August 3, 2012 (BOR) - Jonglei’s Pibor county authorities have announced that the militia leader David Yau Yau has sent a team to mobilize youth in the county.
- Pibor’s youth, dancing the traditional Mula dance, Bor Freedom Square, Jonglei, July 30, 2012 (ST)
David Yau Yau took up arms against the authorities following the 2010 general elections in which he lost the seat of the commissioner to the incumbent commissioner, Joshua Konyi. In 2011 he then signed a peace deal. He flip-flopped once again and took up arms against the government in April.
Yau Yau is a member of the Murle ethnic group. There has been scant information from the Murle Diaspora and the Murle in South Sudan on their perspective of the conflict in Jonglei state, unlike the vocal Luo-Nuer who claim that the Murle have been driven to abducting their children as they are suffering from an infertility endemic; a view shared by the country’s president, Salva Kiir.
According to the UN Environmental Program the Murle were in Ethiopia until the 19th century. Some remained their until the 1990s while others were driven west by local Nilotes. They established an homeland in Pibor county, Jonglei state in the 1930s, since which, environmental pressures have impinged upon their pastoralist lifestyle.
Little evidence can be found to support the infertility claim. However, the motivation to rationalise the denigration of one of South Sudan’s pariah ethnic groups, in order to legitimise the attribution of blame, is self-evident.
Speaking in Pibor on Thursday, Joshua Konyi said at least 35 soldiers loyal to Yau Yau are headed to the Kariak area to train the youth to fight off the disarming soldiers.
“We got the rumors that David Yau Yau sent his people, led by somebody called Major General James Harzen, he has now arrived to a place called Kariak at the border, along the Nanaam River, trying to find his way to this place,” explained the commissioner.
According to the commissioner he instructed the South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement youth in Pibor to talk to the people in the villages, in order to encourage them not to join the rebels.
Joshua said he talked to the “infantry to monitor them not to give them any chance to make destruction like what they did during the time of George Athor again,” referring to the general in the South Sudanese army (SPLA) who rebelled to form the South Sudan Democratic Movement / Army (SSDM/SSDA) in 2010. He died in December 2012 in disputed circumstances.
He said their defeat would mark an end to Jonglei’s insecurity.
In January the UN estimated 120,000 “may need relief assistance” due to the conflict in Jonglei since. There has been a long-running cattle-raiding/child-abduction feud between the Luo-Nuer and Murle ethnic groups which has escalated with the advent of readily available small arms. The proliferation of which is due, in part, to two decades of Sudanese civil war, which ended in 2005.