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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs