David Yau Yau

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David Yau Yau
Chief Administrator of Greater Pibor
In office
Preceded by position established
Succeeded by position abolished

David Yau Yau was the Chief Administrator of the Greater Pibor Administrative Area of South Sudan.[1][2] He was previously the leader of a Murle insurrection against the South Sudanese government.

Early life and education[edit]

Yau Yau studied theology at Emmanuel Christian College in Yei from 2004 to 2006.[3]


In 2010, Yau Yau was employed as County Secretary by the South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in Pibor County. Yau Yau ran in the April 2010 Sudanese general election for the Gumuruk Boma seat in the Jonglei State Assembly. The SPLM candidate Judi Jonglei Bioris won by a wide margin.[3] Yau Yau is alternately reported to have been an independent candidate[3] and a member of the United Democratic Front opposition party.[4]


After his failed bid for the state assembly, Yau Yau accused the SPLM of fraud and voter intimidation. On May 20, 2010 he led an armed group in a clash with the SPLA. One casualty was reported by the SPLA. Yau Yau indicated that he was in contact with George Athor, another failed Jonglei candidate who led the South Sudan Democratic Movement (SSDM) into rebellion for similar reasons.[4]

Yau Yau signed a ceasefire with the GoSS in June 2011, which integrated him and his militia with the SPLA. He had the rank of Brigadier General in the SPLA. In April 2012 he defected again, and lead a Murle-dominated militia in the South Sudan internal conflict for several years.[5]

Yau Yau became the head of the Murle insurrection and the militia that he led became known as the "Cobra Faction" of the SSDM. A March, 2014 peace accord with the GoSS appointed Yau Yau as the Chief Administrator of a newly established, semi-autonomous Greater Pibor Administrative Area, with virtually the same authority as South Sudan's state governors.[6]

Dissolution of Cobra Faction[edit]

He gave up the leadership of his Cobra Faction which was dissolved after merger with the SPLM-IO-allied Greater Pibor Forces in January 2016. After leaving the post of leader of Cobra Faction, he joined the SPLM with some of his former accomplices.[7][8]