Peter Gadet’s Rebellion, Updated April 2011

Originally published


Peter Gadet Yak, a key Khartoum-backed southern militia leader who fought the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) during the war but was integrated into the southern army as a major-general following the 2006 Juba Declaration, is the latest SPLA official to abandon his post and declare an armed revolt against the SPLM/A.

Peter, from Mayom county, played a leading role in the South Sudan Unity Movement/Army (SSUM/A), a militia founded and led by Paulino Matiep in Bentiu that merged with the Khartoum-supported South Sudan Defense Forces (SSDF) following the Khartoum Peace Agreement of 1997. Though it became highly fragmented, with rival militia commanders attacking each other's forces in the swamps and oil fields of what are now Unity and Upper Nile states, the SSUM was the most powerful southern militia opposed to the SPLA during the war. It was also involved in the brutal clearing of vast tracks of Unity for oil exploration, in which Peter participated. But Peter defected from the SSUM in 1999 with a large number of troops previously loyal to Paulino, splintering that movement and temporarily severing ties with his former commander.