March 23, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) - Yau Yau rebel group has demanded to establish a new state for the Murle tribe in South Sudan to better protect their pasture land and herds of livestock in the immense Jonglei state.
- Bishop Paride Taban (C) appluads as the signing of a peace deal between South Sudan government and SSDM/A Cobra Faction rebels in Addis Ababa, January 30, 2014 (Photo: Larco Lomayat)
Delegation from the South Sudanese government and David Yau Yau rebel group resumed the South Sudanese church brokered peace talks in the Ethiopian capital on Thursday with observers from the European Union (EU) and United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
The chief negotiator of the rebel South Sudan Democratic Movement – Cobra Faction (SSDM-Cobra faction), Gen. Khalid Burtous, demanded to create a new state in the current Pipbor county in Jonglei state and to establish a development funds for the area.
Since the independence of South Sudan the Murle clashed several times with the Lou Nuer who share the same pasture and water sources. In 2012 and 2013 hundreds of Murle were killed during tribal clashes and other thousands fled the region to protect their lives.
The Murles, like other minority groups, say that their interests are not being represented within the new nation of South Sudan which declared its independence in July 2011.
The government delegation in its response to the rebel demands, on Friday, proposed to create additional counties in the greater Pibor County and to maintain the current boundary of the county as it was on the January 1, 1956.
The head of the government negotiating team, Canon Clement Janda, said the current Payams and Bomas in Pibor county can be upgrade into full county administration, provided that county creation set forth in the South Sudan Local Government Act. 2009 is adhered to.
Janda further said the governance structure shall be established with a Chief Administrator and his Two (2) assistants, adding that this chief administrator shall appoint commissioners to the newly established counties.
He further said that the government will taken into consideration the demand for development fund and pledged to file a proposal for establishment of a special development fund to be administrated by a body headed by a coordinator within the office of the president of the republic.
The chief mediator, Bishop Paride Taban adjourned the talks to Monday announcing that the rebel delegation will give its position on the government proposal on Monday.
The SSDM Cobra-faction, was a faction of the SSDM which was established in 2010 by the late general George Athor.
Like Athor, Yau Yau rebelled against South Sudan’s ruling party after losing the 2010 elections to represent the Gumuruk–Boma constituency in Pibor county at the Jonglei state assembly.
In 2011, the trained pastor signed a peace deal with the government and joined the South Sudanese army (SPLA) and was made a General despite his lack of military experience.
However, Yau Yau rebelled again in April 2012. He blamed the government for halting the disarmament process after collecting arms from his former fighters, as they remained exposed to attacks by the other ethnic groups, particularly the Lou Nuer.