UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: August 2, 300 AP.

UNV Releases Military to full Utanian Control

General Arthur B. Arjaat, Military Commander of the Utanian Armed Forces, signed a notice to the President and Parliament concurring with the numbers provided for the men and equipment handed over to Utanian control by the UNV yesterday at midnight.

General Arjaat, who will now step down as President Hope's cabinet Director of Defence, citing "conflict of interest", now commands a force of over a quarter-of-a-million men, under orders from the President alone. The General signed a letter to the President stating that the Democratic Republic was now in possession of 270,000 men, including 100,000 reservists, 11,500 vehicles, including some 184 armoured vehicles, 191 aircraft, and 143 military sea vessels.

While he voiced joy over the "long-overdue and rightful return of Utania's autonomy", Liberal Nationalist leader, Kyle Langley, voiced concern over the small number of fighting equipment on the list. "We may well have 191 aircraft, yet the manuscript states that only 17 are tactical fighter aircraft, and while we may have 143 sea craft, only 18 of them are significant warships.

"I would suggest, as a consequence, that it is high time the Government got very serious about providing a real defensive capability to Utania, instead of playing with the idea." Mr Langley has long been a supporter of a large defense force and military capability to "ensure Utania's interests are not violated".

While President Hope has derisively played down Mr Langley's "warrior" tendencies, he has openly admitted that Utania will be procuring further arms during the coming year under his administration.

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©UPA, 300 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2000. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)