Just hours after a group of not-particularly-popular-or-influential South Sudanese politicians announced that they have defected, supporters and tribesmen belonging to SPLA-Juba and SPLA-IO have come out separately to praise the defectors and welcome them into the mucky political arena that is already filled with self-proclaimed messiahs of South Sudan.
Although the defectors have not clearly spelled out who they are defecting from or which side they used to belong to, their press statement distributed in the internet vaguely accuses a leader of murdering civilians; commanding an out of control bunch of tribal militias; and being passive to the suffering of the people of South Sudan. They also accused the leader of unnecessarily prolonging the war and refusing to reach a peaceful political settlement that satisfies all the stakeholders.
Supporters of President Kiir, leader of the SPLA-Juba faction, believe the defectors must be talking about the rebellion and have, as such, praised them for seeing the light and denouncing rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar for prolonging the war and the massacres of civilians in town thrashed and looted in the early days of the crisis.
However, the same but different SPLM led by Dr. Riek Machar believe the same but yet different interpretation of the statement by the defectors. According to them, there is only one leader who the cap – or cowboy hat – fit, and that leader is not Riek Machar.
Dr. Kak Akwa, Saakam’s resident expert on all matters of interest, said these proclamations of defection have become like Presidential decrees issued in Juba appointing or dismissing the cook or the driver of the first lady – meaningless.
‘Everybody is angry or against somebody else, so defecting from or to here or there does not really matter especially when the only thing you bring with you is the African dress on yourself and the burden of taking care of you – except of course if you are a soldier,’ said Dr. Kak Akwa.
‘The rebels in Addis Ababa are hiding from some people who show up in there and want to defect…. and the government can’t wait for others to just go away, I tell you!’
‘So you have these people who here or there, they are not really useful. Releasing a big statement like this could be the only single big thing they have done in their career for a long time,’
The defectors have not yet clarified their intentions but the latest unconfirmed reports suggest they might remain neutral (like they have always been) and work towards a quick and peaceful resolution to the conflict that will ensure and preserve aspects of the status quo that are vital to people like them.
Not very much is known about any of the defectors except that most of them have always served in all the previous governments and have earned the title ‘professional politicians’ for the simple fact that they hold on to their political positions to get paid.
Saakam, like always, will keep you updated.