|Commanders and leaders|
Munyaradzi Mhlanga †
|Rwizikuru 207,595 soldiers||585,000 soldiers|
|Casualties and losses|
25,867 missing and captured
18,000 missing and captured
450,000 Rwizikuran civilians killed
300,000 Mabifian civilians killed
ton of internally displaced persons and refugees
The Mabifian-Rwizikuran War (weRwizi: Hondo pakati peMabifia naRwizikuru, Ndjarendie: TBD) was a war in Bahia that lasted from 1968 until 1969, over the territory of Yekumavirira which had been under the control of Rwizikuru, that started when the Mabifian Democratic Republic attacked the Kingdom of Rwizikuru. At the end of the war, the Purple Line was established along the front lines, and a population exchange took place.
- 1 Names
- 2 Background
- 3 Events
- 4 Aftermath
- 5 Impact
- Hondo pakati peMabifia naRwizikuru - translating to "War between Mabifia and Rwizikuru," this is the term used in official documents and media, and is seen as a politically neutral term
- Hondo ye Yekumavirira - translating to "war for Yekumavirira," this is a commonly used vernacular term by Rwizikurans, and is seen as a politically neutral term
- Kukurirwa - translating to "the defeat," this is a commonly used vernacular term by Rwizikurans, especially those who were displaced from Yekumavirira as a result of the war
- Hondo Yekupona - translating to "war of survival," this was a commonly used propaganda term during the Mabifian-Rwizikuran War. Has fallen out of use since the 1980s
- Hondo yakanangana vaIrfan - translating to "war against the Irfans," this was a commonly used propaganda term during the Mabifian-Rwizikuran War, is seen as extraordinarily offensive
The area in question, Yekumavirira, had historically been a part of the Ahirengeïe Kirole. this was an area of contested control between the Great Powers of Kambou and the veRwizi Empire. The area's population was divided between those who practiced Irfan, who formed a slim majority, and Fetishism, leading to large social divisions. With the advent of Toubacterie, Ahirengeïe's coastal location saw it quickly claimed by the Gaullican Empire and the area was a focal point for missionary activity.
The transfer of Gaullica's Bahian territories to Estmere at the end of the Great War resulted in the addition of Ahirengeïe to their territory of Riziland, as it was seen to have closer ethnic and religious ties to Catholic and Ouloume Riziland as opposed to the primarily Irfanic and Ndjarendie dominated Mabifia. This ignored the historic ties of the Kirole to Mabifia, as well as the sizeable Irfanic population in the area.
Rwizikuran rule and growing tensions
In 1946, Rwizikuru was granted independence following tensions between the Estmerish colonial authorities and the Rwizikuran National Movement led by Shungudzemwoyo Nhema and Izibongo Ngonidzashe. This included Olongaland, which was quickly renamed back to Yekumavirira by the newly independent government.
Under Samhuri Ngonidzashe's rule from 1946 to 1954, he began instituting policies to "create a consolidated nation-state." To this end, Samhuri Ngonidzashe ordered all schools across Rwizikuru to use the weRwizi language, and to reduce the use of Estmerish in schools in 1948.
This policy was unpopular among the Kirobyi people living in Yekumavirira, as they were angered that schools in their communities, which had hiherto been primarily taught in Estmerish and in the Kirobyi languages would be forced to teach their children "the language of their enemies."
Alai Abyodu Tsalar, in response to these policies established the Yekumavirira Liberation Movement to advocate for increased autonomy for Yekumavirira. Over the next few years, many Irfanic people joined the movement, as many Irfanics experienced tensions with the Sortirian population, as policies were made that benefitted the Sotirian population at the expense of the Irfanic population.
In 1954, Samhuri Ngonidzashe finished his second term, and due to term limits implemented by the Rwizikuran constitution, Samhuri was prohibited from running for a third term. Instead, Samhuri appointed his son, Izibongo Ngonidzashe to be the presidential candidate in the 1954 elections.
"The Rwizikuran nation must be based on three principles: one nation, one language, and one leader. If we do not develop our nation as a single nation-state, we shall be forever at the mercy of imperialist powers, from Euclea, and from next door."
Thus, Izibongo enacted policies to further centralize the country: he abolished the 1951 compromise, and forced weRwizi to be the sole language of instruction in schools in Yekumavirira. As well, he welcomed the Sotirian refugees, and allocated "vacant land" in Yekumavirira. Combined, these policies drew the ire of the Irfanic population in the region, with Alai Abyodu Tsalar declaring in 1956 that:
"Under President Izibongo, we are being subjugated. We are evicted to make room for those so-called 'refugees' from Mabifia, and impose their faith, their language, and their beliefs unto us. In the name of the Behestee-Alef, we cannot permit Rwizikuru to undermine our inherent rights to be a free nation."
This declaration angered the Rwizikuran government, and resulted in Izibongo Ngonidzashe amending the constitution so he would serve two five-year terms as opposed to two four-year terms, in addition to Ngonidzashe beginning to crack down on Irfanic practices. In an attempt to destroy the movement, he deported Alai Abyodu Tsalar and other prominent members of the Yekumavirira Liberation Movement to Mabifia.
Despite these moves to try and crack down on the Yekumavirira Liberation Movement, it only served to attract more Irfanic people to the movement. This helped increase the perception that the Irfanic populations were untrustworthy, and in 1960, Izibongo Ngonidzashe passed legislation that allowed only three mosques to stay in operation: two in Port Vaugeois (present-day Port Tsalar), and one in Port Fitzhubert.
This policy greatly outraged the Irfanic community, with demonstrations taking place throughout Yekumavirira: the Rwizikuran Army were called in to quell the protests at Port Vaugeois, leading to the Port Vaugeois massacre on 4 March, 1960, killing twenty-two people and injuring sixty-three people.
The massacre would serve as the catalyst for the Yekumavirira Liberation Movement to begin engaging in an armed struggle against the Rwizikuran government. Over the next several years, the movement began to carve out a stronghold in rural areas of Yekumavirira where there were still sizable Irfanic populations.
In 1964, with Izibongo's second term expiring, he chose to use the situation in Yekumavirira as a pretext to suspend the Constitution of Rwizikuru, and to declare himself Mambo of Rwizikuru. With the institution of the Basic Law of Rwizikuru later that year which firmly established Rwizikuru as an absolute monarchy, he essentially had all the power in the country.
Meanwhile in Mabifia, the Rafa - an ethno-religious nationalist Political Party - held sole power in the government since the Third Mabifian War. In 1963 however their power and organization began to fail, with ethnic tension in the cities and militancy on the countryside. Many had begun to detest villagization projects through state-owned collective farming, which had displaced or disrupted the lives of many agricultural groups.
The Mabifian Prime Minister and leader of the Rafa, Gyowade !natan had seen success since the Mabifian Wars with his extensive programs of industrialization and cultural vitalization. However, he governed like a tyrant and did not submit to fair challenges to his power, instead employing a secret police of radical followers to purge the government. By 1965, Gyowade passed away and in his place the Rafa elected Idu Tsukhaja as Prime Minister, trying to keep the dividing and ideologically changing party together and prevent foreseeable civil war.
The Great Elder of Mabifia, Omun Ajokhemi, meanwhile called for attention on the issue of Irfanic populations in Yekumavirira conflicting with Sotirian migrants. In 1966, Elder Omun made a holy proclamation and demanded that the Sotirians be moved elsewhere by the Rwizikuru government.
Izibongo Ngonidzashe refused to accept the demands of Omun Ajokhemi, saying that:
"The Sotirians in Yekumavirira have lived for as long as the Irfanic peoples in Yekumavirira, if not longer than the Irfanics. To tell our citizens to uproot their lives and move elsewhere would in itself be a grave violation of their God-given liberties to reside where-ever they please, and if we were to accept your demands, it will only encourage the destruction of our nation as it would be easier for imperialist powers to recolonize us."
Thus, Izibongo Ngonidzashe responded by closing the two mosques in Yekumavirira, and instituting mandatory "religious education" in the Sotirian religions. At around the same time, Izibongo Ngonidzashe instituted policies to reduce foreign influence in the economy, and expel "bourgeois elites" (i.e. Marathis and wealthy Irfanics) from the country.
Domestic tensions in Mabifia grew hotter, but Idu Tsukhaja sought to focus on the Yekumavirira issue. The following year, in 1967, Ajokhemi declared Yekumavirira a holy land of all Ngemi(ǁnemi) Irfanics. As rhetoric intensified, policy and focus changed, the country was unified in viewing a Yekumavirira border threat. In late 1967, the Great Elder of Mabifia declared a Ngemi Pilgrimage on Yekumavirira, calling for a "re-conquest of the land".
"By Behestee-Alef, I call upon my brothers and sisters to defend their fellow countrymen. We must secure a future for all Ngemi Irfanic peoples and march forward with the word of Behestee-Alef. We must irradiate the Imperial Sotirian legacy and embark on the Reclamation of Olonga. This is why we unify, to protect against the imperial devil and bring the light of knowledge, the truth of Niayesh." - Great Elder Omun Ajokhemi
In early 1968, an ultimatum was given to Izibongo Ngonidzashe by the Prime Minister Idu Tsukhaja. Officially cede claim on "Olonga" and evacuate the region, as Mabifian troops were stacked on the border. In reality, Mabifian troops had already begun to slowly trickle across the border at night and prepare for offensive.
Izibongo Ngonidzashe rejected the ultimatum, declaring that "Yekumavirira is as much of an integral part of Rwizikuru as Parunoguma," and began to deploy more troops of the Royal Rwizikuran Army to Yekumavirira to fortify Rwizikuru's position in the area. In preparation for an imminent war, he began to detain Irfanic people in the country and send them to internment camps in the eastern regions.
Irregular Mabifian Rangers, groups already hidden in Yekumavirira, began their initial attacks three days before war was officially declared. Raiding villages and stopping convoys that were transporting Irfanic refugees to internment camps. War was officially declared by the Great Elder of Mabifia on October 6th, 1968, beginning with combined Air and Ground offensives following the rangers.
The Liberation of Olonga as Mabifia called it had begun as over 20,000 initial troops crossed the border, raiding and occupying Sotirian villages, as well as detaining individual Sotirians. On October 10th, Mabifian troops executed Sotirans indiscriminately along their routes as the advance was pushed, slashing the burning villages and land as they went. Mabifian Rangers continued their guerrilla war behind enemy lines, undertaking an operation to liberate eastern internment camps.
Caught off guard by the sudden Mabifian attacks, it took until 11 October for Izibongo Ngonidzashe to issue a response to the invasion of Yekumavirira, after hearing reports of Sortirians being indiscriminately killed, and their villages destroyed. He issued an order to the Royal Rwizikuran Army that "no quarter shall be given to any Irfanic soldier or civilian," and to "use any means at their disposal" to drive them out of the country and into Mabifia.
Thus, with around 80,000 soldiers, the army launched a vicious counteroffensive against the Mabifian forces the next day. Over the next few weeks, while the Rwizikurans made some progress against the Mabifian soldiers, and committed atrocities against Irfanic civilians who have not been evacuated. The Mabifian offensive was completely halted in this scourge within days of intense, full confrontation on the countryside.
By October 20th the Mabifian line had begun to retreat as casualties were high and outnumbered Mabifian units were entrenched behind enemy lines or wiped out. Supplies were stricken as the army was disorganized and Generals were becoming ever more divided along political lines; the Rafa Party was showing signs of splitting with intensifying rhetoric. Mabifian Prime Minister, Idu Tsakhaja, was asked to step down for his failure to unite the party while inciting the war.
The issues known to the Mabifian Army at the time had also decreased its effectiveness. While the Mabifian irregular forces effectively harassed the Rwizikuran advance and acted as scouts, the regular army experienced communication and task-management issues. Soldiers were also neglectful and lethargic, as drug use was widespread among the soldiers, especially khat among soldiers during combat. Political and clan divisions did not help either, as well as the disorganized and non-conforming hierarchical structure. Despite many veterans from the Third Mabifian War in leading ranks, the Army was debilitated yet needed to fight a war. This is believed to be caused by the use of the military as a police force by the Rafa, especially in the agrarian government villages, that grew more abusive.
The Naqan assumed emergency powers, dismantling the Rafa Party and calling for the trial of party officials under Esafkar Law. On October 27th, the Naqan ordered an immediate draft and signed an edict, prefaced with: "There is no party but that of Behestee-Alef." No drafted soldiers would be able to fight in the war by the time it had ended, however the draft campaign played into fueling the rebirth of ethno-religious nationalism.
On November 5th, the Mabifian Army in Yekumavirira was now commanded by Bakoi Tekǂnubo Kala, Hugo ǁkhal Sundala and the exiled Alai Abyodu Tsalar, told to hold out in western Olonga and wait for reinforcements to assemble. Tsalar led contingents of a ranger force that scouted and probed the Rwizikuran forces, as well as harassed their supply lines. Tsalar's troops were known as brutal and committed, ambushing countless Rwizikuran patrols and engaging them in melee. The rangers gave the Mabifians time to build a defense, composed of makeshift strongholds lined with trenches. Meanwhile, a purge was happening in the ranks of the Army, as Bakoi Kala and the Naqan of Mabifia led a complete restructuring of the armed forces as they were shifted from a police force, to a combat operations force. This involved inviting foreign advisers.
Zorasan Air Support
There was a question in Mabifia of requesting Zorasan support, as the Army wouldn't be able to fill its ranks with professional soldiers fast enough to counter the Rwizikuran defense. However, at the end of November, a plan was devised to expand the the irregular force and recruit from a pool of veterans of the Third Mabifian War. Most of the veterans were in their 30s, 40s and 50s, drafted and assembled into their own units. Thousands of veterans joined the offensive, as well as retrained reservists.
However the Mabifian airforce was ineffective and a logistical failure. So the Naqan of Mabifia requested that Zorasan offer air cover for Bakoi's advance.
Thus, by the start of December, the tide started to shift in favor of the Mabifian Armed Forces once more, partially due to the new leadership who were willing to use more modern tactics, as opposed to the Rwizikuran army, which used tactics dating back to the Great War. As well as Zorasan providing a air superiority, the Mabifian observed air power as a useful tool. More soldiers were deployed to the front in the response to the advancing Mabifian forces, to try and reinforce the Rwizikuran soldiers already at the front.
However, over the next few weeks, the Rwizikuran forces were forced to retreat as they lost more and more battles to the Mabifian forces, in addition to more non-Mabifian forces on the side of the Mabifians, and more rebels from Yekumavirira: thus, on December 24th, Izibongo Ngonidzashe ordered to pull back troops to protect the major cities of Yekumavirira which were linked by the Mugwagwa, which went all the way to the then-capital of Port Fitzhubert.
Battle of Port Vaugeois
By February, the forces of Bakoi Kala spearheaded a brutal advance which took no prisoners and led to the scourge of the countryside. On the 22nd, his army began scouting Port Vaugeois, and directing mass artillery barrages. During this time, the Naqan Omun Ajokhemi enacted widespread wartime reform Rafe-established institutions. On 2 March, 1969, when Kala had began a full assault on Port Vaugeois, Gyowade !natan, the former Prime Minister and leader of the Rafa party, stood trial before judgement of an Irfanic court.
The opening hours of the Battle of Port Vaugeois were bloody with thousands of casualties on both sides, ending in a contested stalemate. The Mabifian forces continued to bombard the city with Zorasani air support and artillery by night and fight in the streets by the day.
Over the next few weeks, the Rwizikuran defenders attempted to use the urban environment of Port Vaugeois to their advantage, and to attempt to slow down the Mabifian advance. However, with Zorasani forces bombing the city from the air, the Rwizikuran defenders were at a substantial disadvantage. While there were calls to deploy the Rwizikuran Air Force, as their planes largely dated to the Great War, Izibongo Ngonidzashe was hesitant to deploy them, as he believed Zorasani planes "can crush them like insects."
However, this brutal campaign took a substantial toll on the Rwizikuru Army, with many soldiers and civilians being killed or put out of action as a result of the bombardments. This led to the Rwizikurans abandoning sections of Port Vaugeois, and concentrating their efforts at defense in the city center, the harbor, and along the Mugwagwa. Yet, by the sixteenth of March, the harbor and city center were lost, and with heavy casualties, the remaining soldiers were ordered to retreat on the Mugwagwa, as they no longer had sufficient manpower to defend Port Vaugeois from the Mabifian-Zorasani forces.
Rape of Port Vaugeois
After the battle the controversial subject of the Rape of Port Vaugeois comes up. The Mabifian government today denies the event ever taking place, however most contemporary historians disagree with this narrative. From the countless reports, eyewitness, pictures and some captured video, the Rape of Port Vaugeois is known to have happened. The Mabifian government has taken the stance of recognizing atrocity happening in the war, but stating that the Rape of Port Vaugeois is an isolated incident which has been blown up disproportionately. This explanation is also contested by most historians with the same evidence.
Over 200,000 civilians that identified as Sotirian are estimated to have been raped, beheaded or buried alive. Since 1984 there has been an active movement for reparations to the victims of the massacre.
After the Battle of Port Vaugeois, the Mabifian forces pushed down the Mugwagwa, attacking retreating Rwizikuran forces. The offensives lasted from March 16th to the 20th, otherwise known as the Scourge of the Mugwagwa. Hugo ǁkhal Sundala led most of the final offensive, known as particularly brutal yet incompetent commander. In the final winning offensive, Hugo's leadership had high casualties and communication issues. Tsalar assumed control over the advance on the 18th and his guerrilla forces, mostly composed of local recruits, drove the rest of the Rwzizkuran forces out of the region, and captured many more villages. While some of Yekumavirira remained under Rwizikuran control, centered on the town of Tchinamano, most of the area was lost by the 19th of March.
A ceasefire was declared on the 20th, however Mabifian forces continued to repeatedly violate by engaging skirmishes and ambushes. When talks were threatened, various non-government militia's were propped up to continue harassment along the purple line. Mabifian soldiers had also been fighting local Sotiran insurgents that rose around Port Vaugeois, leading to a campaign to remove the insurgents from the city.
On the 20th of March, a ceasefire was agreed, in order to facilitate talks in Snarksburgh, Caldia. The peace talks began out of fear for the war growing far too out-of-control, as the conflict was soon dubbed conventional and high lethality. Over the course of five months, the Mabifian-Rwizikuran War had reached large numbers of casualties that was showing an affects on both economies. The Mabifian Prime Minister Idu Tsakhaja agreed to a ceasefire several days into the talks, however held out on the division of Yekumavirira. On the 21st a covert offensive was launched by propped up local groups to try and seize the remaining areas of Yekumavirira under Rwizikuran control, but it had ultimately failed to succeed in time.
Meanwhile in Snarksburgh, the Rwizikuran ambassador to Caldia, Tirivangani Chiweshe, suggested a population exchange, where all Sotirians residing in Yekumavirira will be repatriated to Rwizikuru, and all Irfanics living there will be repatriated to Mabifia. He also suggested that "to prevent further hostilities," the ceasefire line should be designated as the international border between the two countries, and to have peacekeepers from the Community of Nations guard the ceasefire line.
One of the greatest impacts of the war was the expulsion of Yekumaviriran Irfanic people to Mabifia, and the expulsion of Yekumaviriran Sotirians to Rwizikuru as part of the Treaty of Snarksburgh which ended the war between the two countries. As this population exchange made no distinctions along ethnic lines, veRwizi who followed the Irfanic faith and who had known no other country, and Sotirian Kirobyi and Mirites, who likewise knew no other country, found themselves in unfamiliar territories.
Diplomatically, relations remained frosty between the two sides since the war: until February 2020, relations were non-existent, with protecting powers representing each country in another. The border between Mabifia and Rwizikuru is closed, only opening for special occasions, usually involving sporting events held in the other country, in order to allow fans and the team to go to the other country. However, on 2 February 2020, Munashe Ngonidzashe formally re-established diplomatic relations.
In addition, Rwizikuru maintained its claim over Yekumavirira: while the areas remaining under Rwizikuran rule were transferred to the district of Ndarira in April 1969, the district of Yekumavirira still officially existed until the passage of the new Rwizikuran constitution in January 2020, when it was formally abolished.