UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: June 4, 301 AP.

Questions raised about what and why of the "invasion"

As Utania digests the thought that over the weekend, over one hundred well-armed paramilitaries from South Bay attempted to "invade" Utania, questions are being asked about who the invaders were and why they entered Utanian territory.

The news dominated every news channel over the weekend: Utanian soldiers were actively engaging a force of unknown number 23 km inside Utanian territory in the far north of Savana state, 400km west of Luka. When he was informed, President Okarvits ordered the 11th mechanised infantry Brigade to the scene, which proceeded to bomb the paramilitaries into surrendering. While an estimated 110 paramilitaries had "invaded", only thirty have managed to escape back of the border, 17 are dead and 62 are in Utanian Army care, 34 of them wounded.

The government-supporting Burovians have called on the government to allow international monitors access to the 62 prisoners-of-war, such as International Amnesty, the UNV and/or the Red Cross of Vexillium.

Now, the question is being asked "why" by the country's newspapers and members of Parliament. What were these 110 men doing so far into Utania? Clearly claims they were invasion army are ludicrous, says the Luka Herald, but who were they and what were they after?

Speculation is rife. Nationalists are claiming it was the advance guard of a communist army. The Nationalist Party leader, Thomas Abels, said on Shecker FM radio this morning that "the MCZ and Armatirians are behind this". When met with mocking disbelief from the radio announcer, Mr Abels asked "Why else would they (the Armatirians) have their aircraft carrier fleet, normally based in New Armatirion, currently docked in Ecostal?" later adding "There is something inherently evil happening here, and I would call on the President to reinforce our borders, and for all patriotic, anti-communists to stand vigilently!"

Other less extremist opinions include mass robbery of the Ramal-Utani people living there, hiding out from South Bay government forces or being forced into Utania by the "it's their problem now" South Bay armed forces, and the opinion that it was due to provocation _by_ the Ramal-Utani, of whom there is in excess of a million living in South Bay, and who are suspected to have been involved with the Yellow Bay rebels, a group now opposed to the South Bay government.

Whatever the reasons, President Okarvits has ordered a "significant strengthening" of the border patrols, agreeing to pour millions of punds into reinforcing the patrols and security. The border will continue to have the 11th Armoured Brigade stationed along it for some weeks yet, the Presidential spokesman confirmed.

©UPA, 301 AP.

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