In a surprise joint statement from two nations with a fraught history, the governments of both Lauchenoiria and Kerlile have criticised the Zongongian government for their lack of policing of protesters letting off fireworks in the vicinity of the borders between the three nations. The protesters, many of whom are Lauchenoirian citizens, have been letting off fireworks from the Zongongian side of the border to protest Lauchenoiria’s banning of fireworks in October 2023.
However, during one of these protests in the early hours of New Year’s Day, a rogue firework veered eastwards, landing in Kerlile near the corner of the three borders, and injuring a Kerlian border guard. She was treated in a Kerlian military hospital for burns and lacerations caused by the incident. Kerlile lodged a formal complaint with the Zongongian embassy in response to the incident. However, the Kerlian and Lauchenoirian governments have now issued an unprecedented joint public statement on the matter in addition to the formal diplomatic complaints.
“The Federation of Lauchenoiria and the Matriarchy of Kerlile are deeply concerned by a number of incidents in the Theocratic Kingdom of Zongongia in the vicinity of our borders. The Theocratic Kingdom has been allowing numerous private individuals to deliberately let off explosives in the vicinity of the border with no thought to the impact on their neighbours and the clear violations of our territories that this could be considered. There has been a minimal police presence at these demonstrations, and no action has been taken against the individuals involved. We request that the Zongongian authorities take action regarding the situation and do not allow it to progress further.”
Neither nation has made explicit threats regarding what they will do if Zongongia does not take action; however, there is the possibility of mild sanctions or expulsions of low-level diplomats. There have been tensions in the Zongongian-Kerlian relationship over the past year due to a situation involving the Robinson family, an ex-Council of Kerlile family with Zongongian heritage. It is alleged that the Crown Prince of Zongongia and Natasha Robinson were engaged in a relationship which ended poorly; Natasha is currently pregnant with a baby presumed to be Prince Kristofer’s.
Lauchenoiria and Zongongia have usually had positive relations, especially since the end of the Communist period; but since the fireworks ban the relationship has deteriorated due to the lack of action from Zongongia over the protests, which have been causing large amounts of pollution in the river bordering the two nations before this latest incident with the Kerlian border guard.