UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: March 19, 301 AP.

Utanian Peacekeepers to stay in Dignania - Okarvits

Despite the Parliament not being assembled to vote on the motion, President Okarvits has secured the government's support for Utanian Peacekeepers to remain in Dignania for at least another twelve months.

President Okarvits met with Prime Minister Barth Monday morning to discuss the continued presense of Utanian Peacekeepers in Dignania to help maintain the truce lines between the warring sides, and the Prime Minister assured the President that the government would support their continued role.

Okarvits and General Gordain spoke on Saturday, the day after the truce announcement, and Gordain emphasised his interest in continuing his role in Dignania for now, but said that in order to fulfill peacekeeper obligations, an additional 6,000 troops would be required to supplement the already stretched forces.

So, in a press conference at lunch today, President Okarvits said he would be despatching the Heavy Infantry III Brigade to Dignania, consisting of 6500 men, and twelve armoured vehicles, bringing Utania's commitment to Dignania to 16,900. The men have orders to depart on Thursday morning, with the UDK Isova and UDK Bathenne carrying the troops and their equipment in a convoy accompanied by three helicopter frigates.

Some analysts found it interesting that General Gordain has indicated that he wishes to remain in Dignania "for now", rather than indefinitely, as it opens the possibility of the General running for President later this year, a thought that has generated much interest in the press of late. Gordain, a career soldier with impeccable credentials, would be forced to challenge President Okarvits, a close personal friend, in the race for the Presidency, prompting some to speculate that he may take up a Vice President position under Okarvits.

©UPA, 301 AP.

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