December 21, 2012 (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 to Sudan Tribune that "he has turned to a big enemy of his own country.”
- The Bishop of Bor, Ruben Akurdit Ngong, December 12, 2012 (ST)
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”, the Bishop said.
Although he had poor academic records at the college, he used to ask us to pray for his community to doing “evil things” in Jonglei, such as child abduction, cattle rraiding and randomly 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 South Sudanese rebels but the SPLA and United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) have witnessed unmarked helicopters landing in remote areas of Pibor County. The SPLA say these flights are attempts to resupply Yau Yau’s rebellion.
On Saturday the SPLA shot down an UNMISS helicopter believing it to be a Sudanese aircraft resupplying David Yau Yau’s rebels.
In August, Yau Yau sent a team to Nanaam river to recruit young Murle men into his army in Nanaam river before launching attacks on SPLA bases in Lekuangole, Manybol, Kothchar and Gumuruk, Bor, Twice and other places in Jonglei.
His forces have also attacked civilian populations, disrupting the inter-communal Jonglei peace deal signed in Bor in May in the wake of severe clashes mainly between the Murle and Luo Nuer tribes of cattle and abductions. Over 2,000 people have died in these clashes over the last two years according to the UN.
“We are really yearning for peace, but there is no way people can get it”, Rev. Akurdit said, while "this self-promoted rebel general is killing people”.
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has always offered amnesties to rebels in the young nation. Calls for peace talks with the Yau Yau have so far been turned down.