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

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    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?

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.