Western Equatoria State Governor Gen. Alfred Futuyo Karaba. (Photo: Radio Tamazuj)

Governor Futuyo echoes Dr. Machar’s stance on elections

The Governor of Western Equatoria State, Gen. Alfred Futuyo Karaba, on Wednesday repeated First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar’s position that Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) is not ready for election unless key provisions of the 2018 peace agreement are implemented.

The Governor of Western Equatoria State, Gen. Alfred Futuyo Karaba, on Wednesday repeated First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar’s position that Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) is not ready for election unless key provisions of the 2018 peace agreement are implemented.

Gen. Futuyo is a member of the SPLM/A-IO where Dr. Machar is the chairman and Commander-in-Chief.

According to Futuyo, who is also the SPLM-IO chairperson in the state, if the various armed groups that signed the agreement are not retrained, graduate, and unified under a national army, then the country is likely to go slide back to war if sham elections are conducted.

He said the SPLA-IO component of the recently graduated and deployed unified forces are not receiving salaries and do not have basic needs like shelter, beds, and bed sheets.

“The unification of the forces will give political space for every candidate to campaign without fear of intimidation and threats otherwise it will be difficult for politicians to organize rallies and chant the names of their political parties and slogans in an area controlled by a different political party,” he explained. “Our party, SPLM-IO, will not be part of the December 2024 elections because chapter two of the peace agreement which deals with security arrangements stipulates that the army will be trained, unified, and deployed in 8 months. However, it is now 5 years and even the SPLA-IO soldiers who were trained, unified, and deployed in the first phase have not received a salary till now.”

“They unified SPLA-IO soldiers were given uniforms, got assignments but have never been paid their salaries and they sleep on the ground without beds or mattresses,” Gen. Futuyo added.

He questioned whether soldiers should sleep on the bare ground while politicians wear expensive suits and talk about elections.

“The soldiers have no salary while politicians are moving in Toyota Land Cruiser V8s and these are the reasons why our party is saying that we are not ready for the elections because we do not want any conflict to arise again,” the governor reaffirmed.

He said that in the event the security arrangements are implemented, the other provisions like drafting the Permanent Constitution, population census, and the repatriation of IDPs and refugees can automatically take place within a short time.