News / Africa

Amid South Sudan Fighting, One Rebel Leader Seeks Peace

Rebel leader David Yau Yau, shown here at an undisclosed location in Jonglei state, has reportedly reached a peace deal with the government.
Rebel leader David Yau Yau, shown here at an undisclosed location in Jonglei state, has reportedly reached a peace deal with the government.
Lucy Poni
As fighting continues between South Sudanese government troops and forces loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, long-time rebel leader David Yau Yau has agreed to lay down arms, officials say.

"The ministry of defense has this declaration of ceasefire by the Sudan People Liberation Army towards forces of David Yau Yau following the progress of negotiations that have been on-going for the last three months," South Sudanese Army spokesman Philip Aguer said in an announcement read out on national television Monday.

"I am directing the leadership of the SPLA to put into effect a ceasefire and to cease fighting forces of David Yau Yau," he said.

Yau Yau began holding peace talks with the government three months ago after holding a series of meetings with religious leaders led by Bishop Emeritus Paride Taban of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Torit. 

Taban said Yau Yau and his rebel forces have "remained peaceful" since the negotiations began and even when the violence that erupted in Juba on Dec. 15 spread to Jonglei state, where Yau Yau is based. 

Many civilians displaced by the on-going fighting have sought refuge in Yau Yau's home county in Jonglei, Pibor, Taban said.

“That is why he gave a letter to the president that he wants a ceasefire to be done so that the people under his care should be supplied," the retired bishop said.

"He said, 'I will never join war, I am waiting for peaceful reconciliation with the government.'”

In the statement read out on television, Aguer said Yau Yau and the government have recognized "that given the humanitarian crisis that has befallen the civil population in the entire areas of Jonglei... there is a need to cease hostilities."




Just weeks later, a delegation of Murle leaders from Jonglei state met with Yau Yau and pleaded with him to "stop his rebellion because it is affecting the community and destroying development in the area," Nyany Korok, a Murle youth leader who was part of the 15-strong delegation that met with Yau Yau, said.

Following the outreach by the Murle leaders, Yau Yau agreed to begin peace talks with representatives of the government, but it took several months for the negotiations to get under way.

"Yau Yau has been ready for peace since November," Taban said.

"He selected 10 of his people -- they were ready for negotiations. The government promised to give us five (delegates for negotiations) but we have been waiting until now,” he said.

The bishop said the talks between Yau Yau and the government will be held in Addis Ababa as soon as a government negotiating team has been named.

Yau Yau first rebelled against Juba after he failed to win a parliamentary seat in the April 2010 general elections, accusing the ruling SPLM party of rigging the elections.

In 2011, he accepted an amnesty offer from President Salva Kiir and returned to Juba where he was promoted to the rank of SPLA general. But in 2012 he left the army, fled to Khartoum, and started a new rebellion against Juba in Jonglei state.

Rebels led by Yau Yau have been accused of being behind a cattle raid a year ago in which more than 100 people were killed, most of them women and children.

Juba  has accused Khartoum of supporting Yau Yau’s rebellion in a bid to block plans to build a oil pipeline through Jonglei state and Ethiopia, which would reduce South Sudan's dependence on Sudan for exporting its oil, the mainstay of its economy.

Sudan has denied the claims, and on Monday, during a visit to Juba, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir pledged that Sudan will never support rebels fighting against the government of one of its neighbors because it "would only cause instability, exhaustion of resources and destruction of ties between countries."

You May Like

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Blackstar Deng Bol from: JUBA
January 08, 2014 1:53 PM
It is gr8 respect for yau yau to honor that reports we all welcomes him as brother among bothers and sisters in south sudan

by: Riek Yak Guandong from: South sudan
January 07, 2014 11:32 PM
You were not to accept peace like that this can prove that u fought for nothing n u will be held accountable for the death of civilians in Jonglei that will lead u to be taken to the ICC. u better fight along side with Machar to overthrow Kiir. believe me i told u the truth.
In Response

by: yom Gak from: why know
January 12, 2014 9:17 AM
We better die than supporting Riek
In Response

by: African from: Canada
January 08, 2014 9:39 AM
So, he'd rather fight to avoid being transfered to ICC? Talk about pointless fighting!

by: Joe from: Minneapolis
January 07, 2014 8:55 PM
Rebelled twice now seeking amnesty again. Bring your neck. Salva Kiir, will slaughter you like a chicken. If you you have no power why rebel anyway? You caused hundreds to lose their lives thousands displaced because you are thirsty of power and now you need to be pardoned, give me a break. My advice to you is if you are defeated, go to exile, and be betrayed like George Athor killed a nd brought to see S Sudan like meat in a Butcher or you stand your ground.
In Response

by: peter jowang from: nairobi
January 09, 2014 2:47 AM
Hey bro! Are you crying or advicing? If it is crying cry alone and if it is advice it is too late by now. We need peace. Look for those who heed your advice but not us COBRA FACTION.

by: Mary Obat from: Omaha\NE
January 07, 2014 6:14 PM
I hope Yau Yau will keep his word . He has broken the promise twice!

by: Realist from: USA
January 07, 2014 4:56 PM
Are the minorities in Jonglei getting their state?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs