The Federation of Lauchenoiria has announced their intent to withdraw their ships from the naval blockade of Cape Auria, and cease their enforcement patrols of the no-fly zone. The blockade has been in place since the beginning of August last year following a coup d’état against the government of Prime Minister Lapointe by a rival group of Aurians on the 28th June 2021. Since the initial implementation of the blockade, the situation has remained ‘stagnant’ according to analysts.
Following the coup, Lauchenoiria was among the first countries to publicly back Queen Sophie, the deposed monarch presently living in exile in Eiria, and her government-in-exile alongside Eiria and Huenya, and was a signatory of the Lapointe Agreement, a pact to liberate Auria. Therefore the decision to withdraw will come as a shock to many, and is expected to be widely criticised and viewed with suspicion, coming just weeks after Xiomeran dictator Empress Calhualyana, widely believed to have funded the Aurian coup, negotiated with terrorist group the Golden Blade to release a Lauchenoirian citizen they were holding hostage.
The Lauchenoirian government, however, have been careful to claim that this is not an ideological decision, and their support for the Aurian exiles remains strong. Citing reports by several human rights organisations, Prime Minister Alvarez has stated that the withdrawal is due to the adverse effects of shortages on noncombatants, and that ending the blockade would allow humanitarian aid to be provided to people in Auria, especially given the post-coup regime is forbidding Aurian citizens from leaving.
Prime Minister Alvarez told a press conference: “It is important to note that the decision to withdraw from both the naval blockade and the enforcement of a no-fly zone is not indicative of a shift in our view of the situation; we continue to stand with Queen Sophie and the legitimate government of Auria. Rather, we have taken the difficult decision to end our participation as a result of the widespread suffering of civilians living under the present illegitimate regime due to the shortages of food, medicine and other essential goods; the provision of which has been affected by the blockade.”
Alvarez’s motivations, however, have been called into question despite this speech. Rumours have been circling since the release of Paul Ramirez from Golden Blade custody that the Prime Minister made a covert deal with Empress Calhualyana for his release. Many now believe that the Lauchenoirian withdrawal from the blockade, a huge step down from the previously strong anti-coup rhetoric, is Alvarez fulfilling the conditions of this secret pact. No evidence, however, has yet been found to support these accusations.