The Republic of the Unified Ntumsian Territories

Birth of the Republic
Following the division of Jamesonia into North and South, the northern portion was renamed Utambwa after its independence from the UK in 1964, and the “Southern” part dropped that part of its name becoming just Jamesonia. Utambwa then went through a number of growing pains, ultimately becoming a single-party state in 1972 and vocally espousing freedom struggles in those states that were still colonies. Initially such support was largely moral as the country lacked both the resources and the will to do much else, but over the years it was gradually sucked into struggles in neighbouring Lazoma, Torambão and Jamesonia by allowing their freedom fighters to base themselves on its soil.

In 1978 Utambwa suffered further trauma when a military coup its northern provinces, mostly populated by Ntumsi tribes, rose against the “... plutoctratic and western-lackey dictator (and, as everyone knows, a Kaonje dog) in Lubuka, the Utambwan capital who has betrayed the people of Utambwa and the proud but downtrodden Ntumsi in particular, and betrayed liberation struggle in our fraternal countries”. The coup took place at the nadir of Utambwan-Soviet relations, just as China was becoming a more favoured partner, and the presence of FRELITO cadres and East German advisers and equipment amongst the rebel forces made it clear what message was being sent.

The coup was brief and surprisingly well-planned. (Cynical observers saw an East German hand in this.) In the four west-most provinces (Manapolo, Modanga, Northern and Eastern) it went off easily. For the previous year Colonel Worthington Mutanda (GOC Army Group East) had been gathering more and more Ntumsis into those units of the national army under his command, whilst diluting or dividing up the other ethnic elements. On the selected date suspected “disloyal” elements were disarmed and interned, and platoon and company detachments were dispatched to government buildings, key communication hubs and homes of senior official before dawn. All opposition was thus neutralised swiftly and any dissent from anti-Ntumsi reactionaries was speedily crushed. 

The race was then on to reach Copperbelt and Central provinces which were in Army Group North territory, but which also contained large numbers of Ntumsi peoples. Two companies of the Armoured Recon battalion raced through the neck of Central Province, but word of the coup preceded them and they were easily repulsed at the border of Copperbelt by local forces supported by mining company security detachments, most of whom then turned back to deal with local insurrections by Ntumsi agitators. The Armoured Recon troops fell back to Serenje district, a swampy Central Province district on the border with Modanga Province, where they met up with their reinforcements and settled into a front line that would eventually become the border of the new Republic. This drastically shortened the border between the rebels and Utambwa, and Soviet pressure ensured that the fighting would stop at this line, with its immediate diplomatic recognition of the new Ntumsian state.

Thus the Republic of the Unified Ntumsian Territories (RUNT) was born under the enlightened but strong and paternal guidance of General Worthington Mutanda, forever after to be known as the Great Midwife of his people.

Ntumsia’s coup succeeded because, frankly, it was a poor area, because President Malanda could not afford to further upset his current paymasters in Moscow and because China’s generosity also had its limits. Its independence was recognised immediately by the Soviet Union and by the newly independent Torambão, but it was not until 1980 under the Duduna Accords that independence was recognised by Utambwa and other neighbouring states. Amongst other things in the Accords, Utambwa retains an oversight interest over the TARUTANTURA (formerly the TARUTARA Railway) that connects its copper producing areas to Tarazania’s ocean ports, and assurances that the railway and main highway would be maintained where necessary by Ntumsia, and that Utambwan traffic would not be hindered.

General Worthington Mutanda, the erstwhile GOC Eastern Provinces, reluctantly and modestly accepted the nomination as President-for-Life, and was sworn in at the new capital of Kasuma (pop. 310,000) in Northern Province.

The Ntumsian army then consisted of about 3,000 men in total, but was supported by a large contingent of Torambãoan rebels and new local militias who were raised to defend the new homeland from the totalitarian forces in Lusaka. The coup was a surprisingly bloodless affair, with only fourteen deaths in total, four of which resulted from a traffic accident with a T55 tank.

The relative ambivalence of the Utambwan government changed several years later when large cobalt deposits were discovered near the borders with Cazanga and Tarazania in Northern Province, but Utambwa was then in no position to recapture the rebel provinces, having expended so much on the liberation struggles of others. The cobalt reserves have become less viable with the fall in value in recent years but remain the largest source of foreign currency income for RUNT.

No comments:

Post a Comment