News / Africa

South Sudan Confirms Yau Yau Rebels Seized Town

SPLA spokesman Philip Aguer, shown here at a briefing in March 2012, confirmed on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, that rebels led by David Yau Yau seized the town of Boma, in Jonglei state. (AP)SPLA spokesman Philip Aguer, shown here at a briefing in March 2012, confirmed on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, that rebels led by David Yau Yau seized the town of Boma, in Jonglei state. (AP)
x
SPLA spokesman Philip Aguer, shown here at a briefing in March 2012, confirmed on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, that rebels led by David Yau Yau seized the town of Boma, in Jonglei state. (AP)
SPLA spokesman Philip Aguer, shown here at a briefing in March 2012, confirmed on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, that rebels led by David Yau Yau seized the town of Boma, in Jonglei state. (AP)
Manyang David Mayar
— Rebels led by David Yau Yau have seized the town of Boma in Jonglei state after two days of fighting, South Sudan Army (SPLA) officials said Wednesday, confirming reports earlier this week from the insurgents.

Yau Yau's rebels, who call themselves the South Sudan Democratic Army (SSDA), said in a statement emailed to media outlets and posted online on Monday, that they had "stormed and captured the strategic town of Boma."

"SPLA forces ran away leaving behind more than 50 dead bodies," the statement said.

SPLA spokesman Philip Aguer called the statement "propaganda."

"We don’t have the casualties because of the remoteness... But definitely whatever is being posted by those who are associated with the rebels on the net or websites are for propaganda purposes and are not true,” the SPLA spokesman said.

The number of casualties on both sides has not been independently verified.

Aguer said the army did not anticipate that the town would come under attack and had only stationed a small unit of 100 soldiers, called a coy, in Boma.

"The command of the SPLA did not anticipate a big or a huge security risk for Boma town, and there was only one coy that was deployed in Boma," Aguer said.

"That one coy, after fighting for two days, they decided to move to the top of the mountain. So it was a tactical withdrawal. It is a matter of time and the SPLA will regain control of Boma,” he said.

Last week, the rebels issued a statement warning civilians and NGO workers to leave towns around Pibor and Kapoeta. Boma is near both towns.

Boma is the second area to fall to the rebels this month, after the group took control of Murua airstrip from the SPLA last week. Aguer said the SPLA had tactically withdrawn from the airstrip.

Yau Yau first launched a rebellion against the government in 2010 after failing to win a seat in the state parliament. He accepted an amnesty offer from President Salva Kiir in 2011, but re-started his rebellion in April 2012.

In its statement, the SSDA said it is trying to overthrow the South Sudanese government  because it is "run by a mafia bent on enriching themselves and dividing our country."

The rebels also note in their statement the psychological significance of Boma, which was the first town the SPLA captured from the Sudan Armed Forces during the long civil war against Khartoum. They took it in 1985 and held it until the end of war in 2005.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Omo from: Nigeria
May 09, 2013 8:48 AM
It is very wrong for the Freedom fighters to take up arms again in South Sudan. I believe they are were involved in the freedom from Sudan? Why are they fighting themselves? For whatever reason, let the aggrieved parties dialogue with the elected govt. There has been too many bloodshed. Please let peace reign.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid