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.
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

Syrian Rebels Poised for Anti-Russia Collaboration

Forty-one insurgent groups issue joint statement vowing retaliation for Russian air offensives More

Political Maneuver Revives Export-Import Bank's Chances

Parliamentary tactic gets bill out of committee, but it faces opposition in the Senate More

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

This forum has been closed.
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.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs