South Sudan

Ethiopia army enters South Sudan

Members of the Ethiopian army patrol the streets of Addis Ababa in 2005.

Members of the Ethiopian army patrol the streets of Addis Ababa in 2005.

South Sudan’s deputy defense minister David Yau Yau reached an accord Tuesday with governor Baba Medan of the proposed Boma state after intervention by president Salva Kiir.

Yau Yau and Medan are rivals in the predominately Murle-inhabited Boma state, but the unsigned agreement reached today may end months of rising political squabbles between their respective followers.

Presidential special envoy on Murle affairs, Akot Lual Areec, said Tuesday that politicians from Boma state finally agreed to work together and resolve their differences amicably in order to achieve calm and tranquillity in Boma after several months of discord.

“There is no problem now among politicians and leaders from Boma state. The president has resolved it and the politicians themselves have accepted to work together and to reconcile among themselves,” Akot said.

“General David Yau Yau is now the deputy minister of defense at the national level, a very senior position compared to being a governor of a particular area.”

“He will now be focusing on defense matters of the whole country. This was the assignment which president Salva Kiir wanted to give him since the president did not make changes in Boma state with bad intention,” Akot continued.

“He was preparing General Yau Yau for a big assignment at the national level like it has now happened. General Yau Yau has already taken oath of office and has accepted the assignment willfully. He also assured the president that he would now work with governor Baba Medan.”

Governor Medan, according to the presidential envoy, will return to the state soon with assurances that he would go and cooperate and work with the people of Boma state, regardless of their political and social views towards his administration.

“The differences between the politicians and their community leaders have now been resolved. Governor Medan will return home with the message of peace, reconciliation, unity, respect and love of one another,” Akot said.

Meanwhile Yau Yau confessed he was angry with his removal from his previous position as the chief administrator of the Greater Pibor Area and also upset with the appointment of Baba Medan as governor, but he has now forgiven what happened and accepted to start a new page and work with the governor.

“There is no problem on my side. I accepted the initiative of the president, and like he said on Friday at the first council of ministers after the appointment of the ministers of the transitional government of national unity, I can say, let us open a new page of forgiveness and reconciliation,” Yau Yau said Tuesday.

He thanked presidential special envoy Akot, describing him as “a true brother.”

Meanwhile, various sources said Ethiopia’s military has taken up positions at multiple points inside South Sudan, including in Akobo county, Pochalla town of Boma state, and near Raad in Jebel Boma county of Boma state.

The Ethiopian military is said to be pursuing more than 100 children abducted during an attack in Gambella last month which killed over 200 people and was blamed on an ethnic Murle militia.

Baba Medan had accused Yau Yau’s followers of carrying out the attack.

Yau Yau said the attackers came from Medan’s Likaungole county using ammunition provided by Medan.

Medan’s forces clashed with the former Cobra of Yau Yau in Pibor town earlier this year leading to casualties, displacement, looting, and destruction of property.


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