The government of South Sudan has held David Yau Yau’s rebel army responsible for the ambush in which five Indian peacekeepers were killed in the country’s Jonglei province on April 9 this year.

The peacekeepers were escorting a UN convoy when they were struck by rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire. A contingent of 2,200 Indian Army personnel is currently deployed as part of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

“The forces that attacked the UN convoy are the forces of David Yau Yau,” said South Sudanese Minister for Irrigation and Water Resources, Paul Mayom at a press conference in Addis Ababa,

“The motives cannot be revealed by anyone but the perpetrator.” Mr. Mayom is in the Ethiopian capital to participate in continuing negotiations between South Sudan and Sudan, its northern neighbour.

A South Sudanese leader of the Murle ethnic group, Mr. Yau Yau set up his guerilla army after a failed attempt to win a seat in the 2010 general election. He accused the current administration of rigging the vote and declared war.

Ever since South Sudan broke away from Sudan in 2011, both states have struggled to suppress militias seeking to carve out autonomous territories. While Mr. Yau Yau is active in the South, the North is currently in talks with the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (North), a remnant of the South Sudan liberation movement still active in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States. Both neighbours routinely accuse the other of fomenting instability in their respective territories.

On Tuesday in Addis, both sides agreed to set up ten border-crossings to facilitate the movement of civilians and have set the terms of reference for a joint security committee to expand engagement on security related issues.

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