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

Photogallery Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid