The Lauchenoirian government today made a number of separate announcements which strongly indicate that they have no plans to disentangle themselves from the numerous conflicts in Eastern Caxcana. The announcements concerned both the Aurian Civil War and the Golden Blade insurgency currently occurring in Huenya. They also touched briefly on the situation in Mallacaland, where the President appears to be targeting opponents and suppressing democratic institutions.
More Troops to be sent to Auria
Defence Secretary Rodrigo Montaña told the Federal Parliament this morning that Lauchenoiria would be sending additional military forces to Auria, where Lauchenoiria has been among a number of countries embroiled in a multi-year civil conflict following a violent coup d’état. The Alvarez government initially intended their involvement to send a strong message against attempts at using violence to force governmental change, following an increased number of such attempts in the aftermath of Lauchenoiria’s own coup-induced civil war.
Involvement in Auria, while initially very popular, had been losing support across Lauchenoiria; until the assassination of Queen Dowager Sophie led to a surge of popularity for continued involvement. President Emilia Obando had been in Auria during the assassination, which took place during Sophie’s daughter Queen Katherina’s coronation. The late Queen Sophie had been widely popular across Lauchenoiria, meaning her death sparked a strong reaction.
The additional troops are intended to assist with the speedy “mop up” of remaining anti-government factions, the two main of which are led by General Michelin and so-called “King” Andrew Laurent-Cordonnier; both of whom were among the initial plotters of the coup before the conspiracy split into three separate factions. While Sarah Berenstein has successfully fled the country; the Alvarez administration will be hoping that the capture or defeat of the two former co-conspirators will indeed send the strong anti-coup message that was originally intended with the intervention.
Weapons Amnesty in Lauchenoiria
The Department for Domestic Affairs additionally announced today that there would be an amnesty for guns, other weaponry and “assorted military paraphernalia” that has remained in civilian hands following Lauchenoiria’s own civil war. Private gun ownership in Lauchenoiria is illegal without a license; and applications for licenses are only granted where the individual has a clear reason for desiring ownership.
However, in the aftermath of the civil war, a high number of weapons have remained in the hands of individuals who fought without formal military affiliation. As a consequence, illegal gun ownership has not been prosecuted except in conjunction with other crimes since 2018. Gun-related crime, however, increased by 67.3% in 2019 from 2017. Figures for 2018 were not available due to the war. The amnesty is intended to tackle this by allowing individuals who ended up in possession of such items to safely hand them over to the government.
Weapons turned over to the government during the amnesty are to be sent to Huenya to assist in their fight against the Xiomera-backed Golden Blade terrorist group. This is anticipated to be encouragement to people on both sides of Lauchenoiria’s own civil war – opposition to Xiomera is a unifying factor in Lauchenoirian politics, with both communists and liberal democrats vehemently opposed to Empress Calhualyana’s totalitarian capitalist regime.
More Weapons to be Given to Huenya
Alongside those obtained via the amnesty, the Lauchenoirian government intends to donate a further collection of unspecified military materials to the Huenyan government. While the exact details of the donation have been kept secret for security reasons, it is thought to potentially include tanks and other military vehicles. Private companies operating in Lauchenoiria who export military materials to Huenya are also set to receive exemptions or reduced rates on a number of taxes incurred during their operations. The export of military hardware to Xiomera has been banned in Lauchenoiria since before the partition.
Permanent Closure of Embassy in Mallacaland
Since the incident in which the Lauchenoirian embassy in Mallacaland came under siege during the reign of the eight-year-old King Abdin II, the embassy has been temporarily closed, with no Lauchenoirian diplomatic personnel remaining in the nation. The Lauchenoirian government has now announced that this closure will be made permanent; due to the “continued instability and lack of respect for the democratic process” demonstrated by Mallacaland. Lauchenoirian Navy ships which had been patrolling international waters near Mallacaland have also been ordered to depart the area; and are expected to be diverted towards Auria to assist in the continued fight against the remnant rebel factions.
All of these announcements indicate that the Lauchenoirian government does not intend to disentangle itself from affairs in the east anytime soon; and indeed may well plan to become involved further. Opinion polling suggests, however, that this may be a popular strategy in the run-up to the 2024 elections due to take place in April; with Lauchenoirians increasingly in favour of defending democracy at any cost.