Caille, Gallente Prime – President Celes Aguard has formally assumed leadership of the Gallente Federation following her inauguration today in Caille, the traditional capital of the Federation Union of Gallente Prime. Under heavy security, outgoing President Jacus Roden administered the oath of office to President Aguard on the Dais of the Four Freedoms in Liberty Square, Central Caille.
Despite the unusually high security measures, a consequence of the February Election Attacks, large crowds thronged Liberty Square, Crystal Boulevard and many streets of Central Caille. With so many from the diverse communities of Caille on the streets, and with many interstellar visitors, a carnival atmosphere was achieved, despite the ubiquity of Caille Gendarmes and Federal Police.
After administering the Presidential Oath to Celes Aguard, Jacus Roden made a short valedictory address in which he pledged to "continue to serve the peoples of the Gallente Federation in any and every way that I can." Jacus Roden's plans for private life are not known and he has made himself available to the Aguard administration's transition team in the short term.
Above: President Celes Aguard
Making her inaugural address, President Celes Aguard thanked Jacus Roden for his presidential service and for "resolutely and loyally ensuring a peaceful transfer of power in the democratic tradition of our great Federation, despite grave and vicious attacks on our way of life."
"Our Federation is a shining beacon of liberty in this universe, providing a realm for all the people to pursue their prosperity, with all their vital diversity, and in unity with their fellow citizens. As it has been, so it shall be under my administration and this Gallente Federation will be for all the peoples who live within it, no matter where they live. Whether it be Luminaire or Reblier, Crux or Beyt, Essence or Solitude, all the territories of the Federation will receive the support and security they are due under my administration.
"Nor shall my administration seek to impose a central vision on the many and varied cultures of our diverse and far-flung Federation. The principles of autonomous democracy, local sovereignty and co-operative federation will be upheld and strengthened by my federal administration. Equally, the unity and prosperity of our great Federation is threatened by interstellar war and internal threats alike. My administration places the highest importance on achieving peaceful co-existence with our neighbors, and total and implacable resistance to those who would destroy our way of life, whether that be by invasion, terrorism or subversion.
"My fellow citizens of the Federation Union, you have placed the highest trust in me and I am deeply humbled by it. I shall serve you and the principles of our great Gallente Federation until my dying breath. Peace, prosperity and liberty to all!"
Representatives of the other major empires were present at the inauguration and are understood to have had meetings with President Aguard. From the Caldari State, Hyasyoda CEO Ahtonen Osmon, Lai Dai CEO Alakoni Ishanoya, and Sukuuvestaa CEO Kuikiainen Onita represented the Chief Executive Panel.
Leading the Minmatar Republic delegation, Sanmatar Maleatu Shakor chose to personally attend, underlining the importance the Tribal Council places on close relations with the Gallente Federation. Chiefs Acassa Midular and Einnar Aeboul, of the Sebiestor and Thukker Tribes respectively, were also present.
For the Amarr Empire, Lady Ersilia Kor-Azor and Lord Tunir Tash-Murkon headed a delegation keen to establish improved diplomatic and trading relations with the new Gallente administration. Lord Governor Ekroz Salaf of the Ammatar Mandate was also in attendance, while the Khanid Kingdom was represented solely by its ambassador to the Federation.
In Other News
Luminaire, Essence – The third time of trying brought good fortune at last for Governor Celes Aguard, as final totalizations in the Gallente Presidential Election narrowly gave the win to her after a hard-fought campaign in which Shaileen Ramnev's strong showing put the result in doubt until all results were in. Governor Aguard's victory will make her the first female President of the Federated Union of Gallente Prime with Jin-Mei heritage.
Former Arcurio Mayor Shaileen Ramnev has conceded and congratulated Governor Aguard in a personal holocall. Senator Suvio Bellaron has issued a statement of congratulations, as have Councillor Wayaki Kayara and Senator Kelen Ontbad. There has been no word as yet from the camp of Mentas Blaque. Outgoing President Jacus Roden issued a statement of congratulations alongside the certification of results made by the Federal Elections Commission.
With all totalizations and adjustments made, the federal districts totals stood at 31 for Celes Aguard, 23 for Shaileen Ramnev, 4 for Suvio Bellaron, 3 for Mentas Blaque, and 1 for Kelen Ontbad. Sub-district totals were 427 for Aguard, 382 for Ramnev, 47 for Bellaron, 32 for Blaque, and 15 for Ontbad. Popular vote totals stand at 46.37% for Aguard, 42.32% for Ramnev, 5.25% for Bellaron, 4.13% for Blaque, and 1.41% for Ontbad.
Governor Aguard's victory represents solid backing for her "unity, security, diversity" message and program across the entire Gallente Federation. However, the appeal and political impact of Shaileen Ramnev's platform of reconciliation and strong self-governance is clear from her emergence as a very strong challenger out of a field of well-known, experienced and popular politicians. The result perhaps represents the least clear endorsement for a presidential winner in the last two decades but the presidential mandate of Governor Aguard is beyond doubt when considering all metrics.
Of the clear losers, Senator Suvio Bellaron will be pleased to have finished substantially ahead of Mentas Blaque, and his position as a leading liberal voice in the Senate will likely not be damaged. The future of the as-yet-unsigned "Bellaron Bill" to outlaw capital punishment does, however, seem in doubt given the support that Governor Aguard drew from Jin-Mei and Mannar communities sceptical of central-interventionist measures such as the bill.
While Senator Kelen Ontbad clearly anticipated a trailing performance, coming last among the established contenders will be a blow. Yet it may be that being knocked into fourth place is a bigger humiliation for career politician, administrator and FIO Head Mentas Blaque.
Governor Celes Aguard's campaign was clearly given a notable boost by the endorsement of Mannar politician Wayaki Kayara, but her long record on frontier security, emphasis on unity of the Federation across all regions, and her status as a capable governor of a major Gallente system were critical. With the Gallente Federation continuing to deal with the aftermath of the February Election Attacks, the ongoing threat of the Triglavian invasions, and the instability of the miltia warzones, Governor Aguard's third run evidently captured the moment for many people.
President-elect Celes Aguard will be inaugurated as President of the Federated Union of Gallente Prime on Friday May 15th.
The Scope Election HQ Team: Lina Ambre, The Scope; Ret Gloriaxx, The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx; Kavash Timuryi, Leremblopes Sentinel; Oskar Illutain, Villore Guardian; Sashara Qistan, Luminaire Star Herald
In Other News
Luminaire, Essence – Trillions have been voting throughout the Gallente Federation, following the opening of Federal Presidential and Senate Election polls across all districts at 00:00 8th May New Eden time. Outgoing President Jacus Roden has ordered the highest level of civilian and military security at vital infrastructure across New Eden, vowing that there will be "no repeat of the February Election Attacks."
While all eyes are on the race for the Presidency of the Federated Union of Gallente Prime, a fifth of the 903 Federal Senate seats are up for election in this year's cycle, with 181 sub-districts also voting for their Senate representatives. Early indications are that voting participation numbers are very high, with Federal elections and communications authorities reporting high usage of secure voting channels in all sub-districts.
Following latest pre-election polling, The Scope's Election HQ team has assessed the race for the Presidency as a contest between two strong runners: Mies Governor Celes Aguard and former Arcurio Mayor Shaileen Ramnev. Senator Suvio Bellaron of Intaki may still have a path to victory but his chances are hurt by weakness outside the Placid and Essence regions. Ramnev's reconciliation message has resonated with many voters but the popularity of Aguard's "unity, security, diversity" message has proved enduring. Aguard's pledge to link Solitude directly to the main Federation gate network has particularly energized voters in that region.
Mentas Blaque, former Senate Head and Chief of the Federal Intelligence Office, has performed relatively poorly in polling despite his aggressive attempts to project himself as the face of Gallente "prosperity with security." Our analysis team suggest much of his appeal has been undercut by the strong security record of Governor Aguard and the insurgent campaign of Federal Defense Union General Julianus Soter. While the latter is trailing among the most prominent candidates, voters inclined to back hawkish views have been split across three campaigns with Blaque's spotted record as FIO head hurting him.
Senator Kelen Ontbad of Colelie has seen his presidential hopes collapse as polls over the last month have indicated clearly his appeal amongst dovish and reconciliation-minded voters has drained away in favor of Shaileen Ramnev's campaign. Ramnev's campaign has been boosted significantly by a number of endorsements from senators of the Labor-Populist Alliance and other key figures in the "Doves" bloc. Analysts speculate that aggressive anti-reconciliation campaigning against Ramnev served mainly to highlight her as the leading champion of such positions.
Political and Ethnic Attitudes
The role of political parties and ethnic groups has been felt keenly in the Senate races but has also had significant influence over the Presidential campaign. Suvio Bellaron has strong support among backers of the Federalist-Liberal Party, but equally is opposed by many among the Jin-Mei and Mannar communities for his central-interventionist views. Observers have also noted that Mannar voters have swung decisively behind Governor Celes Aguard since fellow candidate and Mannar Councillor Wayaki Kayara ended his campaign in favor of the governor's. Kelen Ontbad's hopes were perhaps most heavily hit by the defection of many among the Matari diaspora to the cause of Shaileen Ramnev.
The issue of Senator Bellaron's capital punishment abolition bill, passed by the Senate and awaiting approval or veto by the next president, has also been polarizing across political party and ethnic lines. Both the New Sociocrats, largely backing Mentas Blaque, and the Progressive Union, strong supporters of Celes Aguard, have outright condemned the bill and called for it to be vetoed by the next president. The Jin-Mei bloc continues to rail against the measure, while the Intaki diaspora strongly supports it.
Gallente supporters of the Labor-Populists and Federalist-Liberals have tended to back a ban on capital punishment. Analysts believe the Soter campaign's backing for a capital punishment ban, despite his overall hawkish positions, has reduced further his somewhat limited appeal outside Gallente and Intaki communities.
Weekend Polling Ends Sunday
For his part, two-term President Jacus Roden has stayed above the political fray, notably declining to endorse former political ally Mentas Blaque, and has indicated he intends to be a "neutral guarantor of the peaceful transfer of government according to the democratic will of the peoples of the Federated Union". The election weekend polling will end at midnight New Eden time on Sunday, with final results expected to be declared late on Monday. The inauguration of the next President of the Federated Union of Gallente Prime is scheduled for Friday 15th May.
The Scope Election HQ Team: Lina Ambre, The Scope; Ret Gloriaxx, The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx; Oskar Illutain, Villore Guardian; Sashara Qistan, Luminaire Star Herald; Kavash Timuryi, Leremblompes Sentinel; and Olivera en Zakali, Placid GalNetNews
In Other News
Yulai, Genesis – Provost Marshal Kasiha Valkanir of CONCORD's AEGIS division formally announced the formation of the New Eden Common Defense Initiative (EDENCOM) in a press conference at DED headquarters in Yulai, today. The presser follows a wave of attacks by Triglavian Collective forces against EDENCOM production facilities involved in distributing materiel to capsuleers in conjunction with the Society of Conscious Thought's celebration of Capsuleer Day YC122.
Capsuleers have been urged by CONCORD to repel the Triglavian assault forces, and retrieve any technology and materiel taken from the previously hidden EDENCOM facilities. Marshal Valkanir expressed disappointment that "our counter-intelligence efforts have so far not prevailed against Triglavian subversion" but railed against "those who would support the Triglavians and their invasion of New Eden."
"While preparations for a change in defensive strategy have been advanced for some time, it is clear to the CONCORD Inner Circle and core empires that now is the time to formalize a dedicated common defense pact across the cluster. The New Eden Common Defense Initiative is that pact and my own AEGIS division will operate as the central co-ordinating organization within EDENCOM. The focus of EDENCOM will be on accelerating the fortification of New Eden's star systems, supporting the member states of CONCORD in their defense efforts, and working as closely as possible with capsuleers loyal to the cause of our common civilization."
Present at the briefing alongside Marshal Valkanir were Inner Circle President Seri Okonaya and DED Star Marshal Kjersidur Elladall. While EDENCOM will take the lead in the new strategy of defense in depth and accelerated fortification, Marshal Elladall's DED forces will continue to engage in counter-Triglavian operations together with their many other duties in New Eden.
However, it is understood that the Inner Circle's empire delegates had insisted on the establishment of a dedicated command organization more closely aligned with the interests of the core empires. The Amarr Empire and Gallente Federation had taken a particular lead in promoting this change as their expansive territories have borne the brunt of Triglavian invasion efforts. President Jacus Roden and Empress Catiz I have personally co-ordinated on this matter, with their respective allies and satellite states falling in line with the new plan.
In Related News
DED and AEGIS forces have confirmed that Triglavian forces continue to carry out extensive experimental operations on planetary surfaces across New Eden. Over the past month, systems across New Eden have seen populations seized and transferred to various environments. Triglavian experimental environments in Fliet, Dakba, Notoras, Oppold and Palmon have been assaulted and populations recovered by AEGIS forces, in some cases allegedly working with Arkombine mercenaries in the pay of the Upwell Consortium.
Even today, Triglavian scout forces have been sighted in Geztic, Gultratren, Nani, and Passari following a pattern indicative of support for Triglavian surface operations. Reports of collaboration and subversive support for the Triglavian Collective are also on the rise across New Eden, with analysts speculating that Triglavian memetic propaganda is responsible for a number of recent incidents.
In Other News
Saisio, The Forge – This afternoon, a seemingly undamaged Raven-class battleship bearing the Lai Dai logo emerged from a wormhole in Saisio near the Sukuuvestaa Corporation station in orbit of Moon 20, Saisio VIII. According to sources aboard the Sukuuvestaa HQ, station security personally led by Kauliken Uusazoken took the derelict ship into custody and towed it to the station after it failed to respond to repeated communication attempts. Reports indicate that the ship appeared to be adrift without power.
Lai Dai CEO Alakoni Ishanoy released a statement calling for SuVee to return the battleship and any crew to Lai Dai's possession. "If witness reports are accurate, the Raven matches the description of LDSS Airkio's Promise, flagship of our wormhole expedition which went missing nearly a decade ago. A single Raven retrofitted to function as a laboratory hardly constitutes a threat, even to the Peace and Order Unit." Among the missing were nearly six thousand employees on the research vessel and its escorts.
While SuVee has declined to release details about the ship or potential presence of crew, they did release a brief statement reading in part, "As the vessel in question qualifies as salvage under applicable State law, Sukuuvestaa Corporation will retain custody of the vessel and maintain a primary interest in its disposition."
In a move emphasizing ongoing political realignments in the State, Kaalakiota Corporation, nominally Lai Dai's fellow "Patriot Bloc" member, quickly released a statement in support of SuVee's position. The move by KK suggests Lai Dai would have no easy time of it should they choose to escalate the dispute to the Caldari Business Tribunal or Chief Executive Panel.
Additionally, the current summit meeting of the CEP is considering the critical issues of megacorporation territorial concessions, corporate security force jurisdiction, and the current status of Inner Circle negotiations on the Emergency War Powers Act YC110. In this context, Lai Dai making too much of a relatively minor salvage suit would risk losing face before the other megacorps.
In Other News
Luminaire, Essence – The Gallente Federal Elections Commission has set the date of the new Presidential and Senate elections for the weekend starting 8th May this year. Results will be declared the following Monday and President Jacus Roden has declared his intention to transfer power at a presidential inauguration on 15th May.
While holding the re-scheduled election of a new Federation President and the fifth of the Senate up for election this year has been a priority for the Roden administration, there have been delays in the drive for "normalization". Reports of erratic network connections have flared up again in outlying regions and districts of the Federation. In addition, several members of the Federal Elections Commission were in attendance at the Festival of Chareté hosted by Ensî Beatrice Batteuse in Central Garoun on 28th March.
Some Gallente media have lambasted Federal Elections Commissioners for putting a "Royalist Drinking and Sex Festival" above the request from President Roden to set a date by 28th March. Other outlets have sided with the Commissioners and Ensî Beatrice Batteuse for observing the traditions of the Garouni fertility and abundance rites despite all. The Scope's Ret Gloriaxx was in attendance at the festival but we take no particular editorial line on the matter.
In closely related news, President Roden has appointed his predecesor, President Souro Foiritan, as head of the Federal Investigative Commission into the attacks on the federal elections and communication networks. President Foiritan has been charged with assembling an "independent and determined body of investigators and assessors" as swiftly as possible.
In Other News
The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx brings an exclusive account of a Triglavian mystery in Sinq Laison, news of political strife in the Republic, and our usual summary of other news from around New Eden.
Exclusive: Authorities Mystified as Population of Esmes III Town Discovered in Triglavian "Environmental Facility" on Goinard II
Goinard, Sinq Laison – The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx can exclusively reveal that the population of the town of New Concept on Esmes III are alive and apparently reasonably well. After detecting strange signals emanating from the storm world of Goinard II, CONCORD's AEGIS division discovered a bizarre environment maintained on the rocky surface of that inhospitable planet. Within the heavily protected environment were the population of New Concept colony, so recently believed to have been reduced to their constituent molecules by a Triglavian raid on 8th March.
While intrepid reporter Ret Gloriaxx, of the Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx, was unable to gain access to the strange environment or interview the fortunate survivors of New Concept, it was possible to secure an exclusive interview with AEGIS Provost Marshal Kasiha Valkanir. It should be noted that this interview was only granted after Marshal Valkanir had assured herself that the situation in Goinard system was secure, following unusual Triglavian activity in space and on the surface of Goinard II.
"I am afraid that operational secrecy requirements mean that I cannot reveal too much to you, Sieur Gloriaxx, but I can say that all inhabitants of New Concept, Esmes III, that are in the records available to us were found in the Triglavian facility on the surface of Goinard II. The nature of that facility? Clearly some form of experimental environment. The structure itself was considerably hardened against the storms of Goinard II and guarded by Triglavian combat drones. More than that I cannot say at this time. Our operation to secure the facility and the inhabitants of New Concept was a complete success. They are now safe in AEGIS custody."
"Motivations of the Triglavians? It's not my role to speculate, Sieur Gloriaxx. I'm a soldier charged with organizing major elements of the defense of New Eden. Our forces responded to a threat and by good grace were able to save lives thought lost. Are they all completely unharmed? I can't say that, I'm afraid, and I'm unwilling to discuss individual cases. Suffice to say that Triglavian methods of intelligence gathering can be taxing to the subject. We've seen this sort of thing before, on a smaller scale. Yes, I'd say the Triglavians are adapting their approach as the invasion campaign continues. They remain a dire threat to New Eden. Thank you, Sieur Gloriaxx, that will have to be enough."
The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx wishes to note that a combined force of capsuleers cleared the Goinard system of a substantial Triglavian scouting force during the time AEGIS and CONCORD forces were apparently carrying out operations on Goinard II. Other sources available to investigative reporter Ret Gloriaxx have suggested that AEGIS has secured a number of similar facilities elsewhere in New Eden. The Scope has also been told that captured civilians and military are almost certainly being tested in various ways by the Triglavians. One source has claimed that Triglavians are "biologically adapting" some prisoners to various environments.
The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx will continue to pursue the truth and publish it for all citizens of New Eden!
Minmatar Tribal Council Passes New Internal Security Measures Amidst Heated Debate
Matar, Pator System – There were heated scenes at the Tribal Council, this morning, as proposals for a "Sanmatar's Circle for Security Co-ordination" were passed by the votes of the Brutor, Krusual, Starkmanir and Thukker Chiefs. Chief Acassa Midular of the Sebiestor Tribe vigorously opposed the measure, while the Nefantar and Vherokior Chiefs chose to abstain.
The debate on the controversial proposals was held in open session at the insistence of the Sebiestor and Vherokior Chiefs, under the rule that any two tribes of the Republic may call for and be granted an open council. Sanmatar Maleatu Shakor did not exercise his option to speak in the discussion and under the rules of the Tribal Councli he has no vote on decisions.
A particularly robust exchange of views was had between Sebiestor Chief Acassa Midular on one side, and Chiefs Tenerhaddi Dykon of the Krusual Tribe and Einnar Aeboul of the Thukker Tribe on the other. Chief Midular raised the issue of "vast financial and resource appropriations for mysterious purposes that my own forensic accountants have traced to the Krusual Covert Operators, Tronhadar Free Guard and Trust Partners."
Chief Dykon asserted that matter was "not remotely germane to the proposals before us and the raising of it demonstrates a reckless disregard for proper order that has come to be the hallmark of certain Sebiestor clans and their representatives." Chief Aeboul described the evidence brought up by Chief Midular as "barely worth the notice of the council," but added "I shall be sure to have an aide make a note to look into it further."
Starkmanir Chief Jeoran Setul brought the debate to a close, moving the proposals to a formal vote that passed by four to one, with two abstaining. The new Sanmatar's Circle for Security Co-ordination will have broad powers of investigation, evidence gathering, witness summons, arrest of suspects and appropriation of material vital to the security of the Tribal Republic.
The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx hopes and trusts these measures will be temporary and not overlong impinge on the liberties of the Minmatar people!
In Other News
Yulai, Genesis – CONCORD's Inner Circle Summit on the militia warzones crisis has made a diplomatic breakthrough on the rules for strategic operations and system control as laid out in the Emergency Militia War Powers Act YC110 (EMWPA). The so-called "YC122 Revision 1" to the EMWPA will also provide a framework for future revisions dealing with the status of orbital bodies in militia warzone systems.
CONCORD's executive and directive council, made up of Empire Delegates and CONCORD's Presidium, the Inner Circle has been deadlocked for months over the breakdown in norms and conventions concerning the conduct of warfare and administration of occupations in the two militia warzones that straddle the Amarr-Minmatar and Caldari-Gallente borders, respectively. While high-intensity talks continue on the status of planetary and other orbital bodies, the newly-agreed EMWPA YC122 Revision 1 measures are coming into force across the warzones by Inner Circle directive.
In a major concession to the Amarr Empire's delegate, Captain Marshal Sirdan xer Qosh, the influence of special interests groups and agents operating from militia stations will be heavily curtailed. The Minmatar Republic's Keitan Yun was for his part keen to see that "outside parties be properly designated as valid combat targets when intruding on militia operations." It is believed that the Federation's Devan Malate continues to back the Republic's position. The State's Alakoni Ishanoya was apparently in support of all these measures while promoting revisions aimed at enhancing the role of battleships and other heavy vessels produced by Caldari megacorporations.
Diplomatic sources have indicated that the breakthrough is in large part due to the intervention of the Society of Conscious Thought's Elder Mentor Matshi Raish. Considerable pressure on forging a solution has also been brought to bear by Federation President Jacus Roden and the Chief Executive Panel of the Caldari State. CONCORD's Presidium, together with the DED and AEGIS, has additionally been highly concerned that escalating warfare between the empires could render New Eden highly vulnerable to Triglavian invasions, Drifter subversion efforts or the depredations of Sansha's Nation and the Blood Raider Covenant.
In Other News
President Jacus Roden Sets March 28th Date for "Normalization of Gallente Federation Politics and Society"
Luminaire, Essence – Responding to growing public and political pressure, President Jacus Roden has announced that he intends all branches of the Federal Administration to work towards "the normalization of Gallente Federation politics and society by March 28th." The President outlined his instruction that staged easing of the Federal State of Emergency should complete on the specified date, as well as his request to the Federal Elections Commission to be in a position to announce on that day the date of the Federal Presidential and Senate Elections.
The Federal Senate has been requested by President Roden to prepare proposals for the establishment of an Independent Commission of Investigation into the Election Attacks. The Federal Security Council has been directed to reduce all restrictive measures to the necessary minimum and terminate them entirely on March 28th. The Federal Intelligence Office has been tasked to work on evidence-gathering at the express direction of the Senate Security Intelligence Committee.
While protests against emergency provisions that are increasingly seen as unnecessary have continued, a number of civil society organizations have expressed satisfaction at the President's commitment to normalize Federation political and social freedoms by the end of the month. Planetary authorities across the Gallente Federation are calling on protestors to cease actions such as blockades and occupations, while congratulating their citizens for reasserting their freedoms.
Inner Circle Recalls All Empire Delegates to Yulai for Renewed Negotiations as Conflict Monitors Warn of "Catastrophic Scenario" on Floseswin IV
Yulai, Genesis – The CONCORD Inner Circle has urgently recalled all Empire Delegates to Yulai for renewed negotiations over the crisis over the administration of militia warzones. CONCORD conflict monitor warnings of a potentially "catastropic scenario" unfolding on Floseswin IV have put new urgency into the call for resumption of negotiations.
The Inner Circle's CONCORD delegates aim at steering the "Big 4" empires towards a new settlement reconciling the Yulai Accords and Convention with the Emergency Militia War Powers Act of YC110. The previous rounds of negotiation have always foundered on deep disagreements between the Amarr Empire and the united front of the Gallente Federation and Minmatar Republic as to the legal status and scope of Federation/Republic trade sanctions against the Empire. The Caldari State has generally adopted a flexible attitude but has maintained its support for the basic Amarr argument that any renegotiation of the Yulai Accords and Convention should include the sanctions issue.
A series of planetary conflicts involving apparent acts of aggression by each of the "Big 4" over the last year or so have highlighted the unworkability of the confused legal situation going forward. While the Caldari State and Gallente Federation have variously drawn back from the relatively minor incursions perpetrated by forces loyal to their empires, the conflict between the Amarr Empire and Minmatar Republic has erupted from bitter border fighting to a situation perilously close to open war beyond the militia conflict zones. In particular, the fighting since the House Sarum invasion of Floseswin IV has brought the sides to the brink of mutual annihilation on the planetary surface.
The Inner Circle will embark on a high-intensity summit meeting in a last ditch effort to hammer out a compromise over the next few days.
Cardinal Duke Alar Chakaid Openly Threatens to "Unleash Ninety-Three Thousand Black Daggers Across Rebel Provinces" in Campaign of Terror
Floseswin, Metropolis – The notorious Khanid warlord and religious leader Cardinal Duke Alar Chakaid has broadcast messages across Floseswin IV threatening a campaign of terror across the Minmatar Republic. In the broadcasts, Chakaid promises to "unleash ninety-three thousand Black Daggers across the Rebel Provinces where they shall surely seek the dark hearts of the Minmatar blood beasts." The references to "Black Daggers" and "Rebel Provinces" denote Amarr ceremonial weapons and the Minmatar Republic respectively. Students of Amarr sacred mythology suggest the number ninety-three thousand to have some special significance within Khanid cult practices, though this is unclear.
Chakaid's broadcasts from his base in the occupied city of Jolan Kraal have been a notable element of Amarr propaganda on Floseswin IV since his arrival on the planet. The Chakaid propaganda is particularly detested by Minmatar fighters for its religious and ecstatic nature. The Cardinal Duke's unwavering habit of opening and closing his broadcasts with devotional chants and ululations of exhortation is reportedly also disliked by several Amarr field commanders.
On condition of anonymity, one source at the Amarr Imperial Court spoke to the Scope about this extraordinary development: "While many nobles consider the Cardinal Duke of Fabai 'out of control', as the direct vassal of King Khanid and a Theology Council Cardinal, Chakaid is undoubtedly considered one of the most dangerous men in the Amarr Empire. Even so, many are asking themselves how he can keep getting away with his outrages. It is whispered that Privy Council measures have been taken to limit his scope but, in the context of what is increasingly seen as a holy war, this latest action does no more than skirt the limits of the law."
In Other News
Protests Outside New Riennes FIO Building Flare into Violence as State of Emergency Comes Under Continuing Fire
New Riennes, Mies IV – A seventh day of protests outside the New Riennes FIO Building turned violent this morning, with several injured as growing crowds reacted to the attempts of FIO security guards to clear a path for a vehicle convoy.
Chaotic scenes ensued outside New Riennes FIO as a crowd of several thousand surged around the front and sides of the building, blocking the path of road vehicles. The FIO's uniformed security guards attempted to clear the crowds from a side entrance as an incoming convoy approached but tempers flared into a series of running battles between protestors, security guards and New Riennes city police. A number of people were hospitalized but no serious injuries have been reported.
The latest incident comes as political and civil pressure builds up for President Jacus Roden to end the Federal State of Emergency and establish an independent commission of investigation into the election terror attacks.
Lord Arrach Sarum Declares Floseswin IV "Land of Devotion or Damnation"; Escalates Planetary Conflict to Total War
Sarum Prime, Domain – Royal Heir Arrach Sarum has issued a declaration in religious terms that amounts to a formal escalation of the Floseswin IV conflict to a state of total war.
"As Royal Heir and Sword Marshal of House Sarum, I declare that Floseswin IV is a land of blazing devotion and blackest damnation, where only martyrs or apostates can possibly remain. The Holy Light of Amarr spread itself over that world, in generosity and charity, and even still apostasy reared its head. Floseswin IV is a world now where only holy swords and divine flames can answer the evil shadows lingering there. Martyrdom in this blessed struggle brings life eternal and glorious to the faithful. Persistence in sin and blasphemy shall bring only the final death."
The Scope's correspondents in the Amarr Empire and at the CONCORD Assembly in Yulai understand that the speech amounts to designating the entire planet of Floseswin IV a warzone in which all present are formally considered combatants under Amarr laws of war. While such a declaration would previously have been the exclusive preserve of the Imperial Throne, the ancient office of Sword Marshal, now revived by Empress Catiz I, retains the religious privilege to make such rulings.
Valklear General Kanth Filmir, commanding Minmatar forces on Floseswin IV, expressed contempt for Lord Sarum's declaration. "This has always been a total war for us. It was a total war the day the cursed Amarr arrived in Pator. It will be a total war until the day the last brother or sister is returned to us. Everything else the slavers say is their usual brand of hypocrisy and self-deception in service of vast evil. Needless to say, the liberation of Floseswin IV continues."
Matar Planetary Security and Republic Security Services Back Tribal Proposals for "Sanmatar's Circle for Security Co-ordination"
Matar, Pator System – Proposals for a "Sanmatar's Circle for Security Co-ordination", laid before the Tribal Council by the Brutor, Krusual and Starkmanir Tribal Chiefs yesterday, have received the backing of Khumatar Allek Berialsh of Matar Planetary Security and Chief Director Kril Efrit of Republic Security Services. In a joint statement, Khumatar Berialsh and Chief Director Efrit lauded "these commendable proposals by the chiefs of several of our great tribes and we feel sure the other chiefs will recognise the sagacity of the idea, joining all the Seven Tribes in pursuit of public safety and tribal security."
Recent developments in the militia conflict in Metropolis region, increased Angel Cartel activity and "violent outback guerilla campaigns against Matari security forces" have reportedly cemented thinking in Republic security circles along hardline proposals evocative of "Rebellion Era necessities." Tensions between a number of tribes with counter-posed views on Minmatar security and survival have been rising since the Mikramurka Coast attacks by the Blood Raider Covenant.
So far, comment on the new proposals has not been forthcoming from the chiefs of the Nefantar, Sebiestor, Thukker or Vherokior Tribes.
In Other News
Senators Privately Call on President Roden to Establish Commission into Security Failures; Protests at Security Council and FIO Measures Grow
Villore, Essence – A number of Federal Senators have privately called on President Jacus Roden to establish a commission of investigation into the security failures leading up to the election terror attacks, the Scope has learned. Protests are also growing over the continuing imposition of certain restrictions on freedoms during the ongoing Federal State of Emergency.
While President Roden has so far publicly resisted the immediate establishment of a commission of investigation, the Scope's sources have suggested he has indicated sympathy for the idea in private discussions with a group of senior Federal Senators. The Federal Security Council and the Federal Intelligence Office have both advised that a commission should only convene once the evidence-gathering phase being overseen by the FSC and FIO has concluded.
Public scorn and outright opposition to the FIO's enhance powers of investigation, seizure and arrest are growing daily, however, and the Federal Security Council, more respected and trusted by most citizens than the FIO, is now attracting ever more strident protests. The Scope joins the calls of concerned Federation citizens and experienced Federal Senators for a swift start to an independent investigation into the outrages perpetrated during the election attacks.
Minmatar Tribal Liberation Force Retake Floseswin System Control in Counter-Offensive Against Amarr Militia
Floseswin, Metropolis – Militia fighters of the Tribal Liberation Force have successfully seized control of the Floseswin system following a days-long counter-offensive aimed at reversing the successes of the 24th Imperial Crusade and squeezing off the pipeline of reinforcements and supplies to Amarr forces on the planet of Floseswin IV.
Valklear General Kanth Filmir hailed the recapture of the system as "a victory for the annals of the Minmatar people." The Republic Command's Southern Army Group on Floseswin IV has begun sustained bombardments of Amarr orbital defense positions and reports of guerilla operations behind occupation lines have reached the Scope.
For their part, House Sarum and its allied forces have satisfied themselves with retreating behind the newly-extended field fortifications and shield-generators now covering all occupied cities and major towns in Southern Floseswin IV. The Scope understands that Minmatar intelligence believes the largest cities have been garrisoned with the "most fanatical" Amarr forces newly-arrived on the planet.
The presence of a large number of antimatter reactors sited so as to power the shielded defenses of the Amarr remains a matter of concern for CONCORD conflict monitors. Additionally, an unknown number of Imud Okyanau-class Strategic Stealth Submarines armed with hypersonic antimatter missiles remain hidden in the oceans of Floseswin IV.
In Other News
President Jacus Roden Addresses Federal Senate; Promises Continuity of Democratic and Constitutional Order
Villore, Essence – President Jacus Roden has promised that continuity of democracy under the Federation Constitution remains his "first priority" in an address to the Federal Senate. Describing the holding of elections as "absolutely essential" and his personal relinquishment of power to the next president as "my greatest desire as a citizen", President Roden expressed his view that a date should be set by the Federal Elections Commission no later than the end of the month.
The Presidential Address ranged across a number of topics connected to the 27th February Attacks and their aftermath. President Roden updated the Senate on the continued progress in restoring system- and planetary-level communications networks to full capacity, following the resumption of parity of communication across the federal networks. The Senate also heard that the Federal Security Council would be lowering the alert status of the Federal military from an effective "war footing" to what the President described as "a more prudent emergency status that will avoid unnecessary risks."
While the President emphasized his "deep yearning to bring the perpetrators of these heinous crimes to justice", he reported that investigative efforts were in a preliminary phase of gathering evidence from a "very large number of affected locations, distributed networks and virtualized datastructs." The Senate also took a vote endorsing the ongoing emergency measures and operations of the Federal Administration.
House Sarum and Allies Land Reinforcements on Southern Floseswin IV as Amarr Militia Maintain System Control
Floseswin, Metropolis – House Sarum has been landing large numbers of reinforcements at the occupied cities and towns its forces control on Floseswin IV, following sustained system control by Amarr militia and the establishment of orbital dominance over Southern Floseswin IV. As well as a considerable number of House Sarum and 24th Imperial Crusade ground forces, the reinforcement groups include troops from a variety of other Amarr military organizations.
In an unmistakable sign of House Sarum's commitment to the struggle for Floseswin IV, Lady Kiyshara Sarum, a member of the Sarum Royal Family, has arrived in command of the 12th Lance of the Sarum House Guards. Lady Kiyshara, a cousin of Empress Jamyl I, is also accompanied by a large contingent of Cult of St. Jamyl Militants. Even more notably, House Ardishapur has also committed a member of its royal line, Lord Ottakar Ardishapur. Forces deployed by House Ardishapur include the 19th Ammatar Consular Brigade and a chapter of the Flagellant Order of St. Arkon.
Other forces include a mixed force of Royal Uhlans, Asbara Cyber Knights and Khanid Zealotic Sikarrs led by the notorious warlord Cardinal Duke Alar Chakaid. A full Commandery of the Order of St. Tetrimon is also present, bringing with it three cohorts of Tetrimonic Kameiras. The markedly religious flavor of many of the military formations reinforcing the House Sarum occupation is considered "an ominous sign" by military historians and analysts specializing in Amarr doctrines of warfare.
CONCORD Conflict Monitors Gain Access to Devastated Coastal Town in Southern Floseswin as Amarr Forces Retake Littoral Zones
Southern Continent, Floseswin IV – Amarr forces under Colonel General Vikhtor Mazari have escorted a CONCORD conflict monitoring team to the destroyed coastal town of Northflow Bay, following the successful retaking of a broad sweep of the littoral zones connecting the three main Amarr occupation zones. The monitoring team has reported a confirmation of the destruction of the town by antimatter device detonating in an airburst over the settlement.
House Sarum forces were able to push back the Republic Command's Southern Army Group as Minmatar positions on the coast became untenable under offshore and orbital bombardment. Establishment of space superiority by 24th Imperial Crusade forces has led Valklear General Kanth Filmir to retrench his lines across terrain the Minmatar can more readily defend. The majority of Minmatar gains made in the recent offensive remain secure as both sides reorient and reinforce.
General Mazari asserted that Northflow Bay's civilian population had "either fled the fighting or been massacred by rebel partisans," at a recorded briefing of the CONCORD monitoring team on site. "Northflow Bay was an entirely military and valid target at the time of its destruction by our strategic submarine forces. We could not allow a vital supply node to remain in enemy hands. The missile strike was legal under interstellar norms but more importantly entirely justified under our own laws of war," General Mazari claimed.
In Other News
State of Emergency Maintained as Gallente Federal Communications Networks "Restored to 97% Capacity"
Luminaire, Essence – President Jacus Roden has reaffirmed that the Federal State of Emergency across the Gallente Federation will be maintained until further notice, despite the news that federal communications networks have been restored to almost full capacity.
As was hoped, the Federal Security Council was able to issue a notice last night declaring "all Federal Communications Networks are open to traffic with the totality of bandwidth restored to 97% capacity as it stood before the attacks against the Gallente Federation, last week."
However, at the executive directive of President Roden, the Federal Security Council has indefinitely extended the Federal State of Emergency. The Federal Senate has formally declared no objection, though it retains the ability to countermand the emergency measures as a matter of the Federation Constitution. The ongoing efforts to re-establish full security across Gallente regions, continued work to restore system and planetary networks, and the intense investigative efforts all contribute to a sense that the Federation remains under serious threat.
Gallente Federal Elections Commission Rules Out Swift Decision on Election Date
Villore, Essence – Following meetings with the Federal Administration, Senate and the Federal Military Commission, the Gallente Federal Elections Commission has ruled out a swift decision on the date of the elections that must be held as soon as possible once the emergency has abated. The Commissioners are "totally committed to holding the necessary and constitutionally mandated elections." However, the Elections Commission believes it cannot set a date until the situation has fully stabilized.
Consideration has also been given to the medical status of a number of leading presidential candidates who were seriously injured in the terror attacks on 27th February. Governor Celes Aguard, Senator Suvio Bellaron and Mayor Shaileen Ramnev are all considered out of danger. Governor Aguard's personality synchronization following body death and recloning is understood to have left her with some experiential time loss. Fellow presidential candidate, Councillor Wayaki Kayara has been assisting in her contempogrok therapy. Senator Bellaron has regained consciousness following successful treament to prevent neurological damage and is recovering well in Intaki system. Mayor Shaileen Ramnev is no longer in critical condition but remains under intensive care.
Amarr Militia Forces Regain Control of Floseswin System; Minmatar Offensive Pauses as Orbital Struggle Ensues
Floseswin, Metropolis – The Amarr 24th Imperial Crusade has regained space superiority and system control in Floseswin, following an offensive evidently aimed at cutting space and orbital support for the Minmatar offensive in the southern continent of Floseswin IV. Heavy fighting over the last weekend saw the Republic Command Southern Army Group's thrusts into Amarr-held territory effectively divide into three broad zones the occupied cities and towns controlled by House Sarum.
The Minmatar offensive does appear to have paused having achieved this strategic objective, following the successful seizure of the system by Amarr militia. A fierce struggle for dominance of the orbital zone over Southern Floseswin IV has begun. Reports of further strategic launches from southern oceanic deeps are unconfirmed. Amarr occupation zones all maintain access to the sea and House Sarum efforts are reportedly focused on regaining land corridors between their zones along a coastline they appear willing to devastate with antimatter weapons.
In Other News
Luminaire, Essence – In the aftermath of last night's terror attacks and suspension of Federal elections, President Jacus Roden has addressed the Gallente Federation, vowing to secure democracy and bring to justice the perpetrators. President Roden made his address as Federal communications networks stabilized, although some planetary networks continue to operate under heavy limitations.
President Roden's address outlined the events, his administration's immediate reponse, and what future efforts will be made to resolve the crisis.
"My fellow citizens of the great democratic Gallente Federation. We have been attacked. We have all been attacked in the most infamous act of villainy since the betrayal of the traitor Anvent Eturrer. Grave as his treachery was, it is eclipsed by an attack not simply on the Federation but, crucially, on the foundational principles of this great democracy. Let me be clear. Like the traitor Eturrer, those who perpetrated these vile attacks on our way of life shall be brought to justice swiftly and surely.
"Allow me first, my fellow citizens, to mourn with you for those we have lost, for those injured so gravely, and for all victims and families affected by these outrages. It is my sad duty to report that the confirmed death toll from these evil attacks stands at over 7,000. Tragically it is likely to be even higher in the final accounting. Many tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, have suffered injury.
"The physical attacks on presidential candidates, Federal installations and civilian infrastructure account for the greater number of the immediate casualties. Sadly, such was the scope and effect of the parallel network attacks, it is sure very many will have been injured consequently, and many more will lose their lives. We will mourn in full, as a democracy and a Federation, in due time.
"Now, I wish to update you all on the status of those of our leading democratic presidential candidates who were attacked in the course of last night's events. I am glad to report and confirm that Governor Celes Aguard is alive and recovering in a secure facility. Though she suffered physical death in the bombing at New Riennes, along with so many others, her federally-registered personality backup and clone was successfully restored. The assassins failed here, even as they brutally murdered thousands.
"I can also report that Senator Suvio Bellaron is alive and in stable condition, following transfer by Federal Marines to a secure medical facility in the Intaki system. We hope and trust that he will fully recover. Mayor Shaileen Ramnev's condition remains grave though I am told it has stabilized. I have directed Federal Marines to secure the hospital in Arcurio and their Medical Corps to render all necessary assistance."
"Councillor Wayaki Kayara was slightly injured in a terrorist attempt made on his life, while he visited military veterans on Mannar Seginde. I am told those brave men and women, who have already given so much to our Federation, unhesitatingly fought to protect him. One veteran has been hospitalized but Councillor Kayara is expected to make a full recovery. It would appear that there was no direct attempt made on the lives of Senator Kelen Ontbad, Chief Director Mentas Blaque or General Julianus Soter, though our initial intelligence assessment is that they were all targets.
"If these violent acts of terror and attempted assassinations of presidential candidates were not evidence enough of a monstrous plot to strike deep at the heart of our democracy, which plainly they are, then the attacks on our Federal and planetary communications more than confirm the base intent of these attacks. With deep regret we agree with the Federal Elections Commission's decision to suspend elections until further notice. We are resolved that this suspension shall be short and that the necessary, vital democratic process will work the people's will as soon as possible.
"The Federal Administration, working with all federal agencies, CONCORD agencies, and trusted commercial partners, has restored the core functionality of the Federal FTL communications infrastructure. Even so, much data has been lost and many planetary networks remain unstable or are providing limited service.
"My administration is working tirelessly to restore full communications function at every level of the Federation: regionally, system-wide and on every planet and orbital. I can report that the Federal and civilian FTL connections to Solitude region have been restored after a mercifully brief period of disconnection. Military and security force networks retained basic connectivity. The Federation is grateful to CONCORD for making available SCC and DED bandwidth for Federation government traffic.
"I am also grateful for the measured and generous response to this tragedy, not only from CONCORD, but from our interstellar neighbors: the Minmatar Republic, Caldari State and Amarr Empire. All have assisted in some measure and a greater tragedy may well have been avoided by caution and forebearance. I must express my particular deep gratitude to Sanmatar Maleatu Shakor and the Tribal Council of the Minmatar Republic for their unstinting and valuable support during this crisis. Our alliance, founded on our common belief in the liberty of human beings, remains strong.
"Let me now turn to the future. I wish to reassure you all, simply as a fellow citizen of the Gallente Federation, but yes as the President of our great democracy that the continuity of democratic government is my number one priority. Meeting that priority requires the re-establishment and reinforcement of the security of the Federation and its citizens. It requires that democratic elections be held securely and in full freedom. It requires the peaceful transfer of power to the next duly-elected President of the Gallente Federation.
"I pledge to meet the priority I have laid out in full. My fellow citizens, amidst this scene of tragedy and villainy, take heart. The Federation will endure. The Federation is Liberty; and Liberty can never die."
President Roden's administration has estimated that close to full service on interstellar and system-wide FTL comms networks will be restored over the weekend. Planetary networks and other infrastructure may take more time to restore. It is projected that essential services will be restored early next week in most locations. The Federation Navy and Federal Marines remain on high alert.
In Other News
BREAKING: Luminaire, Essence – The Gallente Federal Elections Commission has formally suspended the Presidential Election following multiple terrorist attacks on presidential candidates and federal communications networks. The suspension also applies to all other federal elections scheduled to be held over the 28th and 29th of February.
While the Friday and Saturday elections would have been dominated by the Gallente Presidential Election, they also included the fifth of the Federal Senate seats up for election in this year's cycle. The suspension is until further notice. The Federal Elections Commission has not considered a rescheduled date for the elections, as the situation in the Gallente Federation continues to develop.
President Jacus Roden has broadcast a brief message to the Federation assuring all citizens that: "The security of the Federation and its citizens, the continuity of democratic government, and a peaceful transfer of power to the next duly-elected President of the Gallente Federation are the first and last priorities of my administration."
President Roden is personally co-ordinating the Federal Administration's response to the attacks and crisis through the Federal Security Council and Federal Military Commission. A full broadcast to the Federation will be made when sufficient bandwidth is available.
Communications disruptions are ongoing across the Gallente Federation's networks with some service slowly resuming as Federal and CONCORD agencies organize countermeasures, secure routers, and establish provisional relays. Federal networks remain congested and intermittently subject to collapse due to ongoing information warfare network agent intrusions, attacks on physical infrastructure and elevated communications traffic due to the emergency.
BREAKING: Luminaire, Essence – The Gallente Federation is under attack. At least three of the leading presidential candidates have been attacked in a series of co-ordinated terrorist strikes. The communications networks of the Federal Administration are heavily disrupted, and several major planets have been virtually blacked out from the FTL net by what appears to be a parallel sequence of network attacks ahead of the Presidential elections.
While many accounts are confused or unconfirmed, multiple sources have reported the following events:
President Jacus Roden is secure, has declared a Federal State of Emergency, and mobilized the entire active list and reserves of the Federation armed forces. The Federation Navy and Marines have been ordered to invasion defense positions.
Governor Celes Aguard's motorcade was attacked in a major bombing outside the New Riennes Stadium on Mies IV. Massive casualties are reported. The status of Governor Aguard is unknown at this time. Mies system comms networks are sporadically dropping in and out of service.
Several reports indicate that "multiple explosions" and/or "a gas attack" took place at the Intaki Assembly Chambers while Senator Suvio Bellaron was giving a presidential campaign speech. Intaki Prime's planetary communications networks are almost all offline and connections to the Intaki system and Federal FTL relays have collapsed. The status of Senator Bellaron and the members of the Intaki Assembly is unknown.
Mayor Shaileen Ramnev's flight into Arcurio reportedly downed by missile strike on final approach. The presidential candidate was enroute to eve of election rally in home city. The status of Mayor Ramnev is unknown and Caldari Prime has been hit by a near total communications blackout.
Mannar Seginde in Leremblompes system has suffered a similar communications blackout to those affecting Caldari Prime and Intaki Prime. While there has been no report of an attack on Councillor Wayaki Kayara, another contender for the presidency, he was last known to be present in the capital of the adopted Mannar homeworld.
Senator Kelen Ontbad is reported to be secure aboard the Parchanier V Egonics Inc. Development Studio, having been there to record an election eve "EgoCast" in support of his presidential campaign. Communications with the Egonics station are being routed through the relatively unaffected capsuleer channels and Senator Ontbad has apparently been moved to the capsuleer quarter by station security.
Chief Director of the Federal Intelligence Office Mentas Blaque has resumed his duties, having recused himself from active FIO service during his own presidential campaign, and was last reported to be in session with President Roden and the Federal Security Council. Scattered reports from Luminaire, Renyn and Villore are claiming that there were attacks on FIO offices in those systems. Chief Director Blaque's campaign schedule had him attending a rally in Hueromont on Gallente Prime later this evening.
The Federal Elections Commission has convened an emergency session at the instigation of President Roden and the Federal Military Commission. Widespread disruptions of the Federal Administration networks are ongoing and overstressed commercial networks are close to collapse. A significant number of heavily populated systems and planets are experiencing reduced bandwidth, erratic connections or outright blackouts. These network conditions evidently place the technical ability to run the Presidential and Senatorial Elections in jeopardy, even were it decided to continue following terror attacks on at least three leading presidential candidates.
So far, no party has credibly claimed responsibility for the terrorist attacks on presidential candidates or the comms network attacks.
Floseswin, Metropolis – Minmatar forces on Floseswin IV have launched a major offensive aimed at removing the Amarr occupation of the large majority of the southern continental landmass. CONCORD conflict monitors are reporting Republic military formations advancing on multiple fronts towards population centers on the southern landmass. Sources within Amarr-held cities are additionally reporting widespread incidences of sabotage, public disorder and guerilla warfare.
Initial reports indicate that the Amarr occupation forces were surprised by the sudden offensive, which comes mere days after the 24th Imperial Crusade regained control of the neighboring Aset system, a key location for Amarr supply bases. Analysts suggest that the Minmatar forces on Floseswin IV had prepared the offensive for the first available break in weather during the southern rainy season. The overwhelming dominance of the Tribal Liberation Force and allied capsuleers across the Metropolis conflict zone appears to have allowed the Minmatar to move large amounts of troops and materiel onto Floseswin while maintaining operational secrecy.
Observers also speculate that the Amarr focus on restoring their supply bases in Aset, coupled with an assumption that Minmatar command would likewise focus on retaking the system, may have lulled the House Sarum-led forces into a false sense of security. Amarr forces have also been highly concentrated on maintaining security within their zone of occupation as a sustained campaign of low-intensity but highly-distributed guerilla warfare has stretched the occupiers relatively thinly. Amarr forces are most heavily concentrated behind massive fortifications and forcefields protecting the six major cities of the southern continent, the primary mining belt facilities, and the two largest seaports.
While there has been no public comment from Republic Command's Valklear General Kanth Filmir or House Sarum's Colonel General Vikhtor Mazari, both sides have been flooding communciations frequences and channels across the planet with opposing propaganda, demands for surrender, and warnings of retribution. The situation in the major fortified cities is unclear but there were scattered reports of explosions and public disorder before communications were cutoff by Amarr military authorities. Reports from minor cities, towns and villages indicate widespread uprisings against Amarr installations and forces spread thinly in the countryside.
Although it is impossible to assess the outcome of this rapidly developing situation, the early signs indicate a favorable military situation for the Republic Command's forces and the Minmatar resistance. However, CONCORD monitors have cautioned that the primary fortified Amarr positions are highly unlikely to be taken by assault without massive loss of life.
In Other News
BREAKING! BREAKING! BREAKING!
The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx brings a roundup of the latest news as more Gallente Presidential election candidate declare and CONCORD intelligence identifies a new threat from the Templis Dragonaurs and Vimoksha Chorus terrorist organizations.
Templis Dragonaurs Pact With Vimoksha Chorus a "Clear Threat to New Eden" says CDIA
Yulai, Genesis – The CONCORD Intelligence Directive Agency has described a new pact between two terror and piracy groups as a "clear threat to the security of New Eden". The CDIA has confirmed reports that the Templis Dragonaurs, an ultranationalist Caldari terrorist organization, has been identified as working with the Vimoksha Chorus, a pirate group that is a splinter faction of Sansha's Nation.
The CDIA assesses that the two organizations are presently "engaged in an exchange of military technology and armaments, in an effort that can only make both these dangerous and unpredictable terror groups even more of a threat than they already represent." CONCORD's DED has responded by distributing all location and tracking data on the Templis Dragonaurs to the general security networks of the empires and encouraged capsuleers to join in fighting the new threat.
Provost Marshal Kasiha Valkanir of CONCORD's AEGIS division additionally commented, "We cannot afford to allow this nascent alliance between two dangerous but relatively minor threats to grow into a major new security crisis. The ongoing Triglavian invasions, the danger of Drifter attacks and incursions by Sansha's Nation itself could only be harder to counter with yet another such threat on the scene."
The Templis Dragonaurs are an ultra-nationalist Caldari organization considered terrorists by most governments of New Eden. Once associated with Tibus Heth's Provist government, they suffered a major blow when his regime fell in YC115. It is believed they maintain large numbers of infiltrators and agents throughout the Caldari State and its megacorps.
Led by a former Sansha's Nation warlord, Cornelius Sedek, the Vimoksha Chorus is understood to have survived the suppression of Sansha's Nation by a CONCORD-led coalition in YC37. The Vimoksha Chorus operated as a pirate group for many decades before its recent escalation to planetary raidng. It is believed to still be an independent splinter faction at odds with Sansha Kuvakei's Nation.
Governor Celes Aguard Formally Declares Candidacy for Gallente President at Rally on Mies IV
Mies, Essence – Addressing a capacity crowd at the New Riennes Stadium on Mies IV, Governor Celes Aguard formally declared her candidacy for President of the Gallente Federation in a speech that focused particular attention on the periphery of the Gallente territories. "My friends, I can confirm my campaign for the Presidency of the Federated Union of Gallente Prime is underway, here, tonight. I welcome you all and thank you for sharing in my vision of the future prosperity and security of this great, liberal and forward-looking federation of ours."
As Governor of Mies, Celes Aguard presides over the administration of one of the Federation's most prosperous core systems and has long been a driving force in the development of her system and the wider infrastructure of the Crux constellation and Essence region. Despite this, Governor Aguard has long been popular in the periphery of the Gallente Federation, with her support for the development and security of outlying systems and constellations a repeated theme of her political careers.
"My friends, my fellow citizens, we must never forget our families, friends and fellows who make their lives on the frontiers of this great federation. Never again can the threat of political abandonment and security apathy over the periphery be allowed to take root in the federal system. I pledge that no region, no constellation and no system will be left behind. The Gallente Federation is for all, not just the core systems. It gladdens my heart to see so many of you here, so many of you citizens of Mies, Luminaire and Crux, to support our cause of a Federation of peace, prosperity and security for all."
Despite two previous attempts that saw her fall short, Governor Aguard is considered a strong presidential candidate with name recognition and overall approval ratings that most other candidates struggle to match.
Councillor Wayaki Kayara Announces Run at Presidency on Return from Kabar to Mannar Seginde
Mannar, Everyshore – Councillor Wayaki Kayara of Mannar Seginde has announced his own run at the Gallente presidency, following his return to Mannar Seginde (Leremblompes II) after a visit to the former Mannar homeworld of Kabar (Mannar VIII). The Mannar Councillor of Diplomacy made his announcement from the steps of the Mannar Seginde Council of Notables building in Fou Mannai, "The people of the Federation know that we can only prevail and make progress by righting the wrongs of the past, and it is in that spirit that I announce my candidacy for President of the Gallente Federation."
"All of us have seen the devastation on our homeworld, the legacy of the Doa dea Kabar, and many of us have experienced that legacy first hand. I have just returned from Kabar and I bring a message of hope that an old wrong may be righted and our ancient home be restored to us. The initiative to restore Kabar has made such progress as you would not dare hope for. That I dared not hope for. Yet it requires more from us all and, I say, from this Federation that so long neglected Kabar and only rewarded the service of so many Mannar in its cause with limited aid to us here on Mannar Seginde."
"This is not just about us. We know how the Federation speaks of equality and justice for all yet seldom delivers it in full to those who maintain their own cultures. We have seen how the Intaki home system and Placid region have been treated. We have seen how the Minmatar diaspora has been marginalized. How the Federation has allowed war to continue across our own borders and those of our Republic allies. We have seen how our Deteis, Civire and Achura citizens have been affected by the ongoing conflicts. We must stop all this. Reconciliation beyond our borders, with the Intaki Syndicate and, yes, with the Caldari State is necessary. But so too is reconcilitation necessary within. With our Jin-Mei friends, with our Intaki brothers and sisters, and with us, the people of Mannar Seginde and Kabar."
Two former presidential candidates expressed mixed views on Kayara's platform. Long-time Federal-Populist and anti-war figure, Senator Vilard Garioss of Nexus said, "I sympathize with some of Councillor Kayara's positions, even support them, but his message seemed confused to me and I have a hard time believing it will resonate beyond his core following." Retired Admiral Daren Fasio, an ethnic Mannar himself, was more forthright in his assessment, "This was a blancmange of a speech. No doubt it will appeal to pacifists and fools. I doubt that the Mannar men and women I served with would find anything appealing in it, let alone the citizens of the Federation who understand that a strong defense requires us to confront our enemies, not 'reconcile' with them."
Mentas Blaque Comments on Roden Administration's Militia Warzone Diplomacy in Clear Appeal to Hawks
Renyn, Essence – In off the cuff remarks today, Federal Intelligence Office chief Mentas Blaque said, "The Federation cannot afford to take a weak position on the debate over our sanctions against the Amarr Empire and its satellite states." His comments, made to journalists at an FIO briefing on the Templis Dragonaurs and Vimoksha Chorus situation, continued: "I have advised against pursuing a strategy of legalistic debate with the Amarr. I know Sirdan xer Qosh well. He's a slippery fox who will tie up these negotiations in all sorts of arcane knots and twists."
While Blaque's comments included a criticism of Amarr Inner Circle Delegate Sirdan xer Qosh's assertion that Federation and Republic sanctions are a breach of the Yulai Accords and Convention provisions against a general trade blockade of a member state by other member states, most Gallente commentators see the remarks as a clear criticism of the Roden Administration's attempt to chart a diplomatic course through the militia warzone crisis.
"These remarks are on the edge of open criticism of President Roden's policy in this matter and given the looming election, I believe they are a clear appeal to hawkish political blocs and voter sentiments across the Federation," Senator Ulve Fabronne of Peccanouette told the Scope's Galactic Hour. "I think we will see Blaque declare very soon," Senator Fabronne added.
In Other News
Shaileen Ramnev Announces Presidential Run and Major Campaign Theme from Hueromont on Caldari Prime
Luminaire, Essence – Former Arcurio Mayor, and runner-up in the YC117 Gallente presidential elections, Shaileen Ramnev appeared today at a press conference in Hueromont to announce her candidacy in this year's election and address the future of Caldari Prime as a major plank of her campaign.
"I can confirm that I am a candidate for the President of the Gallente Federation," announced Ramnev. "Standing here in Hueromont, and after my visit to dear Arcurio, I see clearly that this great Federation remains strong in its diversity, tolerance and resilience. The healing of this vital world has been nothing short of miraculous and I am proud to seek the highest office in a polity that can achieve this."
"Now, though, it is time that the destiny of Caldari Prime is put in the hands of those who call it home," Shaileen Ramnev continued. "Mordu's Legion involvement after Operation Highlander was a risky but necessary choice, which in the end played out well. Mordu's Legion Command lived up to its reputation, and I as a citizen of this planet am very grateful to them. But after the long years of recovery, I say that we, the people of Caldari Prime, should not be seen as a problem to solve, but as a valuable community that will contribute to Federation and interstellar prosperity. We also should not allow the relationship with our Caldari neighbors fester for lack of attention to a shared pain that requires a shared solution."
Ramnev has issued a campaign document detailing a long-term solution to the vacuum that will be left by the impending departure of Mordu's Legion, already reduced during the period of their contract's extension. She is proposing a "planetary oversight body" with officials elected by all permanent Caldari Prime citizens. Such planetary institutions, she says, would oversee matters of global security, and act as a neutral regulator of the legal and business interactions between Caldari and Gallente settlements, leaving full autonomy over internal matters to regional authorities.
"I have seen communities everywhere on our scarred home," continued Ramnev. "They are different. They are unique. They hold dear different things. But they also seek the same things every community does. Peace. Prosperity. Happiness. These are things that no one can reach if everyone seeks them only for themselves. Now is the time to search for them together. Our Federation is never at its best when it 'directs' the many peoples of our union. Rather it reaches its heights when it aids the people in their quest for liberty and self-determination of their home communities. Providing the aid that is needed without demands for political conformity shall be my guiding principle as President of the Gallente Federation."
The Scope's political analyst Renyart Colsten suggested that Ramnev's pitch is "a clever message that may well appeal to communities across the Federation, such as the Intaki homeworld and Jin-Mei autonomists, without seeming false or artificial given her history and the direct anchoring in the Caldari Prime situation. Once again, Shaileen Ramnev shows why she should be considered a strong contender in this election."
Senator Kelen Ontbad Visits Minmatar Militia Warzone Headquarters on "Fact-Finding Mission"
Amo, Metropolis – Gallente Senator Kelen Ontbad of Algintal visited the staff headquarters of Valklear General Kanth Filmir of the Republic's Territorial Defense Guards, last night, declaring his visit a "fact-finding mission" for the Senate Gallente-Minmatar Relations Committee. General Filmir is overall commander of the Minmatar Republic's military response to the invasion of Floseswin IV and received Senator Ontbad at his HQ on the Tribal Liberation Force station in Amo, giving the ethnic Vherokior politician a short tour of the strategic operations center before holding a joint press briefing.
Questioned on the criticisms of the Republic's diplomatic and military strategy from various quarters, General Filmir was unequivocal in his response:
"The wiseacres on Matar can hoot and holler about the Sanmatar's diplomatic strategy from the safety of their lodges but I for one support any moves that save Matari lives and hold open the door to the return of those captured by the Sarum forces. Likewise, I repudiate the blood-drunk braying from Minmatar capsuleers who have called my men and women 'layabouts' even as these fighters struggle to recover the cities and people of Floseswin IV. My focus is on the liberation of our people and rolling back the invaders and occupiers from our lands. Every politician or capsuleer who has aided that cause selflessly and without thought of personal glory, I commend. The rest are fit only to receive water and shelter so far as I am concerned."
Senator Ontbad brushed aside questions as to a possible run at the presidency and sought to underline the importance of diplomacy in his own remarks to the assembled press:
"In the course of my visit here in Amo, I have found Valklear General Filmir to be a man of strong passions justified by years of service in the cause of freedom for the Matari people, all Matari people. It is not my place to comment on the politics of the Republic itself but, in terms of the politics of our people as a whole, I appreciate deeply the need to balance military strength with diplomacy. The reality is that our people will not be returned through military adventurism or destabilizing terrorism but by means of maintaining the security of the Federation and Republic, while pursuing every political and diplomatic means to end the scourge of slavery."
One swift reaction to the comments of General Filmir and Senator Ontbad came from Tobias Efrit, a veteran Krusual parliamentarian influential in trade and security matters:
"Filmir may have been a Midularist once but he's always been a loyal warrior for the Matari people. I hear his views with the utmost respect. As for Ontbad, he's a fop and a dilettante, as his idiotic equation of our military and covert operations with 'adventurism and terrorism' demonstrates clearly. People who think it would be a good idea to have an itinerant artist turned professional weathervane as leader of our most important ally just because he's of the Tribes need their heads checking. That right there is just another version of Midularism's squishy soft notion that it doesn't matter who's in charge so long as it's a so-called 'democracy'. No, I say it would be best for the Federation to have a strong leader and one they pick without any nonsense emanating from our quarter."
In the Gallente Federation, the intervention of Senator Ontbad has gone down relatively well with academic and media commentators. However, it had a mixed reception in Minmatar communities and notably appears to have left the hawkish element of the so-called "Roden Coalition" cold.
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Occupation of Floseswin IV Continues as Amarr Forces Regain Control in Key Systems
Floseswin, Metropolis – The Amarr military occupation of the southern continental zone of Floseswin IV continues amidst low-intensity fighting on the planet, as difficult weather conditions set in across the southern hemisphere. While Minmatar Republic Fleet space superiority has been regained and maintained due to the efforts of the Tribal Liberation Force and allied capsuleers, and the northern population centers have largely been liberated or secured, heavily dug in House Sarum troops have maintained their positions in the south.
Protected by heavy fortifications, surface-to-orbit defense systems and the onset of the southern rainy season, House Sarum forces exert control over all the major population centers of the southern regions, with some five to seven million Republic citizens reported to be held in the grip of the occupation forces. The Sarum expedition commander, Colonel General Vikhtor Mazari has also asserted that approximately 150,000 "criminals and prisoners of war" were transported offworld during the twenty days of Amarr control of the system following the invasion.
Rumors that the Amarr forces have brought weapons of mass destruction to Floseswin IV were played down by General Mazari at a press briefing held in the southern continental capital of Port Kul: "This talk of nuclear and chemical weapons is black propaganda put about by our enemies. Amash-Akura's laws of war forbid the use of weapons that poison the land so these claims are absurd on their face. Let us never forget that we saved the Minmatar from self-destruction in the fires of nuclear warfare they were on the brink of unleashing on themselves. Even today, they are the ones that use such weapons. We of Amarr cleanse the land with Holy Light, not poison it."
Challenged on the presence of Amarr antimatter reactors powering the formidable defenses of the occupation forces, General Mazari dismissed the suggestion that these may be overloaded to cause widespread destruction and casualties as "slanderous nonsense and defeatist thinking we would never contemplate for a moment." For their part, Minmatar ground commanders are understood to take seriously the risks of antimatter reactor breaches, whether deliberate or caused by combat operations, given the Amarr have reportedly placed such facilities at the center of the population zones they control.
Elsewhere in the Amarr-Minmatar milita warzone, the 24th Imperial Crusade has scored some victories and recovered ground in a number of systems. The House Sarum ordered recovery of control over Arzad system has been welcomed by Lord Olacar xer Sarum on behalf of Royal Heir Arrach Sarum. More significantly for the Floseswin situation, the Amarr militia has also restored space superiority in Kurniainen and Isbrabata, reversing Minmatar gains and increasing logistical flexibility for House Sarum forces. While major movements of troops, materiel and "prisoners" have been prevented by the Republic Fleet since achieving control of Floseswin space, the Amarr Empire's fortified supply bases in Aset, Uisper and Vimenini have continued to facilitate supply drops by Amarr blockade runners and other subcapital ships.
Inner Circle Peace Summit Focuses on Reform of Militia War Laws and Normalization of Trade
Yulai, Genesis – Peace talks between the major powers focused on recent flashpoints in the militia warzones, not least the Amarr invasion of Floseswin IV, resumed in the New Year with renewed focus on closing loopholes created by the interaction of the Yulai Accords, Yulai Convention and the CONCORD Emergency Militia War Powers Act YC110. Following high level meetings between President Jacus Roden and Lady Hamideh Kador, and separately Lord Arrach Sarum's talks with a Kaalakiota-Sukuuvestaa delegation, representative delegates at the CONCORD Inner Circle appear to have aligned on a framework for talks aimed at resolving the ongoing conflicts and preventing future escalations.
Captain Marshal Sirdan xer Qosh of the Amarr Empire has emphasized that interstellar trade must be "normalized and restored to the position agreed under the Yulai Accords and Convention that wisely forbade the unilateral and unrestricted imposition of sanctions against any member state of the CONCORD Assembly." Following the talks spearheaded by the Kador Royal Heir as personal representative of Empress Catiz I, the position of the Gallente Federation has perceptibly moved in favor of this approach in exchange for the "withdrawal of foreign troops of all kinds from orbital bodies on which they have no jurisdiction or right of claim under the Yulai Accords" as Gallente Delegate Devan Malate put it. Both the Gallente Federation and Minmatar Republic have maintained far-reaching trade and financial sanctions against the Empire since the suppression of the Kahah slave uprisings of late YC120.
Reports from the Caldari State also indicate that Empress Catiz I has agreed to extend bond repayment schedules for the Caldari-Amarr Economic Stimulus Agreement, permitting Caldari State corporations to redirect trillions of ISK that had been set aside to meet impending bond deadlines. Observers of the Amarr Imperial Court note that the SarumGlobal Bank and the House Tash-Murkon investment funds in particular would only have agreed to such rescheduling on the personal request of the Empress. Large reciprocal trade and investment agreements are expected to flow from a number of megacorps and the "trade for peace" proposals are being strongly supported by the entire Caldari State.
While some in the Minmatar Republic have accused Sanmatar Maleatu Shakor of allowing himself to be outmanoeuvred by Amarr diplomacy, the Republic's leadership has pointed out that the reported 150,000 Republic citizens captured on Floseswin IV continue to be held as "prisoners of war" without entering the Amarr Empire's slave system. Ambassador Keitan Yun claimed, "the suspension of so-called 'labor force processing' was a direct result of negotiations we took part in with the support of the Gallente Federation."
The Minmatar Delegate to the Inner Circle continued: "We are clear that the Minmatar Republic will maintain its rights under the Yulai Accords and Convention to lawfully impose specified sanctions on the Amarr Empire, and its client states, in response to illegal slaving and the brutal repression of civilians. There can be no disputing we are entitled to do this under provisions the Amarr themselves signed up to. On the other hand, we do not object to the Federation's efforts to secure sensible reforms and new protections for planetary populations in warzones."
Talks at the Inner Circle continue while CONCORD Conflict Monitors encourage stabilization of the situation on Floseswin IV pending the outcome and to facilitate humanitarian operations.
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