Is David Yau Yau Gearing Up for his Third Rebellion?

Posted: December 31, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Columnists, Featured Articles, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, PaanLuel Wël

David Yau Yau’s New Year 2016 Gift to the Republic of South Sudan?

By PaanLuel Wel, Karatina, Kenya


David Yau-Yau, the Murle militia leader who led a military rebellion against the gov’t of South Sudan leading to the creation of the Greater Pibor Administrative of which he (Yau-Yau) has been appointed the administrator by President Kiir.

December 31, 2015 (SSB) — The National Courier, citing a purported UN source, reported that David Yau Yau has killed the father of Baba Medan, the former deputy governor of Jonglei state and the newly appointed governor of Boma state (GPAA):

Sources in Pibor including a leaked UN Situation Report indicates a tense situation in Pibor after unconfirmed reports that forces loyal to David Yauyau killed the father of newly appointed Governor of Boma State. It is alleged that Yauyau loyalists are furious that Yauyau was not made a governor. On Tuesday according to a leaked UN report, “30 meter long trench have been dug by armed personnel from David Yau Yau’s Cobra Faction close to their HQ and former UNMISS water point in Pibor main town. 60mm mortar gun stands are position in the trenches facing Likuangole. (The mortar range is approximately 1.5kms). Ammunition boxes are also placed in the trenches.” — Copyright © 2015 The National Courier

Speaking with Ajak Deng Chiengkou of SBS Dinka radio, Governor Baba Medan disputed the alleged killing of his father, clarifying that his father had passed away in 1974. However, he conceded that there are indeed tensions and fear after David Yau Yau left for Gumuruk with his forces.

David Yau Yau launched an armed rebellion against the government of President Kiir after he was defeated during the 2010 general elections by Hon. Jodi Jonglei for the state parliamentary seat of Gumuruk constituency.

Jodi Jonglei is a Murle from Boma area but had decided to contest for the state parliamentary seat of Gumuruk constituency, which was also being contested by David Yau Yau.

However, when results were announced, David Yau Yau was defeated and Jodi Jonglei was declared the winner for the Gumuruk parliamentary seat for Bor, Jonglei state.

But because David Yau Yau, who is from Manyabol town of Gumuruk Payam, considered Jodi Jonglei as an outsider, he did not accept the legitimacy of his win.

David Yau Yau rebelled, joined forces with Gen. George Athor Deng of SSDM/A and launched a war on the government of South Sudan. After the death of George Athor, David Yau Yau renamed his faction as Cobra-Faction of the SSDM/A, and signed a peace deal with the government.

He went to Juba only to rebel again, this time calling for the establishment of a separate state for the Murle—the GPAA—accusing the Dinka and Nuer communities of Jonglei of political marginalization of the Murle community. Before the outbreak of the December 2013 conflict, David Yau Yau waged a vigorous war on Juba, inflicting heavy causalities on government troops.

In 2014, with the government squaring off with the rebels of Dr. Riek Machar, President Kiir signed a peace agreement with the Cobra-Faction, decreed the establishment of the GPAA, with David Yau Yau as its chief administrator, answerable only to the president.

Recently, the president promoted a number of Cobra-Faction military officers, among them David Yau Yau who was promoted to the rank of a military general. This was presented by the government as an integration of the Cobra-faction into the national army. It now appears, however, as if the government wanted to promote David Yau Yau in lieu of the governorship.

When the president announced the appointment of the 28 governors, David Yau Yau was missing from the list. Instead, there was governor Baba Medan for Boma state. David Yau Yau is reportedly not happy for being overlooked by the president.

Apparently, he had aspired to be the first governor of Boma State. Instead, the president appointed the former deputy governor of Jonglei state, Hon. Baba Medan, a Murle from Likuangle who has been loyal to the government during David Yau Yau’s war.

Not only did the president overlooked David Yau Yau, he also abolished the GPAA in a presidential decree immediately after the appointment of the 28 governors–thus, rendering David Yau Yau jobless, and as often the case in South Sudan, moneyless.

To paraphrase President Kiir himself as he once opined: an hungry David Yau Yau is an angry David Yau Yau.

Now, there are reports of rising tension in Pibor. On the minds of most people in Jonglei region as well as across the nation is whether David Yau Yau is gearing up for his third rebellion against the government.

South Sudanese leaders have their own ways of marking certain anniversaries—President Kiir gave South Sudanese a Christmas “gift” of 28 states and David Yau Yau might have another “gift” for the New Year 2016.

The first week of 2016 will bear witness to history.

 Happy new year 2016

PaanLuel Wël, the managing editor of PaanLuel Wel: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB), graduated with a double major in Economics and Philosophy from The George Washington University, Washington D.C, USA. He is the author of Who Killed Dr. John Garang and also the Editor of the essential speeches and writings of the late SPLM/A leader, Dr. John Garang, published as The Genius of Dr. John Garang, vol. 1-3. You can reach him through his email: or Facebook page

  1. Joe says:

    Kiir should answer the question of whether Yau Yau is gearing up for the third rebellion. He made peace with the snake.


  2. Truthhurt says:

    I went silence right after the signing of the Compromise Peace Agree in August last year (2015) hoping that the civil war between the SPLM’s factions may comes to an end provided the President refrain himself from issuing another controversial decree and takes lead to implement the signed peace agreement in good faith.

    But I think was wrong, mind you that I am not entirely against his decrees that abolished the former ten states and established 28 states at least for now, however my main concern is his controversial appointment of the former Jonglei State’s deputy Governor, Baba Medan as Governor of newly created Buma State! Whatever the argument or compelling reason behind his decision to appoint him as Governor of that State at this current situation was a big mistake to say the least, and will certainly have unintended consequences.

    You may disagree with me on this very topic however the truth is, David Yau Yau was the best person to lead that State and not Baba Medan simply for the sake of peace & security in the Greater Jonlei State in particular and of course the entire nation. You may be wondering why I am saying this, however the point here is not only that David Yau Yau may takes up arms this time around as a result and resumes his merciless killings of innocent civilians in Jonglei State and beyond as he did before to force the President’s hands to sign another peace agreement with him.

    However, this would also harms his integrity as a President of the nation if he really care about it plus unintended consequences of his unpopular decisions. Therefore, the President should have acted responsibly in this particular matter to at least respect the terms or obligations he committed himself to when he signed GPAA’s agreement with him to avoid all these looming crisis.

    I hope it is not too late for the President to reverse his decision and appoint David Yau Yau as a new Governor of newly created Buma State if he really care for the welfare of his people. Equally, I would also like to extend my appeal to David Yau Yau to approach this issue differently this time because there are better ways that you can take to resolve it peacefully without any lose of lives.

    I wish every a Happy New Year!


    • Joe says:

      If “it is not too late” Mr. Truthhurt, then tell President Kiir to reverse the order. Write an open letter to him and lives will be safe.


    • donald says:

      I support the decision of the president. Appointing Yau Yau would mean condoning entry into power by force, over peoples’ blood. In fact, David Yau Yau is supposed to be before a court now.

      Does it mean that it’s a ‘must’ that he becomes the governor? and if so until when? what if an election is held and he loses, does it mean that he would still force to be the governor? The constitution requires governors to be elected and these appointments are only interim.

      David Yau Yau doesn’t have the leadership ability and experience to rule the state while Baba has.

      David Yau Yau fought for an independent state for the Murle and this has now materialize. I don’t think he will now go to the bush to fight for the governorship. Otherwise, all the Murles who would support him on this course would be fools.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s