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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