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

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More