Home | News    Thursday 29 September 2016

Former Murle Cobra leader meets President Kiir over new rebellion


September 28, 2016 (JUBA) – Deputy Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs and former leader of Murle armed Cobra Faction, David Yau Yau, has met President Salva Kiir in Juba on Wednesday, a day after his deputy declared resumption of armed rebellion against the government.

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Members of the South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army (SSDM/A) faction march in Gumuruk on 13 May 2014 after their leader, David Yau Yau, signed a peace deal with the South Sudanese government on 9 May 2014 in Addis Ababa (Photo: AFP/Samir Bol)

General Yau Yau, who was appointed deputy minister of defence in April after joining the ruling SPLM party in January and left his South Sudan Democratic Movement/Cobra (SSDM/Cobra) faction which he formed after losing in local elections in 2010, said he was still loyal to the president although his former deputy has defected with their forces.

Yau Yau said the meeting with President Kiir was an assurance of his loyalty.

“I came with all Murle elders to inform His Excellence the President that we have not defected from him. Those people who left are just individuals and do not represent us,” he told reporters after meeting in the State House, known as J1.

Yau Yau’s former deputy, Lieutenant General, Khalid Botrus Bora, has announced his defection from the government of President Kiir on Tuesday in Nairobi, Kenya. Botrus accused the government of failing to honour the provisions of May 2014 agreement that promised appointment of a presidential advisor for SSDM/Cobra and administering of Pibor county.

Pibor is currently a state called Boma but SPLM governor, Baba Medan Konyi, was appointed to head it in December. Yauyau previously led the Greater Pibor Administrative Area from 2014 to December 2015 before it was upgraded to a state.

Yauyau did not give details of the meeting but observers say it is a show of loyalty to President Kiir who is facing numerous rebellions against his government.


Meanwhile, South Sudan’s government under the leadership of President Kiir has slammed the defection, saying there is need to dialogue with the defected officers and forces of the Murle ethnic group. They also asserted that the issues behind the decision could have been addressed through peaceful dialogue.

Acting government spokesman, Akol Paul Kordit, told reporters on Wednesday that the reasons cited in the press statement by the defected commanders of the Cobra faction could have been addressed through peaceful dialogue instead of taking up arms to wage a destructive war against innocent people.

“We just learnt this development in the media where we obtained their statement but the things they raised, like the issue of presidential advisor and the construction of the roads do not need a rationale person to take up arms to kill people and destroy properties. These are things which could be addressed through peaceful dialogue. They do not need taking up arms and go to the bush,” Kordit told reporters, saying the government was ready to talk to the defected commanders.

The official claimed more than 80% of the agreement has been implemented. He cited the creation of the greater Pibor Administrative Area, detachment of the area from Jonglei state and attached to the office of the president with the status of a state and the subsequent appointment of the chief administrator.

The creation of the 7 counties was one of the provisions which he said had been successfully implemented in accordance with the provisions of the agreement.

Another area where the agreement has been honoured and successfully implemented, Kordit further claimed, was in the area of integration and promotion of the three commanders to the rank of lieutenant generals and 5 major generals and several brigadiers and colonels into the ranks and files of the Sudan People’s Liberation army (SPLA).

He was reacting to the statement announcing defection of the top commanders in the Cobra Faction in which they accused the government under President Kiir to have not honoured key provisions.

Signed by General Khalid Boutros, the statement called for joining efforts with other armed opposition groups, probably the SPLA-IO under the leadership of former First Vice President, Riek Machar, to remove the government of president Kiir from power and to rebuild the nation.

“By this statement, the SSDM/A is announcing that it shall from today join the struggle against the authoritarian tribalistic regime in Juba,” the statement seen by Sudan Tribune reads in part.

“Being conscious of the need to unify the ranks of all the forces opposed to the regime, SSDMA/Cobra shall immediately enter into serious dialogue with the like-minded patriotic forces already in the field of combat with the aim of cooperation, coordination or merger. Any dispersion of efforts shall only serve this ruthless regime and should not be allowed,” said General Boutros.

He called on the people, especially his ethnic Murle, to take up arms to wage a popular struggle to restore peace and unity of South Sudan.

“We call upon all the masses of our people to close ranks behind the struggle to rid themselves of a regime characterized by oppression, tribalism, corruption and anarchy to install instead a national democratic state that addresses the twin issues of national-building and state-building,” the statement said.


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  • 29 September 2016 00:35, by Paul Ongee


    We should not worry about any alleged or real defection. It’s an old game plan. There is nothing new about defection in South Sudan politics since 1991. This defection is simply influenced by Riek Machar who believes that constant defection from South Sudan Government will make any difference this time in his endeavors to assume the top leadership position.

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    • 29 September 2016 00:45, by Paul Ongee

      How can South Sudan be swollen with rebellions or defections which have already become as a way of getting recognition from the government? They have nothing to offer to South Sudanese except brutal killings which have become as a way of getting promotion, high military ranks and positions. All of them will come back tomorrow because they know that forgiveness and amnesty is "always" granted.

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      • 29 September 2016 00:53, by Paul Ongee

        Murle have been brutally killing Nuers, especially when Lou-Nuer women and children went fishing. Most of them were killed in cold blood and the deputy cmdr. of Cobra Faction thinks that they can easily make alliance with Riek or Lou-Nuer in toppling the current leadership of the government. I personally don’t think so. Believe me or not. Emotional defection is always proving negative results.

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        • 29 September 2016 01:08, by Paul Ongee

          Any South Sudanese who considers himself influential and has been opposing the leadership of popular struggle since 1991 by hiding behind his tribe for personal interest will "never" succeed. If South Sudan were to be realistically united and peaceful, how many thousands of army should RSS have to defend the country since every tribal leader wants recognition through rebellions or defections?

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          • 29 September 2016 01:17, by Paul Ongee

            The most important question is not about leaving or integrating rebels but how many quantitative (not qualitative) army should RSS have? Should every tribe in RSS first defect or rebel against the government and later be recognized and integrated into the national army and other organized forces such as police, prisons, game or fire brigade? I just don’t get it.

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            • 29 September 2016 01:29, by Paul Ongee

              The continuous recognition of rebels or defection without a genuine cause is the one motivating rebellions or defections since it has has become as a source of recycling process which will never end any time soon. The door in Khartoum is always open to whoever rebels or defects to keep RSS destabilized and to prove their previous allegations that Junubin cannot govern themselves.

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              • 29 September 2016 01:50, by Paul Ongee

                Since emotions play more roles than reasons, Junubin - with the current proliferation of arms - will continue to bleed senselessly. War in RSS is better than imposed peace agreements because when someone is defeated in war, not battles, he/she will denounce war or violence for the sake of relative peace. The West must give weapons, not impose arm embargo, so that there is permanent peace/chaos.

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                • 29 September 2016 04:31, by Hardlinner

                  do you know reason why they don’t have rebels in militarily advanced countries?. it is because have no where to hide from drones, precision jet fighters, attack helicopters and bombers. until government prioritised modernising the army with all prerequisites of deterring rebellions, we will be seeing a lot of rebellion. another thing is reward of rebels need to stop.

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    • 29 September 2016 07:09, by Akuma

      People rebel in South Sudan to control and gain powers in government position. Riek, Lam Akol, Adwok, Majak, & others names them

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    • 29 September 2016 09:33, by Midit Mitot

      David Yau Yau had already forgotten his community who were brought him-up into that level, Khalid is taking the lead now, bravo, bravo Buotruos, but I know David Yau Yau is fooling that untalented President.

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  • 29 September 2016 00:49, by Akol Liai Mager

    The the fundamental and forceful question is that; what the Hell that leaves a hostile militia group separately in their influential locality without being integrated into the national army after signing peace with them and expect that they will be tamed all time as wished for?

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  • 29 September 2016 04:21, by Hardlinner

    the defection in south sudan solely meant for promotion. nothing else. if batrous think he there to store peace and order, why didn’t he contain murle militia that when to Ethiopia to Loot, kidnap and kill civilians. Like Riek he is rebelling to either take Yau Yau position or another higher one. rebels don’t rebelled in order to change anything but their pockets. they are thieves.

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  • 29 September 2016 05:44, by Yokyieen Akot

    My President,
    That is not true., how come that the army under my command rebel against me ? David Yau Yau and his elders should tell the truth. Otherwise he should be dealt with if I were to suggest.

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    • 29 September 2016 07:00, by Pure Nationalist

      Look how tribal they coment, when you reach 18, your father & mother are not liable for any crime you make. Murle elders are innocent as they are part of rotten regime. Treating anti-govt & pple under govt makes your govt really tribal in the eyes of the intellectual world

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      • 29 September 2016 07:07, by Pure Nationalist

        I mean to write treat ant-govt(rebels) & pple under govt equally makes your govt really tribal

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  • 29 September 2016 07:03, by Akeen Mangarthon

    The claims of defected gen.Khalid Boutrus are supposed to be negotiated than to fight. he should also noted that the agreement they had with president in 2014 ended when TGoNU was formed in April 2016. this is becos TGoNU included every political forces including cobra faction. Hon.Akol Paul has hit the point

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    • 29 September 2016 07:23, by Pure Nationalist

      TGoUN, which was seen by almost all South Sudanese tribes as the only mean of re-structuring the country by drafting inclusive constitution through strong parliament was dishonored the president & represented with JCE type with only hand-picked ones

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      • 29 September 2016 07:39, by Pure Nationalist

        It is clear that the next war that you declared on IO on July 8 through the blessing of president, anyor chief of staff, JCE & Taban shall be between JCE’s mathiang anyor vs South Sudanese

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      • 29 September 2016 21:00, by Akeen Mangarthon

        Pure N,

        What is the evidence of what you said? The assumption of JCE to have represented the parliament is your own personal opinion and carries no legal evidences. I am afraid if you keep attacking JCE it means you are inciting the violent which suggest that you are against international laws of freedom. Is speaker in parliament a JCE? Is D/defense minister a JCE? Is FVP a JCE? Revise yourselves

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  • 29 September 2016 12:56, by Cobbz

    Its Sad that we have taken guns as the only solution to corrections! No one wants to dialogue..

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    • 29 September 2016 14:34, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

      Guns are usually the last step to end oppression and dictatorship. Believe me no amount of talk can be heeded to by Kiir. They only understand military confrontation.

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