Source: Radio Tamazuj

David Yau Yau, the leader of the ex-rebel South Sudan Democratic Movement (SSDM) Cobra Faction, was recognized by the South Sudanese president while in attendance at the 3rd Independence Anniversary yesterday in Juba.

The SSDM waged an insurgency in eastern Jonglei before the current civil war. But the movement opted not to ally with the SPLM-IO who launched their rebellion shortly before SSDM signed a truce with the government in January.

They signed a more detailed political deal in May, which granted the rebels a partial concession to their demand for their own state in the eastern Jonglei region. 

Yau Yau is expected soon to join the government. The newly created position of Chief Administrator of the Greater Pibor Administrative Area remains vacant.

By protocol, the position will be equal to that of a state governor.

President Salva Kiir acknowledged Yau Yau’s presence at the Indepenence Day ceremonies yesterday in Juba, saying during an address: “I thank David Yau Yau for these courageous national decisions to stop war and accept dialogue and peaceful settlement of the crisis.”

“Soon after this celebration this agreement should be signed into law and that will follow by immediate implementation,” Kiir said.

Bishop Emeritus Paride Taban of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Torit mediated the peace talks in Addis Ababa between the government and Yau Yau faction. The deal awaits approval by the Council of States before becoming law.

Kiir underscored that no foreigner was involved in mediating between his government and David Yau Yau, pointing to this as an example of South Sudanese experiences in solving their own internal problems.

He also said, “We knew our problems are our own, and if we can solve them, it is better to resolve them before the problem can finish us first. So this is the good example, and I therefore, I called upon my brother Riek to stop the war.”

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