Saterocian Civil War (2023)

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Saterocian Civil War (2023)
Part of 2018-2023 Saterocian protests
DD787140-E5AC-475E-B0F7-98EB8E86B3C6.jpeg
Clockwise from top left: Smoke rises from Elmonton during heavy airstrikes on the city; an apartment complex in Kolkesburg following missile strikes by the FAS; helicopter of the FAS strikes ground targets in Coretas; mother feeds her child outside of Kolkesburg after fleeing the fighting
Date21 April - 26 October 2023
Location
Kolkesburg, Coretas, Saroq, and other strategic locations in Sateroc
Result

Ceasefire agreement

• FAS and AUN agree to a ceasefire following peace talks in Oskarsviik

• Agreement includes government reforms and AUN reintegration into the FAS
Belligerents

Sateroc

Saterocian Army

Saterocian Air Force

Saterocian Navy

Vœyetska

National Unity Army

Support

Bentho
Commanders and leaders
Jonrov Mornes
Dexter Emilsson
Paul Charov
Strength
120,000-150,000 80,000-105,0000
Casualties and losses
Unknown, at least 1,400 combatants dead Unknown, at least 1,200 combatants dead

The 2023 Sateroc conflict was a conflict between the Armed Forces of Sateroc and the National Unity Army, a rebel factions that splintered from the army before the conflict started. It began on 21 April 2023, when a coup was attempted out in the capital city of Kolkesburg against President Jonrov Mornes's government, however, due to failed momentum, the coup attempt has become an internal conflict spreading to other parts of Sateroc, such as the city of Coretas. As of 7 August 2023, over 5,300 people have been killed in Sateroc, with at least 10,000 injured.

The fighting began just hours after a 48-hour ultimatum expired, delivered by Paul Charov, the current commander of the National Unity Army. The AUN launched surprise attacks in Kolkesburg, targeting essential infrastructure all throughout the city, using artillery, fighter-bombers, missiles, and ground attacks. After the first few hours of fighting, the AUN claimed control of the presidential palace and Air Force headquarters, along with Kolkesburg International Airport, and the Kolkos TV building. The AUN have also started a campaign within the city of Coretas east of Kolkesburg, with intense clashes reported, as well as the region of Saroq. The fighting between both sides led the country into one of its bloodiest internal conflicts.

Background

After a coup in 2019 which overthrew dictator Georg Puoc, an emergency election was immediately held, overseen by the military, in which ex-military commander and semi-popular politician Jonrov Mornes was elected to presidency. Mornes, who was previously a commander who presided over conflicts such as the Second Wheat War and the conflict in Cascutia, was accused of promoting genocide and war crimes in the region during his years in the military. In the months following up to the coup, Mornes, Charov, and other prominent military commanders would form the National Unity Council, a body of military commanders opposed to Puoc's regime which would see success in the 2019 coup which overthrew and arrested the dictator. Mornes formed a more civilian-styled government guided by the military in accordance with the May 23rd treaty, including both his own cabinet and a National Assembly which held legislative powers.

However, tensions between Mornes and Charov began to arise after Mornes pressured the National Assembly into firing the Minister for Labor and Economics at that time, Laur Haus, for criticizing his government, calling it "authoritarian" after Mornes successfully got the NA into passing laws that would grant him more powers. Charov called on Mornes to resign multiple times, however Mornes responded by threatening to fire him and other commanders allied to Charov. In 2023, after Mornes delayed the presidential elections for 5 more months following the 2023 Kolkesburg airport bombing, civilians erupted into protests, and eventually the case made its way up to the National Assembly a few months later, which threatened to impeach him, and most likely imprison him. During the pre-impeachment process, Mornes declared a state of emergency, and subsequently used his emergency powers to dissolve the National Assembly and arrest most of its members.

National Unity Army

Claiming to be a part of the "real" National Unity Council, the AUN broke off from Mornes's CUN on April 19th, 2023, to form its own armed wing of the political faction, and it saw the allegiance of at least 75,000 troops, mostly from local militias across the country who despised Mornes, along with some support from the Armed Forces themselves. Specifically, popular Air Force chief Nernev Chasques aligned himself with Charov after condemning Mornes's self-coup. On April 19th, Charov delivered a 48-hour ultimatum to Mornes, demanding he step down from power and hand over his authority to the AUN so they could allegedly form a civilian government. However, the ultimatum went ignored by Mornes, and throughout the 48 hours the AUN mobilized its loyal forces to cities such as Kolkesburg in a move thar Mornes called illegal. On the night of April 20th, the government ordered the AUN to leave its cities, however this demand went ignored.

Course of the war

Main article: Timeline of the 2023 Sateroc conflict

AUN suprise attack and initial fighting(April 2023)

See also: Battle of Kolkesburg

Map of the war in June of 2023, FAS in red, AUN in green, and regional insurgent groups in dark blue

On 21 April 2023, the AUN launched a series of surprise attacks on FAS forces all throughout Kolkesburg at around 11:30 local time, with an influx of reports consisting of hearing explosions to seeing fighter jets launching attacks on the city's infrastructure. The AUN, hoping to gain the upper hand and force FAS to surrender quickly, swiftly seized the presidential palace less than 30 minutes after Mornes fled it under cover due to heavy clashes around the building. At 13:32, a video by an anonymous source was uploaded onto the internet showing AUN soldiers celebrating near the building's entrance. However, an SBN correspondent reported that heavy fighting resumed around the building even after the video was published. Mornes was evacuated to a more secure location just outside of Kolkesburg, in which he condemned the attacks and announced the dismissal of Charov and 12 other officers in the military.

Before having been captured by the AUN, Kolkesburg International Airport was evacuated and shut down by the FAS following confirmed reports of heavy fighting on the airport's runway, which later spread to inside the airport's compound. After a violent firefight in which several planes were severely damaged, the AUN announced that it had captured the airport despite conflicting statements from the FAS that said forces remained near the airport. Later in the day, the Saterocian government announced that all airports within the country were closing until further notice, and that the country's airspace was to be shut down to any foreign aircraft. The FAS also accused the AUN of using civilian airliners to begin transporting supplies to and from the airport, however Charov quickly denied these allegations.

Kolkos TV, Sateroc's state TV, was under control of the AUN by around 16:00, before the program restarted broadcasts, which consisted mainly of propaganda against Mornes and the FAS. Earlier, deadly fighting took place just outside the building, and part of it was even damaged heavily after shelling took the lives of eight civilians near the building, which prompted the FAS to withdraw forces from the area. However, this has neither been confirmed nor denied by the FAS, and instead it had been confirmed by SBN reporters reporting on the fighting in the area.

Elsewhere in the city, heavy clashes occurred, especially after the Air Force headquarters was captured by the AUN following a lengthy engagement between both sides. Chasques appeared inside the headquarters on live TV in order to make announcements, before the programming was switched to a biased reporting of the conflict. Fighter-bombers controlled by the FAS reportedly struck multiple residential buildings later in the day, killing at least 11 civilians and injuring a few more. An apartment complex was also heavily shelled for hours on end after AUN forces took refuge within the compound, resulting in more than six civilians dead. Bridges and roads leading in and out of the city were immediately closed, and both the AUN and the FAS set up numerous checkpoints in and around parts of the city they controlled. Reportedlty, civilians were prevented from leaving for a few hours before being allowed to leave once again.

AUN advances in central Sateroc(April - May 2023)

Over the next few days, AUN forces made advances not only into Kolkesburg, but also cities such as Coretas, Karinmaneno, and Elmonton, where fighting engulfed the large cities. Qaqarsville, Barellosgrad, Winsferala, and Chocineina had also allegedly surrendered, according to the AUN, however the FAS refuted these claims, stating that they still held control over these cities despite reports of heavy fighting. The Brotherhood of Kolkesburg, a far-right militant organization affiliated with the armed forces, announced their defection to the AUN, after which they began to ambush FAS military convoys on several highways connecting Kolkesburg and Coretas.

CCA resolution and first ceasefire(May 2023)

Resurgence of fighting(May - August 2023)

FAS counteroffensive(August - September 2023)

Second ceasefire(August - October 2023)

Oskarviik negotiations and official peace agreement(October 2023)

Evacuation of foreign nationals

The outbreak of violence in Sateroc, particularly in Kolkesburg, led many governments around the world to watch the situation carefully. Tens of thousands of citizens in the country are foreigners, either on trips outside of their home nation, or hold dual citizenship. However, following the death of Zamastanians Kurt Hillens and Barbara Eskenn, governments rushed to evacuate their diplomats out of Sateroc. Vœyetska became the first nation to evacuate diplomats from Kolkesburg shortly after fighting erupted, most likely due to both countries' proximity, while North Kandson reportedly evacuated over 500 citizens and diplomats from Kolkesburg.

Zamastan's military carried out a special operation on the night of 24 April in order to evacuate their diplomats from Sateroc. Four TAH-473 Egret helicopters were involved in the swift operation, and reportedly less than 100 diplomats were evacuated. Emmiria also evacuated a number of nationals from Kolkesburg, however details about this particular operation are sparse.

Casualties

As of the war's end, it is estimated by the Saterocian Medical Union that at least 10,000 have been killed, with at least 7,900 civilians dead, and unknown amount of troops dead. It was also estimated that at least 15,000 have been injured so far as a result of the heavy fighting. This includes at least 2,000 children that have been killed and more than 4,000 that have been injured. However, individual hospitals stated that the number of civilian casualties was "definitely larger than reported". Most of these civilian casualties have been in Kolkesburg, with a few in Coretas and many in Saroq. At least 11 were killed after a large-scale aerial raid on residential buildings by the FAS, which claimed that the AUN was the one responsible for the attack, and 12 more were killed on 23 April after a missile struck central Kolkesburg. Artillery strikes on 30 April killed 9 civilians in Kolkesburg. On 1 May, at least five civilians in Elmonton were killed after heavy airstrikes by the FAS in the city.

Foreign casualties

At least two Zamastanian citizens were killed in Kolkesburg after a missile struck from an unknown combatant in the war struck a residential building early on 22 April before an explosion was reported in the perimeter. Dozens of more foreign civilians, primarily from Zamastan and Vœyetska, were killed in the fighting over the course of the conflict.

Humanitarian situation

Mother feeds her child outside of Kolkesburg after fleeing the fighting

The humanitarian situation in areas where clashes had been reported, especially Kolkesburg, has rapidly deteriorated following the start of fighting. Up to millions citizens have so far been affected across the southern parts of the country due to the conflict. Citizens have been unable to exit their homes throughout a majority of the day due to fears of getting caught in the crossfire between the FAS and the AUN. Multiple businesses were forced to close, and hospitals remain understaffed.

Kolkesburg

In Kolkesburg, heavy fighting prevented citizens from exiting their homes, therefore causing a large-scale unprecedented food and water shortage. Many markets that originally sold food were forced to close, making the situation for people in Kolkesburg much worse. An ongoing internet shortage was reported all throughout the city, accompanied by regular power outages preventing citizens from turning on lights and making food. Those who did decide to venture out during the conflict were often unable due to roadblocks having been set up by both sides all throughout the city. Many hospitals were forced to go out of service due to high demands and low staff, with medications being put out of stock after a large wave of panic caused civilians to purchase all sorts of medications. Currently, there is a shortage of medication within the city due to this, along with low amounts of food and water.

Coretas

Coretas recieved an unprecedented power outage, accompanied by a large-scale water shortage after the AUN destroyed or disabled several water plants providing water to the city. The city's internet was cut alongside the power, meaning that civilians weren't able to get the service they need in order to prevent deaths due to injuries from the fighting. On 22 April, a spokesperson for a humanitarian organization stated that the humanitarian situation in Coretas was dire. On 1 May, AUN forces captured a large power plant north of the city, threatening to disable it after several instances of FAS strikes near the compound.

Saroq

FAS forces across the region reportedly stole goods from civilians after having been defeated by the AUN on multiple occasions. Elmonton's mayor urged the international community to send aid to the region in order to help with supply shortages.

Saroq has also been used as a point for refugees to get into Vœyetska, leading to a concerning situation on their border with Sateroc.

Refugee crisis

By 7 August, approximately 200,000 civilians have fled the fighting in Kolkesburg, Coretas, and Saroq, with a large majority of them fleeing to Vœyetska. However, there were also many refugees who have fled Sateroc in order to find a suitable home elsewhere, while many more have been internally displaced. Additionally, at least a million have been internally displaced.

Reactions

Domestic

National Unity Army(AUN): The AUN blamed the conflict on Mornes's inability to keep democratic and moral institutions within the country, and also blamed the current government for forcing the confrontation after Mornes dissolved the National Assembly. Commander Charov stated that he was open to possible negotiations, however that first Mornes must "be removed".

Saterocian Armed Forces(FAS): The Saterocian Armed Forces accused the AUN of conspiring against the state, and also accused Charov of attempting a "clearly failed coup". Charov and other commanders were immediately fired from their positions within the FAS, and the government later issued an arrest warrant for the men. A spokeperson for the FAS stated that the Armed Forces would "not hold back" on fighting the AUN.

President Jonrov Mornes: Mornes was reportedly shocked at the outbreak of fighting, and quickly urged the AUN to cease fighting at once. He was also moved to a more secure location by his presidential secret service following heavy clashes near the presidential palace.

Former dictator Georg Puoc: When told about the conflict on video, Puoc stated, "Without a man to lead Sateroc, this country has losrt any hope for itself."

International

: Bentho's President Nieto blamed the conflict on the President Mornes, stating that Mornes was a "dictator" and a corrupt man who "wants to fire his own men" and that his removal is "necessary to bring peace to the world". It is likely that the AUN will receive Benethese aid following a senate vote on the matter.

 Emmiria: Emmiria closed its embassy and evacuated its diplomatic personnel when fighting engulfed Kolkesburg, and President Akram Sulaiman called for an end to the fighting.

 Molenia: Molenia closed its embassy and other diplomatic missions in Kolkesburg, with President Shayne Link calling the crisis "terrible" and urging an end to the conflict.

North Kandson's President Jefferson stated, "We are closely invested in the conflict to our north, we are seriously concerned about the possibility of war crimes being committed by either side in Sateroc". The nation's military was put on "full defensive measures", and the North Kandsonian government criticized Vœyetskan involvement in the conflict, claiming it was a "dangerous escalation with the potential to ignite long simmering geographical tensions in the region of northeast Euronia".

Shoassau's Prime Minister William Eurenne called for a CCA resolution on the conflict, along with a peacekeeping force to enforce stability in the region.

Unified Sera condemned "any actions that seek to undermine or diminish essential rights" right before clashes began, most likely referring to Mornes's self-coup

Vœyetska called the AUN's attack on FAS positions "rebellious activity" following the start of fighting and the wave of refugees entering Vœyetska. On 28 April the Vœyetskan Riksdag allowed President Dexter Emilsson to send military force into Sateroc with the intent of "discontinuing the insubordinate behavior of the National Union Army". 7,500 Vœyetskan troops left for southeast Sateroc, with some of these forces going towards Kolkesburg. President Emmilson also expressed concern over the situation regarding Georg Puoc's disappearance.

Zalluabed Zalluabed's government under President Zayyaan al-Akhtar expressed support for Paul Charov's coup and condemned Jonrov Mornes's government. However, upon Husani Antar's election in June 2023, his administration formally withdrew support of Puoc and took a neutral stance.

Zamastan evacuated its embassy and other diplomatic missions to Sateroc following the beginning of fighting in Kolkesburg. Zamastanian Secretary of State Chantelle Carson stated "the Zamastanian government, our allies, and the Coalition of Crown Albatross will hold seriously any act which constitute crimes against humanity, including the unwarranted and barbaric massacre of civilians. Our stance, while steering out of direct intervention, is that the situation in Sateroc has degraded substantially and President Mornes is walking a thin line of tyranny, and we support a democratic system which removes such tyranny." Several naval ships were deployed near Saterocian waters to monitor the conflict and any possible escalation in the fighting.