Speaking from Juba, also Wednesday, SPLA spokesman Philip Aguer stated that David Yau Yau, a rebel who had fought the government for two years before the recent rebel outbreak, has joined the government troops. Yau Yau has not commented on this news.
Yau Yau had been engaged in a ceasefire during a three-month long negotiation process, during which time the rebel force under Yau Yau has remained peaceful. Yau Yau’s forces did not join the violence that broke out December 15, although that violence quickly spread to Yau Yau’s home turf, Jonglei State. Aguer directed the SPLA to cease fighting Yau Yau’s forces.
Yau Yau had met with Bishop Emeritus Paride Taban of the Torit Roman Catholic Diocese and other religious and Murle leaders before entering into peace talks with the government. The delegation was motivated to stop Yau Yau’s rebellion because the rebellion threatened the community and economic development in the area.
Yau Yau recently gave Kiir a letter urging a ceasefire so that the many people who have sought refuge in Jonglei could be supplied.
Yau Yau and his group had been engaged in a prolonged struggle against the government. Last year these forces fought several battles with SPLA for control of positions in Jonglei State. In 2011 Yau Yau was pardoned by Kiir, who promoted Yau Yau to general in the SPLA. Yau Yau resided in Juba until 2012 when Yau Yau again rebelled, setting up in Jonglei.
Yau Yau ran but did not win a seat on parliament in elections in 2010. Yau Yau subsequently accused the SPLM of rigging the elections.
Yau Yau had stated that he seeks a separate state for his minority tribe–the Murle–which, Yau Yau stated, was treated unfairly.
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.”
By Day Blakely Donaldson