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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

SPLA opens peace dialogue with renegade David Yau Yau in Jonglei

By John Actually

April 20, 2011 (BOR) – The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has initiated peace talks with South Sudan rebel David Yau Yau in Pibor, asking him to re-join the SPLA and be reintegrated.

Philip Aguer Panyang, SPLA spokesperson
Philip Aguer Panyang, SPLA spokesperson
The SPLA spokesman, Colonel Philip Aguer, confirmed that SPLA initiated a dialogue with renegade Yau Yau through division eight commander, Major General Peter Bol Kuong and the commissioner of Pibor Count, Akot Mazee .

Speaking to Sudan Tribune from Juba, Aguer said Yau Yau showed his willingness and commitment to re-join and be reintegrated into SPLA. He did not say when the peace talks began.

Agur acknowledged that Yau Yau and his forces might be somewhere in Lekuanguele, preparing to join SPLA for reintegration. He declined to reveal the number of Yau Yau’s troops.

Yau Yau rebelled against the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) after losing the 2010 general elections. He launched his first attacks on civilians in Pibor county, killing women and children before he joined George Athor in Khorfulus, Pigi county in February this year where they attacked many areas.

Athor is a dissident commander SPLA and unsuccessful candidate for the governorship of Jonglei state in the April 2010 election. Athor and his forces are generally considered the SPLM/A’s most powerful adversary. On 30 April Athor’s forces carried out an attack against the SPLA’s base in the Upper Nile state and went on to seriously disrupt the life of people of Jonglei state, in a series of conflicts.

Yau Yau launched several attacks in Gumuruk, Boma, Bor and Duk since he rebelled in 2010, killing many civilians and causing insecurity in Pibor, Duk, Twice, Bor and Ayod counties. Yau Yau’s recent activity includes:

12 April 2011, a recent attack in Gadiang, one SPLA soldier was killed and three others wounded in an ambushed laid by Yau Yau’s forces.

25 March 2011, another Gadiang ambush laid by forces loyal to Yau Yau on the Gadiang-Yuai road killed a driver and one SPLA soldier sustained serious injuries.

5 October 2010, attacked a boat that left Pibor headquarters for Gumuruk carrying seven civilians, killing three people including a women who left behind a four month old child.

Several attacks on healthcare centers in Pibor have been reported, forcing Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) to suspend their activities in the area.

According to Sudan Human Right Baseline Assestment (SHBA), Yau Yau is from the Murle tribe that lives almost exclusively in Pibor county, bordering Ethiopia and the south-east corner of Jonglei state.

Unlike other insurrection leaders, such as George Athor and Gatluak Gai, Yau Yau was a civilian before launching his armed revolt following the April 2010 elections. He studied theology in Southern Sudan and Kenya and then served as the Pibor county secretary of the South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in Jonglei.

He subsequently ran as an independent candidate in the state’s parliamentary election for the Gumuruk–Boma constituency seat, representing Pibor county in the Jonglei State Assembly. He was defeated by SPLM candidate, Judy Jokongole, who won the race by a wide margin.