM-IO is behind the escalating violence in Western Equatoria state.
Since start of this week, violence has been flaring up in several parts of Tambura County of Western Equatoria state with ethnic violence, the first of its kind in the state, resulting in the displacement of thousands of innocent civilians.
In a statement to Sudans Post on Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Hakim Dario, the leader of the holdout People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), said the ongoing unrest in Western Equatoria state is a result of attack on civilian areas by a group of militias allied to Machar-nominated governor of Western Equatoria state Alfred Futuyo Karaba.
“EPA holds Governor Alfred Futuyo Karaba and his leadership criminally culpable and responsible for all and every continuing loss of innocent Azande and Balanda civilian lives in Tambura in particular and Western Equatoria as a whole,” Dario said in the statement.
The statement went to state that the holdout opposition group “is deeply outraged by a spate of unabated atrocities committed against innocent Azande civilians in Tambura and covering Western Equatoria with blood and violence since the onset of SPLM-IO appointed State Governor Alfred Futuyo Karaba.”
“A spate of destruction of life and property, torching of over 50 houses, including a hospital, a state of lawlessness unheard of for years, is fast spreading to villages around Tambura and further beyond reaching to the capital Yambio.
“Balanda militia recruited from Western Bahr al Ghazal by the State Governor are believed to be responsible for the spate of violence which is unheard of and alien to Azande and local Balanda communities in Western Equatoria State.
“As Tambura bleeds under Governor Alfred Futuyo Karaba there can be no excuse or pretentions of there being no chain of command in Western Equatoria and in the country. Clearly this cannot happen without intervention from any form of appointed ‘state authorities’.
“To date, there is a complete lack of action by a state governor who is but complicit in the act. As the bleeding and butchering continues unabated, no state authority is standing with the innocent and fleeing civilians to stem the violence, protect and preserve their rights, and this is all happening in the presence of a complicit state government and leadership!
“There can never be any excuse, nor justification for inaction to arrest the spiral of violence by armed gunmen, which started months back in dubious and unexplained circumstances. As if the recent spate of destruction was not enough, the state government and leadership made no impression to stem the violence in Tambura. Violence has reared its ugly head once again in Tambura, which was alien and unthinkable, until just last month!”