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Second Empire of Charnea
Motto: One Dream, One Plan, One Charnea
and largest city
|Recognised national languages|
|Ethnic groups |
|Government||Unitary constitutional monarchy|
|Martuf ag Lamine|
|2,621,088 km2 (1,012,008 sq mi)|
• 2020 estimate
• 2019 census
|12.6/km2 (32.6/sq mi)|
• Per capita
|Currency||Charnean Dinar (CDR)|
Charnea (Tamashek: ⵞⴰⵔⵏⴻⴰ; Gharbaic: تشارنيا; Hebrew: טשאַרנעאַ), formally the Second Empire of Charnea, is a constitutional monarchy in Scipia bordered by the Messidor Union to the northwest, Alanahr to the northeast, Fahran and Kembesa to the east and M'biruna to the southeast. The Second Empire is a unitary state made up of eleven territories and encompasses numerous ethnic and religious groups, with Imuhagh, Zarma, and Gharbaic peoples making up the largest ethnic contingents. Among Charnea's diverse religious groups are White Pilgrims, Yen, Jews and Asalists which practice their traditions exclusively or in conjunction with the highly syncretic native Charnean faith Tamdda-ddin, a Kaharnic faith closely related to ancient Amazigh traditional religion. The government of the Second Empire, recently established in December of 2021, invokes many of the customs and traditions of the defunct Empire of Charnea while implemented a new style of constitutional government. In contrast to some contemporary monarchies of this type, Charnea eschews concepts of representative democracy in favor of meritocratic principles and the philosophy of Total Law under which the monarch serves as a hereditary executive subject to the law rather than a Sovereign with overriding authority over the courts. The national deliberative assembly, Agraw Imgharan, is a unicameral legislature whose members represent various organs of the civil service and the military as a means of formalizing the role of these institutions in the decision making process and control of the apparatus of state.
Modern day Charnea was once part of three great Scipian empires, the Yoruba-Hausa led Sunset Empire, the Zarma led Hsewa Empire as well as the Imuhagh led Empire of Charnea for which the country is named. Various Deshretic domains as well as the Tamashek speaking Amazigh confederations of the northern and western deserts have also existed within what is now Charnea, eventually being subsumed into the Empire of Charnea. At its peak between 1350 and the 1420s, the Empire of Charnea controlled a majority of the Scipian continent and was one of the largest contemporary military powers in the world. Throughout the early modern period, the empire's frontiers receded to what was considered its core territories, a region roughly equivalent to the modern day borders of the Second Empire. From 1906-1909, the empire underwent a period of escalating civil conflict known as the Charnean Revolutionary Period eventually leading up to the dissolution of the Charnean Empire in 1911. Many core states of the former empire established the Central Scipian Accord, which would later lead to the federation of the State of the Central Scipian Accord. The SCSA would expand its influence and reassert control over many lost territories of the old empire, carving up lands among notable clans and engaging in a system of patronage benefiting the well connected. This state in turn would break under the pressure of the Ninvite War in 1987, reforming as the Central Scipian Republic during the 1987-1990 ceasefire and prosecuting the remainder of the war. The CSR continued many aspects of the corrupt pay to play patronage system under a far more centralized state in which power was monopolized my a single clique of clan leaders and notable politicians as opposed to many local groups. Political instability stemming from corruption, mismanagement and constant reshuffling of state officials and leaders through the machinations and betrayals of national leadership led to the Great Charnean Crisis, the Hatherian Genocide and the subsequent military coup in 2013, followed by the breakup of the military government with the military rebellion of 2015 which effectively dismantled the Central Scipian Republic. Administration of the country was then left to the Transitional Government of the Obul and Ninva effectively controlled by local military officers turned warlords for six years from late 2015 until the foundation of the Second Empire on December 10th of 2021.
In the past century, Charnea has experienced three revolutions, four dictatorships, seventeen coup d'etat attempts both failed and successful, the ten year Ninvite War with neighboring Fahran, and the longest running civil conflict in the world. Many of its internal conflicts can be traced back to the dissolution of the Empire of Charnea and the aftermath of the ensuing events, particularly the unfulfilled promises of independence, self determination and autonomy which were made to many Charnea's myriad ethnic groups living under the often incompetent and heavy handed late Imperial rule. A degree of nostalgia for the relative stability of imperial rule has served as a driving force behind the movement to establish the Second Empire and renew the ideas of Charneanism. Another cause of political instability in the past has been the outbursts of periodic infighting between factions of the county's upper class over control of Charnea's valuable natural recourses, which include petroleum and precious metals like gold and platinum. Petroleum industries nationalized under the state owned COPEC extraction and processing company account for roughly 45% of the national GDP and 70% of government income and accounts for a large portion of Charnean wealth, although the national reliance on oil exports to sustain its economy has made it especially vulnerable to disruptive fluctuations in the price of oil on the international market. Despite these frequent disruptions and the occasional imposition of economic sanctions by foreign powers, the Charnean economy based largely on the processing and export of its natural wealth has become moderately prosperous. Charnea is a member of the Forum of Nations and party to the Four Rising Nations Summit.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Government
- 5 Economy
- 6 Culture
The first people to be called Charneans were the ancient Amazigh tribes of the eastern Ninva which were called the Charkesh or simply Cha by the Deshritic peoples of the Saawa Oasis. The Charkesh amazigh tribe are first referenced in inscriptions dating to 1,300 BCE and is no longer recorded after 700 BCE, however it is believed that the Charkesh people may have been one of the founding tribes of the large Amazigh confederation of Queen Kaharna and remained in the Ninva desert after the dissolution of this kingdom. Historically, the desert abode of the Charkesh and their Tamashek speaking descendants the Imuhagh tribes has termed Charna, later corruption to Charnea. This latter term in was associated with the Empire of Charnea, a conquering polity native to what was originally called the Charnean desert, now known as the central and eastern Ninva. Through the Empire of Charnea, the name would come to associated not only with the cradle of its desert-faring civilization but with most of the areas it conquered, particularly those it retained until its late dissolution and reorganization into the SCSA in the 20th century. The states of the SCSA and the CSR notably did not formally adopt the name of Charnea, in an effort to divorce themselves from the legacy of autocratic Imuhagh rule over the region. In contrast, the Second Empire has opted for the inverse of this approach, attempting to associate non-Amazigh groups with the idea of a Charnean identity.
The Sunset Empire (Yoruba: Iwọoorun Ijoba, lit. "Western State") was the culmination of the ancient Obulite civilization which was established on the banks of the lower Obul river as one the early river valley civilizations around 2,630 BCE, making it the first recorded civilization in what is now modern day Charnea and one of the first in the world. Its final ieration as the Sunset Empire was originally established by a northern offshoot of the ancient Hausa along a portion of the river to the west of the Yoruba tribes who would give the polity its common name and would later become absorbed into the political realm. The Obulite people had long practiced agriculture, which grew to intensive levels under the Sunset Empire and fueled population growth and the emergence of the first major cities in Charnea. While the Obulites had been a settled polity, the Sunset Empire was the first and only state to unify them and achieved great success in doing so, establishing a powerful military caste and expanding the empire's borders aggressively. For much of its history, the empire faced no significant external threats and primarily devoted its military to protecting its borders from raids and incursions by small neighboring tribes. Tributary states were often employed by Sunset emperors as buffers to control territory outside the main Obulite stretch and protect the primary agricultural and urban centers of the empire from attack. Despite its expansionism, the empire never expanded beyond the south Charnean savannah where it remained embroiled with Amazigh tribes from the Ninva desert, and saw no success penetrating the desert itself. At its peak, the empire expanded across all regions of the upper Obul, but was limited to the thin strip of territory along the river as that region was and remains highly arid and devoid of vegetation away from the Obul's lifegiving waters. The Sunset Empire established a long lasting literary tradition, using precursors of the N'Ko writing system as well as Adlam script in some regions. Inscriptions in stone, clay tablets and writing on preserved reed paper make up much of the established record of the Sunset Empire, which was known to keep extensive writings on administrative processes, contact with neighboring cultures and important figures of the day making the few surviving examples of Sunset era writings which survive to this day of great archeological and scientific importance. Many of its larger structures were destroyed by the fall of the empire, and are most often discovered in the rubble buried underneath still surviving structures of the later Hsewa empire which supplanted it in the Obul region centuries after its fall.
The establishment of the Tamazgha confederation in Scipia marks the beginning of statehood for the northern Charnean tribes, which have retained and transmitted their ancestral Amazigh culture to neighboring peoples. Recorded mentions of Tamazgha and confederation of tribes is part of recovered military reports of the late Sunset Empire in what is now southern Charnea, detailing clashes and raids undertaken by the nomadic Amazigh of the conferation. Archeological finds suggest that the Sunset Empire undertook a massive fortification of its northern frontiers between 565 and 540 BCE, suggesting an increase in the frequency and strength of incursions into their territory or that of their buffer states.
The founder of the Tamazgha confederation was the legendary Queen Kaharna, who unified various Amazigh tribes native to much of northern and central Scipia, including the ancestors of the Aghmatians, as well as Charnean Imuhagh and their Talaki cousins. At its peak under Kaharna and her succesors, Tamazgha streached from the Periclean coast in the north to the north bank of the Obul river in the south, from the Saawa Oasis in the east to the borders of ancient Yisrael and parts of the Thalassan coast of west Scipia in the west. Although many of the tribes which were joined under the rule of Kaharna and her successors were traditionally semi-nomadic or fully nomadic pastoralists at that time, Tamazigha was an emerging urban civilization, the second one to arise in the barren expanse of the Ninva after the Deshritic civilization of the Saawa oasis. This was achieved through the digging of extensive tunnel networks which allowed Amazigh city builders to tap into fossil water of the central Scipian region, specifically in regions such as the Royal Valley and the Thumer basin where such excavation into the flanks and mountainsides around the low ground would reach the lowlying deep aquifer, where water could then be moved by aqueduct to sustain a permanent settlement in the desert.
Tamazgha was highly successful in its military engagements with its neighbors, making use of its vast manpower and advantages in cavalry to prevail in conflicts. Particularly, Amazigh forces were engaged in escalating hostilities against the Sunset Empire to the south, which was considered to be one of the principal rivals of the confederation. Although the Sunset Empire survived the conflict, records show they suffered many resounding defeats and their armies took irreparable losses. The collapse of the empire's military at the hands of Amazigh riders loyal to Tamazgha may have caused the empire's decline in the following decades as its military would never fully recover from the conflict. From then on, the Sunset Empire lost control of its northeastern portions accounting for more than half the land the empire ruled at its zenith. Evidence suggests Tamazgha was not interested in conquering the Sunset Empire or annexing the northeastern lands, as the Amazigh polity appears to have been fully capable of doing so if its rulers and tribal leaders desired it. Instead, the war with Tamazgha shifted the balance of power in what is now southern Charnea from a mostly Yoruba-Hausa dominated state to the Zarma dominated state of the later periods.
Tamazgha eventually dissolved in large part because of the depletion of the fossil water reserves which had sustained its most important urban centers in the central Ninva, near the shared border of modern Charnea and the Aghmatian portion of the Messidor Union. Without water to sustain its political centers, the sedentary portion of the Amazigh hegemony dominating Scipia abandoned its capital and resettled near the Periclean sea in modern day Aghmatia. The disruption of its powerbase and dissolution of much of Tamazgha's infrastructural connective tissue cause many of the Amazigh peoples under its rule to secede and effectively ended the confederation. The southern portion of Tamazgha which remained in the Ninva after the dereliction of the major Amazigh settlements there became the ancestors of the Imuhagh and reverted to their pre-unification pastoralist lifestyle and living a hard, nomadic existence in the harsh expanse of the deserts.
Early Medieval Period
Late Medieval Period
Ihemod ag Jeqan, Amghar within the Awakari tribes of the Imuhagh, was the adopted son to the Amenukal of the Awakar confederation, Jeqan ag Boru. He was named heir to his father's influential position on the latter's deathbed, a proclamation which is contested by modern historians and was largely discounted by contemporary sources. Jeqan's three surviving biological heirs contested Ihemod's status, igniting a war across the Kel Awakar. The significant military resources and portions of the nomadic population of the confederation were split between the claimants, Ihemod retaining only a small number of Jeqan's closest followers with whom he had worked as his father's lieutenant. Ihemod tracked down and confronted Tenge, the youngest of the three Jeqid brothers and the claimant with the second smallest force after Ihemod. While the forces were preparing to do battle, Ihemod challenged Tenge to a duel as a means of settling the dispute, which was not uncommon in that time. Tenge was pressured by his followers to accept, and was then defeated and killed in the duel with Ihemod to their dismay. With Tenge's forces joining his, Ihemod was cornered by the remaining brothers Agtab and Mechtegen who had agreed to temporarily join forces to defeat Ihemod after hearing of their brothers death. The brothers surrounded and attacked Ihemod's forces, but in doing so a portion of their army came under ambush and was destroyed, allowing Ihemod's riders to escape and regroup. After reinforcing with a group of Zarma mercenaries, Ihemod counterattacked at the Battle of the Red Way and defeated Agtab and Mechtegen, consolidating their remaining forces into his army and executing them. Unusually, he spared many of his former rival's top officers to integrate into his own army, which began to swell as he prepared to expand the domains of the Kel Awakar. Following the conquest of the Kel Atram and Kel Dinik confederations of the Lullemmeden Amazigh tribes, Ihemod further bolstered his numbers and began to absorb many smaller clans of Imuhagh peoples across the Ninva without conflict. Many voluntarily joined Ihemod's confederation upon request, as the leader had proven himself in combat and had already united a large portion of the Imuhagh, while others resisted and were coerced into joining the confederation by threat of war if they refused. In some cases, the threat was insufficient and further conquests were undertaken, resulting in minor Imuhagh clans being destroyed, their population enslaved as Akli and their herds and wealth distributed equally as loot among the confederation's tribes.
Formation of the Empire
Having consolidated the Imuhagh tribes of the Ninva, Ihemod began a number of military reforms and began to reorganized the tribal forces into a more unified army under his command. The new army was established along the lines of Ten-Thousands or Meraou Igiman, massive army formations consisting of thousands (Igiman), hundreds (Temad) and finally squad level tens (Meraoued). Commanders for the top level units were to be appointed by Ihemod, while lower level commanders were elected by their men. Within these decimal units, Ihemod intentionally mixed multiple tribes and clans with the intention of erasing their tribal identity to form a homogenous Imuhagh army. He also adopted many technological reforms, adopting advanced bows made of multiple materials, new riding equipment and later transitioned the entirely mounted army of the Imuhagh from camelry to cavalry mounted on Barbs. Camels were still used in an auxiliary role, and led the initial conquests in the desert regions where they could outrun and outlast horses in the dry heat. Ihemod's immediate target was the Hsewa Empire to the south, which he perceived as having oppressed and divided the Imuhagh for their own gain, a sentiment which many of his followers shared. The war against the Hsewa empire began in April of 1351 with the sacking of several border towns.
The initial Charnean cassus belli was to retaliate against the Zarma people of the Hsewa empire by showing their superiority in battle and extracting tribute as restitution for past wrongs. In the early stages of the war, Imuhagh forces commanded personally by Ihemod or by his closest advisors attacked Hsewa garrisons, raided the countryside and ambushed the forces sent to deal with their raids. Almost immediately, the Hsewa emperor was alerted that the Imuhagh were not merely raiding the borderlands as had been expected, and mobilized a major force to destroy it. This force was caught in a pincer movement by the far more mobile mounted Imuhagh who had begun to wage a guerilla style war while within enemy territory. The resulting battle, the Battle of Achra, was pivotal in the conflict and is seen as a key moment in history in large part due to the unexpected rout which led to the death of the near totality of the massive Hsewa force. The Imuhagh victory at Achra was of such an overwhelming nature that the Hsewa would be virtually defenseless to further attacks for a time. Ihemod decided in the aftermath of the battle to alter the course of his offensive, turning it from a war to extract tribute to a war of conquest and subjugation, deciding to eliminate the threat posed by the powerful Hsewa now that he saw the opportunity to do so. Historians label the Battle of Achra and its aftermath as the moment at which the Empire of Charnea truly came into being as an empire of the Imuhagh subjugating the neighboring nations, rather than a simple confederation of tribes like the ancient Tamazgha.
Following the capture and burning of the Hsewa capital, the lands of the large empire were partitioned into vassal states. The invasion had displaced and killed predominantly Zarma farmers and citizens numbering in the hundreds of thousands, even millions by some estimates, depopulating large swaths of the Obul river particularly in the north. As a result, many Imuhagh people began to settle the land and establish sedentary communities in the derelict villages and farms left behind by those who had fled or been killed by Ihemod's forces. Ihemod encouraged this as a means of strengthening the core of his empire, and authorized the Iklan, the slave caste of Imuhagh society, to be settled in the captured regions under a system similar to serfdom. Additionally, many engineers and public servants of the former Hsewa empire were taken into Ihemod's service as administrators and military auxiliaries following his victory. In 1357, Ihemod attacked the Mawlen Sultanate to the east, capturing the ancient city of Azut and driving off many of the Gharbaic Mawlen rulers. Azut became Ihemod's capital and seat of power as the staging area for further invasions to the east and west. With the fall of Mawla, Ihemod annexed Hatheria with the help of the Saawa Deshritics who became vassals of the empire, and then prosecuted a short war to vassalize the Saadian Emirate, conquering all of what is now eastern Charnea by 1360, a mere nine years since the beginning of his war with the now defunct Hsewa.
During the war with Saadia, the Imuhagh forces made ample use of Zarma engineers from the west to overtake the many fortifications the defenders had prepared. With their help, the Charnean armies where quickly becoming highly proficient in siege warfare on top of their increasingly refined cavalry tactics and supremacy in field battles. On the heel of this conflict, Ihemod advanced further into what was the Azdarin Caliphate. It was in these offensives that the Empire of Charnea suffered its first defeat, in 1366 at the Battle of Al-Hira by the Charnean General Ahag ag Salla at the hands of an Azdarin Gharbaic prince. Nevertheless, since the decline of the Almurid Caliphate years earlier, the region was divided and Ihemod met success in his invasions despite setbacks. In 1372, Ihemod invaded the Periclean coast of Scipia, launching incursions beginning with the conquest of Alanahr in a two pronged invasion from 1372-1373, to the incursion on modern day Aghmatia in 1380 which ended the Periclean campaign and extended Charnean rule from the Periclean to the Thalassan. The period of 1380 to 1395, known as the Crushing in many histories, was marked by massive waves of rebellion across conquered areas, including a mutiny of some of Ihemod's Generals and other officers objecting to his absolute rule and what they saw as reckless expansion. The delay caused by these rebellions undoubtedly postponed many further invasions and significantly impacted the final size of the Empire of Charnea on Ihemod's death. Ihemod would go on to spend his remaining years conquering the south and west before his death ended the so called "Age of Terror", the period of unchecked Charnean expansion and seemingly unstoppable military supremacy.
Amenukal Ihemod died in 1409 at the age of 66, from what historians suspect was a brain tumor based on reports of headaches and seizures in the old conqueror's later years. His death soon halted the campaigns of expansion, granting a reprieve to the Periclean world and the lands of eastern Scipia, modern day Fahran, Vardana and Kembesa, as the invading Charnean armies retreated and their generals returned to Ihemod's temporary capital at Azut. There, the imperial assembly of elders known as the Agraw Imgharan met to elect as new ruler in the traditions of the Imuhagh confederations. The new Amenukal, Magdan ag Barka, was slow to send the armies back to the front lines of expansion and prioritized internal matters of the empire. Magdan had been one of Ihemod's generals, assigned to put down rebellions in the region of the Obul river bend, and had in that time developed a concern that the mighty Imuhagh empire would soon face major internal threats to its integrity greater than any outside foe. Magdan and his successors are largely credited with the administrative reform of the empire, which codified the Agraw Imgharan as a permanent deliberative assembly with important powers and responsibilities, set up the provisions for the government of captured cities and internal relations with the empire's many new tributary states and vassals. While new territories were added into the empire when the Generals and their armies returned to the frontiers, this was only a fraction of the meteoric expansion that had been seen under Ihemod's reign. In 1435, Magdan ordered the construction of a pyramid in the ancient style of some Tamazgha era tombs to house Ihemod's body, which had been mummified and kept in the Azut crypts after his death. Ihemod's reburial was an elaborate ceremony, one which drew clear parallels between the Empire of Charnea and her rulers, and the ancient Tamazgha confederation which Magdan wished to evoke as Charnea's predecessor state. Soon thereafter, Magdan established the new imperial capital at the Fish-Blood Bastion, a citadel in the desert near Ihemod's new pyramid monument. The resulting settlement would soon develop into the city of Agnannet, which has been the seat of every Charnean state since.
The period of internal peace and stability which followed Magdan's reign, historiographically known as the Pax Charnica, saw very little further military expansion and largely defensive wars or reconquests of insubordinate vassal states. In some areas, the empire indeed lost territory as tributaries broke away, although Amenukal Madgan reportedly viewed some of the losses as beneficial, seeing some of his predecessor's annexations as either undue overextensions or as vestigial first steps into campaigns which never occurred due to the conqueror's death. Many of Magdan's contemporaries criticized him for not following up of Ihemod's great conquests, while the Amenukal himself routinely cast himself as upholding Ihemod by securing his legacy rather than persuing his own. Amenukal Magdan focused the veteran Charnean armies, which had never numbered more than 95,000 soldiers during Ihemod's reign, on occupying and pacifying the empire's acquisitions, knowing that mustering the forces into a concentrated army to invade more territory would only jeopardize the existing conquests by draining their garrisons and reserve forces. Thanks largely to his efforts, Charnea prospered without a major rebellion for nearly 300 years. Tamashek language literature as well as patronage of the arts and sciences was at an all time high under this new reign of the Imuhagh tribes, and many monuments, tombs and elaborate palaces were built in this period which stand in the modern day.
It is also during this period that much of the assimilation into Imuhagh culture took place, especially among those taken as captives during the initial conquests. These populations had diverse ethnic backgrounds and hailed from all over Scipia, and even had representatives originating in Malaio, Ochran, and Belisaria. Under the Charnean form of slavery, the slave caste was not held as chattel but instead lived in settled villages, especially in along the Obul and in the south Charnean grasslands, where they established agriculture and practiced pastoralism. The fruits of these labors would be collected by the Imuhagh tribes which remained nomadic, and served as a more direct and reliable source of food, material and wealth than the vassal states and occupied foreign peoples such as the Zarma or Gharbaic nations under Charnean rule. Over time the slave population adopted the Tamashek language and many aspects of the Imuhagh culture which had enslaved them, while retaining some mixed vestiges of their mother cultures, often confused and fragmentary due to the heterogenous cultural backgrounds introduced into the slave caste communities. As they began to homogenize into a new culture and partially assimilate into the Imuhagh world, these Iklan would be recognized as a unique ethnicity. Where previously the Iklan had only been a caste label denoting people in bondage living in heavily exploited sedentary communities, the Iklan were now considered a new subject nation of the Imuhagh led empire, and despite their state of subordination they would serve as one of the central components of imperial power and a counterbalance to the Zarma and Gharbaic subject peoples which remained under Charnean rule.
Great Charnean Crisis
The Second Empire of Charnea is a constitutional monarchy, alternatively classified as a technocratic hereditary dictatorship, in which the monarch is not sovereign and is bound by legal restriction and protocol but is not checked by popular assemblies as in other constitutional monarchies. Instead, the legislature which counter-balances the executive power of the monarch is made up of civilian and military officials of the government, who are generally appointed to this Agraw Imgharan either by their immediate superiors or by the departments and government organs they represent. Charnea is categorized as a limited democracy, in which voting rights and representation at the level of the state are exclusively vested in members of the civil service and military forces i.e. officers of the government. The government structure of the Second Empire is distinct from both the military governments that ruled Charnea in recent years, and the nominally republican governments of the Central Scipian Republic and the State of the Central Scipian Accord. While it claims succesorship of the first Empire of Charnea, its system of monarchy departs significantly from the traditional absolute style of rule of the old Empire. Additionally, the modern interpretation of the Agraw Imgharan assembly, which is made up of internally selected which serve for limited terms, is almost entirely dissimilar to the assembly of the same name under the old Empire, in which representation was hereditary to be passed down to the head of each clan granted a place. Furthermore, the original Agraw Imgharan was a purely consultative assembly, whereas the modern assembly is a true deliberative assembly and holds legal authorities and powers. The political system of the Second Empire does not accept political plurality, and no political party of any sort is allowed to exist under the law.
The Okha Dynasty, the continuation of the late imperial royal house of the Empire of Charnea, holds the throne of the Second Empire with Tamenokalt Amina N'Okha reigning as the first and current ruler under the new regime while her mother Tanermat Kana N'Okha serves as Queen Regent and formally exercises the monarch's powers in accordance with constitutional rule until the Tamenokalt's coming of age. Because of the structure of the Second Empire's government system, there is no clear divide between the executive pole of the state led by the monarchy and the legislative pole of the state which represents the general will of the civil service and military. The heads of Ministries and various departments and agencies of the Charnean state are subordinate to the monarch as the chief executive of Charnea, however these officials as well as the government organs they represent also control or have influence over parts of the Agraw Imgharan. Through this mechanism the monarch holds supreme authority as the political leader and definitive head of the administration, but is definitively part of the apparatus of state and subject to the same rules and restrictions as any other official, albeit with a greater array of powers and responsibilities.
The regime of the Second Empire is broadly based on the ideology of Charneanism, but is also affected by the philosophy of Total Law and the writings of Charnean military leader and political figure Martuf ag Lamine. The internal functions of the state and the structure of the political system of the Second Empire are primarily affected by the latter philosophies that seek to reduce the involvement of what are considered "human factors" in governance, such as corruption, nepotism and a reliance on personal charisma and connections to affect political actions, and instead implement a regime headed by an executive vested with enough authority to lead and to override the influence of notable politicians and well connected figures. This executive oversees - and is held in check by - a highly centralized, merit based bureaucracy which collectively administers all civil, military and in some cases religious affairs of the country. In practice, the application of this philosophy has led to an overall authoritarian style of government with deeply technocratic tendencies, in which a class of professionals and experts hold decision making positions while functionaries and administrators within the bureaucracy carry out the orders of this class of technocratic leaders. These technocratic tendencies are brought about not only by a belief that leadership by experts would result in better crafted government policies, but moreover by the conviction that such professionals will be less likely to hold connections to other political leaders and officers of the regime (i.e. forms of personal corruption such as nepotism will be impeded if high academic and professional barriers to entry are imposed over any given government office). The function of the monarch in this system is to uniformly enforce internal order among the governing class and guarantee compliance to the principles of the state. The internal ideology of the Second Empire is defined by the recent history of Charnea in its CSR and SCSA incarnations, and is particularly abhorrent towards cronyism, nepotism, and what is considered financial corruption (e.g. embezzlement and bribery) which was the norm in Charnean politics before the advent of the new regime.
The ideology which most governs the outward policy of the new Charnean state towards its citizens is that of Charneanism, a pan-Charnean imperial philosophy originally conceived as the first Empire of Charnea's answer to nationalism. The approach of the old Empire to nationalism ultimately failed as nationalistic tensions resulted in the disintegration of the imperial government, and as such the renewed form of the Charneanist ideology is significantly modified and often referred to as "Neo-Charneanism". Charneanism is alternatively described as anti-nationalist and pan-nationalist, as it outright rejects the ethnic nationalism of the ten distinct ethnic groups which make up the Charnean population, while aspousing a pan-Charnean idea of a unified Charnean identity through a sort of civic nationalism. Such a Charnean national identity would be founded on social cohesion, shared institutions of the centralized Charnean state and mixed social elements such as the universally spoken Tamashek language and other aspects of predominantly Imuhagh culture present to some degree across a majority of Charnean communities. The ideology generally opposes the distinction of defined national groups aligning with the ten recognizes ethnic cohorts present in Charnean demographics, and likewise opposes the development of distinct identities and associations along ethnic lines which could lead to the further fracturing of the Charnean people and disintegration of the country. Charneanism generally lays the blame over the country's ills and history of violence and instability on this disintegration, and singles out nationalist ideologies as the culprit responsible for this phenomenon. Neo-Charneanism specifically as the more modern strain not only rejects the nationalism of minority ethnicities in Charnea but also the nationalism of dominant groups like the Imuhagh and related Iklan groups, which the ideology views as accelerating Charnean disintegration by espousing exclusionary views and seeking a Tamashek-speaking Imuhagh state separate from the other nations of Charnea. The ideology is not distinctly secular, as it opposes the involvement of religious leaders and institutions in functions of the state yet also affirms the role of religious identity, specifically Tamdda-ddin, as a unifying force in Charnean society across ethnic groups.
The Charnean economy is one of the least developed on the Scipian continent, and the country is among the poorest in the world measured by national GDP per capita. The main contributing factor to this underdevelopment has been the frequent disruption of economic activities by war, civil conflict and government incompetence that has hampered efforts to develop a more complex and robust economy. This has left Charnea almost totally reliant on resource extraction for revenue and export, a state of affairs which the Second Empire government seeks to remedy by fostering new industries and establishing the requisite political stability needed for expansion of the economy through state driven development and private investments. While not a planned economy, the economic policy of the Second Empire reflects a doctrine of dirigisme especially in sectors which affect water resources. Within the uncertainty underpinning the Second Empire's promise to end instability and insecurity in Charnea, a degree of uncertainty also surrounds the regime's plans to rebuild and expand the Charnean economy and follow through on various development and investment schemes involving the fellow member states of the Four Rising Nations Summit and other foreign entities.
Petroleum and Mining
The extraction of mineral wealth is the cornerstone of the Charnean economy and has historically been the main vehicle for the development and modernization of the county's economy and infrastructure. Mining is today the largest sector of the economy, focusing on Charnea's abundant deposits of nickel, copper, tin, gold and iron. Deposits of rare minerals such as platinum and iridium are also found in Charnea. Some geological formations in remote areas of the Ninva have been found to contain the zinc bearing minerals Sphalerite and Franklinite, suggesting unexplored deposits of that mineral. Overall, it is speculated that a large portion of Charnea's total natural wealth remains undiscovered in remote regions of the desert. This remains true in referring to the nation's petroleum reserves. Charnea has one of the largest known reserves in the world, and much of the oil bearing regions remain unexplored. Petroleum extraction was previously the largest sector of the economy but failed to keep up expansion and exploitation, suffering from stagnation due to instability and seeing many foreign companies pull out of the Charnean oil fields due to issues of local violence and theft, as well as instability and corruption of the government. The nationalization of the petroleum industry in 2005 under COPEC further slowed the growth of the industry, as overall extraction and exports dropped. Despite the decrease of overall profits from oil as a result of nationalization, direct revenue to the government from oil increased dramatically as COPEC revenue far outstripped what the state was able to charge in taxes on private oil profits. COPEC has remained the cash cow of several successive Charnean regimes and is now in a state of expansion with access of new funds and investments through the Second Empire regime.
The Charnean agriculture sector is a relatively minor component of the overall economy, dwarfed by the mining and energy industries both in terms of raw contribution to national GDP as well as the proportion of Charneans employed in each sector of the economy. Most agriculture in Charnea caters to the domestic demand for food, and has historically been able to establish self sufficiency in food albeit with notable famines and periods of reliance on food imports in thge 1980s and 90s. Food self sufficiency, which waned in the early 2000s and 2010s, has been reestablished in recent years thanks to the focus on the food supply by the TGON and the Second Empire regime as food supply has largley caught up to population growth. Major crops include millet, wheat, beans, yuca, yams and maize. In some regions, cocoa is also cultivated. Sorghum is produced for animal feed and biofuels, certain species of Acacia produce gum arabic and Rubber trees are grown for their latex which is used to produce natural rubber. Rice, formerly the single most popular staple food in Charnea, has suffered a precipitous drop in cultivation and consumption thanks in large part to a campaign by the Second Empire regime to intentionally reduce and stamp out its usage through a series of tax schemes and import tariffs which artificially inflated the price to produce or purchase rice, while simultaneously subsidizing millet and wheat as alternatives. Rice was targeted specifically with these measures because of its high water usage and the elevated level of water waste in flood irrigation used in rice cultivation, which falls well beyond what the regime's new Ministry of Water considers acceptable levels. The NERA's more ambitious plans to bring about state mandated implementation of drip irrigation and far more stringent water controls for agriculture remains on hold due to the estimated costs of these projects.
Charnea is well known for its recycling industry, which is locally referred to as the reclamation industry. This sector of the Charnean economy, widely practiced in southern regions of the country, is based on the importation of foreign industrial and consumer waste products typically by rail or by sea to be processed by comparatively cheap Charnean labor. Reclamation firms in Charnea draw their profits from selling salvaged materials back onto the market as cheaper alternatives to what are called first generation materials, such as plastic pellets made from recycled plastic waste as opposed to being produced directly from petroleum products. Ship breaking is also a hallmark activity of the Charnean reclamation industry, making the Charnean coast and particularly the port of Koros international hotspots for the disposal of commercial ships, where the vessels are cheaply demolished and taken apart for the purposes of extracting raw materials and metal scrap. Recycling and other forms of industrial treatment of imported waste products is a significant contributor to pollution and contamination of the environment with waste products, particularly in the southernmost regions of the country.
Reflecting the multicultural nature of the confederation, Charnean cuisine is a mixture of many different influences both internal and external. While in general many different local cuisines are found across Charnea, Tamashek cuisine is endemic to most regions of the confederation. Additionally, foreign influences primarily originating with other Amazigh peoples scuh as Aghmatia can be felt as well, having been introduced through the connecting trans-scipian trade routes which have historically served as the mediums of cultural exchange for central Scipia and Charnea. Taguella bread, an unleavened flatbread normally cooked over charcoal, is a ubiquitous staple food across most of Charnea, while Eba is more popular in the south as a local staple. Tajine, Couscous and Besṭila are examples of foreign Amazigh dishes introduced to Charnea through cultural exchange that have since become popular with many local peoples, while Jollof rice can be taken as an example of a popular dish having an origin within the local cultures of southern and central Charnea.
Many of the dishes common to differing regions of Charnea are highly specific to the local environment and agricultural or pastoral traditions, and are general the products of the most available sources of nutrition and the best fitted crops that can be cultivated in any particular region, such as goat and sheep products along with wheat flatbreads in the Ninva desert region contrasted with rice and cassava based foods in the far less arid southerly regions. The steady introduction of modern agricultural techniques and industrialized food production and especially the advent of refrigeration have resulted in a rising degree of homogeneity, as foods from one region of Charnea can much more easily be transported and consumed in other regions where the climate would never allow those products to be prepared locally, leading to a general spread in popular south Charnea rice dishes, although a few northern foods such as taguella and cink or liwa millet porridge still retain their wide reaching popularity as cultural staples.
Tea is highly popular across all differing Charnean cultures. Ashahi tea, green tea steeped with sugar and mint, is not only popular but culturally significant as the focal point of many social gatherings. Preparation is often semi-ritual and ceremonial in nature, being prepared for household guests as a key element of traditional Charnean hospitality, as well as part of daily social meetings within and without the family group. Generally, each person takin part will consume more than one (typically 2-4) glasses of tea in any particular occasion or tea ceremony. Ashahi tea is not limited to any particular activity, meal or time of day, and is generally consumed at all times of day, often multiple times a day, with food or on its own. The common variety of Ashahi tea consumed today is a type of gunpowder green tea introduced to Charnea in the 18th century, although the tradition of the tea ceremony is though to predate this introduction and may have originated with unknown varieties of tea that came into Charnea in medieval times, at some point prior to the 11th century.
Coffee, beer and other alcoholic beverages which are generally common across most of the world are comparatively far less popular in Charnea. In some instances, varieties of coffee which are typically imported are consumed in a similar manner to Ashahi tea especially in recent years, however the popularity of this practice is not wide reaching. Imported alcoholic beverages, such as Balche and Tequila introduced to Charnea through contact with the Mutul, have a niche market, with some contributions from locally produced distillations which generally consist of Moonshine. Other Mutulese imports such as chocolate have a similar middling level of popularity, and are mainly imbibed as part of White Path ritualistic consumption.
Clothing and Fashion
A wide variety of textile and clothing styles can be found in Charnea, having origins both in many diverse native cultures within the Confederation as well as foreign origins which may have been introduced through cross-cultural contact over ancient trade routes historically or be relatively recent additions to Charnean fashion brought about in the industrial age through modern means of international trade. Although common foreign styles, often those mass produced and in ubiquitous use globally, are indeed found all over Charnea, it is also common to find local styles being worn both in ceremonial capacities and in day to day life. The most iconic piece of native fashion is the tagelmust, a head wrap originating with the Tamashek people of the Ninva desert which is typically dyed with indigo but may also be dyed in other colors, especially as it has been introduced as a common piece of headwear outside of the nomadic cultures of northern Charnea. A tagelmust is specifically intended to be worn by men, as the Tamashek traditionally veil themselves at all times except in the presence of close friends or within a family. Women do not traditionally cover their faces except at specific times during ceremonies and events using the tusuwart, a woman's head covering. Men generally wear cloth pants known as akarbey while women will traditionally wear dresses as well as afer coverings. The Tamashek, as well as many other ethnic groups within Charnea, commonly wear various types of Djellaba robe or kaftan, such as the mbaub found in the south. Charneans who do not wear the tagelmust will sometimes use Kufi style hats instead. In Charnean culture, the tagelmust is considered a symbol of adulthood and wearing one for the first time marks a rite of passage into manhood. Many similar practices exist across Charnea, where traditional headgear and hats are intended to be worn only by adult men or women. Footwear may vary greatly depending on the climate, however leather sandals (iragazan) and shoes (ibuzagan) are relatively common and widespread across Charnea's arid regions.