UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: March 5, 301 AP.

Rovens Army reluctantly withdraws

The regular army of Rovens has finally begun a withdrawal from the "front line" with the PPA communist rebels north of Gvonj near the city of Kopara.

Amea Kope, the determined peacemaking Minister for the Military of the PIMR-lead Rovens government, ordered the withdrawal after securing a truce on March 1st with the Pataki Peoples Army (PPA), a communist rebel army whose political arm is a party in the PIMR coalition.

Securing the Army's withdrawal was a key component to the truce, and now allows the two parties to face each other in peace negotiations. It was also a watershed deal: the other four remaining rebel groups have also agreed to discuss a truce with the leftist government on the strength of the PPA deal.

The largest concern in implementing the truce was not whether the communists would honour it, but whether Mr Kope could maintain discipline over the army to enable the withdrawal. It is regarded as a humiliation by many in the military, that even their own independent government will not back them, and concerns over army discipline already existed. Yet, the strong arm of General Keralski, CiC of the Armed Forces, won the day.

General Keralski's level of support for the first independent government of Rovens is unknown, and many hardline leftists believe he should be removed before he damages the fledgling republic. President K'yonte has refused, fearing a complete breakdown in Army discipline should the moderate General be removed. Mr Kope has spent considerable time with Keralski to engender a trust between them.

The Army, numbering 40,000 with half of them based along the northern Gvonj "border" fighting the communists, will withdraw 20km from the truceline, and the PPA have agreed not to advance forward. Communist rebels, having operated in the region for over thirty years, control about one third of Rovens, including the city of Patak, regarded by the PPA as "sovereign soil" of the Pataki people.

(Source: Rovens Institute)

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)