News / Africa

Yau Yau, South Sudan Government Sign Ceasefire Deal

South Sudan rebel leader David Yau Yau at an undisclosed location in Jonglei state.
South Sudan rebel leader David Yau Yau at an undisclosed location in Jonglei state.
TEXT SIZE - +
Lucy Poni
— South Sudan rebel leader David Yau Yau has signed a ceasefire agreement with the government in Juba, which officials hope will signal the end of one of the longest-running insurgencies in the country.

The peace pact was signed months after Yau Yau engaged in negotiations with leaders of his Murle ethnic group, and then with church leaders appointed by President Salva Kiir. For the past week, negotiators for his rebel movement have been holding direct talks with representatives of the government in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.

The Reverend Canon Clement Janda, who led the government delegation at the talks, called the ceasefire agreement "a good move" that "has created a good ambience, good atmosphere for further discussions."

Under the terms of the pact, the two sides agreed to set up a monitoring and verification team composed of members of the church mediators, the U.N. Mission in South Sudan, and a joint military unit comprised equally of government and rebel soldiers.

The two sides also agreed to cease fighting immediately, and will continue to hold talks to hammer out other details of the deal.

Joseph Lilimoi, a spokesman for Yau Yau's rebel group at the negotiations, said the insurgents will honor the agreement as they continue negotiations with the government.

He also called for Jonglei, the largest state in South Sudan, where Yau Yau was based, to be split into two states to improve the chances of success for the peace deal.

“It must be divided because the population of Jonglei State is unable to live in harmony," he said.

"So it will be good if we divided them and the four tribes – Murle, Anyuak, Kachipo and Jie, which have been labeled as minorities within Jonglei state -- would have their own state,” he said.

In an interview with VOA last year, Yau Yau said he was fighting for a breakaway state for ethnic minorities who he said are deprived of their rights in South Sudan.

A former theology student, Yau Yau initially rebelled against the then semi-autonomous government of southern Sudan in April 2010 after losing his bid to be elected to the state assembly in Jonglei state.

He accepted a government amnesty offer in 2011, the year South Sudan became an independent nation, and returned to Juba where he was promoted to the rank of general in the South Sudanese army, the SPLA.

But he resumed his rebellion against Juba in 2012, and this time, his rebels were numerous and heavily armed, according to the Small Arms Survey.

"It is estimated that 4,000–6,000 largely Murle youth have directly joined Yau Yau’s ranks...The SPLA have captured AK-47s and RPG-7s from the rebel forces, but reports suggest that they are equipped with machine guns and mortars as well," the Geneva-based NGO said.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid