National, News

David YAU YAU defects to SPLM-IO

By William Madouk


A former leader of Cobra faction, General David Yau Yau, has quit Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IG) under President Salva Kiir Mayardit and joined the SPLM-IO, allied to Dr. Riek Machar.

Gen. Yau Yau and 20 other members from Northern Bahr el Ghazal State were welcomed by the SPLM/A-IO party interim secretary-general, Regina Joseph, alongside other senior party members from Juba.

In his declaration, Yau Yau stated that he resigned from the ruling SPLM party and opted for the SPLM-IO.

“After deep reflections and soul-searching on the prevailing political and transitional processes and the need to secure the future of the Republic of South Sudan and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA), we have decided to tender our resignation from the SPLM-IG/ITGoNU with effect from April 1, 2024,” Yau Yau said.

His group, the Cobra faction, signed a peace agreement with Kiir’s government in 2014, ending a four-year civil war in Jonglei State.

He emphasized the importance of the 2014 Agreement in ending years of political violence in South Sudan, particularly in Jonglei State.

However, he stressed grievances stemming from the 2010 general elections, alleging the SPLM used state forces to manipulate results, leading to widespread violence in Jonglei.

“During the 2010 general elections, when the SPLM decided to use the SPLA and other organized forces in Jonglei State to rig the elections, the leaders of the South Sudan Democratic Movement (SSDM) were intimidated, beaten, harassed, and jailed,” he noted.

“This led to political violence in Jonglei State, leading to widespread systematic killings and destructions of property and livelihoods of citizens of Greater Pibor. There was no transitional justice or any efforts to alleviate the humanitarian situation of the people affected by the war,” he added.

Yau Yau uttered his disappointment over the lack of full implementation of his agreement with the government and subsequent peace accords, blaming a lack of political will by the ruling SPLM party.

He complained that the SPLM administration has drastically failed in governance and caused tribalism and economic downfall.

“We thought that the implementation of ARCSS in 2015 and the R-ARCSS in 2018 would result in an inclusive and durable peace in South Sudan,” Yau explained.

“This hope was shuttered when the ARCSS collapsed in 2016 before our eyes, and now the R-ARCSS is under severe violation and the threat of being derailed or abrogated,” he continued.

He said they would not stand aloof and watch the country descend into an abyss, adding that the current governance crisis and living conditions of South Sudanese are unacceptable.

The former deputy defense minister also said that the Greater Pibor area remains impoverished, stressing the need for improved living conditions.

“GPAA today remains one of the most impoverished, isolated, and underdeveloped communities in South Sudan, with no government services or infrastructure. The people of South Sudan deserve better lives anchored on peace, justice, and prosperity,” decried Yau Yau.

Mr. Yau Yau argued that these conditions are exacerbated by the absence of government on both sides.

“These failures have been a source of contention and disagreement that divided the party that once was a beacon of hope and aspiration for the marginalized people of South Sudan,” he stated.

“There are those who are feasting on the suffering of the people of South Sudan, and they insist on promoting their selfish interests at the expense of the people and the state, and they become very powerful and wealthy,” he continued.

Gen. Yau, who was the first chief administrator of Pibor Administrative Area, accused the SPLM party of losing vision and ideological direction.

Furthermore, he alleged that SPLM has failed in good governance and in security provision across the country.

“We have therefore decided to withdraw our confidence and effort from the SPLM-IG so that we are not part of any political force that is seeking to perpetuate inequality, tribalism, and ethnic bigotry in the country,” he expressed.

Mr. Yau Yau made this decision after President Salva Kiir, who doubles as chairman of the SPLM party, removed him as a member of the SPLM National Liberation Council and also from parliament in October 2023.


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