By Damien Day, INN
The Free Worlds Alliance has launched a full-scale military action against the government of Z155 following the latter’s crackdown against ‘dissident elements’ in the wake of the referendum on FWA membership. The FWA fleet achieved complete space supremacy against Z155’s single armed merchant ship, the C5A ‘Warrior of God’, and ground force troops then landed around the capital Friendly City and quickly took control of key areas. Although there was some sporadic resistance, the landing was virtually unopposed.
First Minister the Reverend Floralpattern and his daughter Angelina Floralpattern, leader of the so-called ‘Crusader Corps’ Christian militia, were captured in a command bunker following a FWA special forces action and have been taken into custody. Other leading members of the Christian Socialist Party have gone into hiding. Local police and civil authorities are said to be “cooperating” with FWA forces.
Former opposition parties, now designated the ‘Provisional Government’ by the FWA, have been guarded in their response to the invasion, and have called for the introduction of a full, non-sectaian democracy. Dave Spart, leader of the Free Thought Party, has been critical of the FWA and is calling for FWA military to leave the planet immediately and not to return until requested to do so by a newly elected democratic government. However, FWA military leaders say that the security situation is still “volatile”, although they have moved their headquarters off-planet to the privately owned Z155 Orbital Station at the request of local politicians. The FWA troops also claim to have uncovered evidence of an internment camp for opponents of the regime, as well as for offworlders rounded up “for their own safety” on Volcano Island. Several hundred prisoners remain unaccounted for.
The Z155 Colonial Council has requested that Reverend Floralpattern and his daughter be handed over to the colonial police, pending invesigations into various crimes of fraud and electoral irregularities, and there have also been calls for the return of the captured naval vessel, even claims of “piracy”. There has been no response from the FWA as yet.
The action has stirred intense political debate among the FWA’s Q1 neighbours, with GFA Governor Zoob offering unqualified support, and former Earth First Minister Ashanti (now local Q1 Governor) also backing the takeover, while a war of words has erupted between the FWA and the local Entente powers over criticism of the operation in the Martian media and unguarded remarks made by a senior Venerian naval figure.
Colonial Referenda and Memberships – from our colonial correspondent
The following colonial worlds are planning referenda: Lucky Strike Q7, Salue Q5, Norma Q3, Clipping Q2