21 December 2012

Sudan: Bor Bishop Regrets Rebellion of His Former Pupil David Yau Yau

Bor — The Bishop of Bor Diocese, Rev. Ruben Akurdit Ngong, had thought the young David Yau Yau "was going to make a pastor" when he taught him some years ago but admitted "he has turned to a big enemy of his own country" he told Sudan Tribune.

David Yau Yau was studying for a Diploma in theology at Emmanuel Christian College in Yei in Central Equatoria State under Ruben Akurdit's teaching from 2004 to 2006.

"It is strange to hear that he is a rebel leader in South Sudan. We trained him to be a good administrator", he said.

Although he had poor academic records at the college, he used to ask us to pray for his community to change their mind from doing the called "evil things" in Jonglei, such as child abductions, raiding and random killing of innocent people, Akurdit said.

Speaking to Sudan Tribune on December 12, the Bishop shook his head in anger and disbelief when describing his former pupil.

"Yau Yau was my student at Yei. He could come forward and asked people to pray for Murle to change their way of life", Akurdit said.

David Yau Yau rebelled against South Sudan's ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement [SPLM] after elections in April 2010 when, as an independent candidate, he lost his campaign to represent the Gumuruk Boma constituency in Pibor County at Jonglei State Assembly.

The SPLM candidate, Judi Jonglei Bioris, MP, won the race by a wide margin according to electoral authorities in Jonglei State.

Before he contested for the post in general elections, Yau Yau worked as Pibor County secretary for South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in Jonglei.

In 2011, he rejoined the government with his supporters and was made a General in the South Sudanese army (SPLA). A year ago, George Athor, who rebelled at the same time as Yau Yau, was killed by the SPLA in disputed circumstances. Athor lost the 2010 gubernatorial race against incumbent Kuol Juuk Manyang.

In April this year the SPLA announced that Yau Yau had defected to Khartoum in order to launch another rebellion in Pibor County, having asked to take sick leave in Nairobi.

Khartoum deny backing Sudanese rebels but the SPLA and UN have witnessed unmarked helicopters landing in remote areas of the county. The SPLA say these flights are attempts to resupply Yau Yau's rebellion.

In August, he sent his team to recruit Murle youth men into his army in Nanaam river at before he begun his insurgencies on civil populations and attacks SPLA bases in Lekuangole, Manybol, Kothchar and Gumuruk, Bor, Twice among other places in Jonglei, disrupting the inter-communal peace signed in Bor in May.

"We are really yearning for peace, but there is no way people can get it", Rev. Akurdit said.

Akurdit said "life would be difficult since this self-promoted rebel general is killing people".

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has always offered amnesties to rebels in the young nation. However, calls for peace talks with the Yau Yau have so far been turned down.

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