UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: June 9th, 301 AP.

No deal with rebels says President

President Okarvits has denied that his government is "even considering"
submitting to the South Bay-based rebel demands for the release of their
leader.

It has been a week since the "invasion" of Utania, when a regiment of 110 or so
heavily armed rebels or paramilitaries from within South Bay entered Utanian
soil and clashed with the Utanian Army, resulting in almost 100 casualties. One
of the rebel captives, now being held by Utanian Army Guards, it is claimed by
a letter delivered to a Hamilton city newspaper, to be Colonel Dajaran
Philippe, the leader of the rebel group. The rebels are demanding his release.
Failure to do so, warns the letter, Utania would be hit with "stark reprisals".

President Okarvits today emphatically denied he was planning to accede to the
rebel's demands, and any attempt to force Utania to do so would see "force
matched with force".

In the early morning broadcast on radio, the President said UPIA were
continuing their investigation into the rebel group that "invaded" Utania,
particularly centring on their motives for the incursion.

"It is clear they were on a mission, a very specific mission, and we are trying
to find out what it is they were seeking to achieve." However, he also called
on the rebels to explain their motives, and to seek a peace with the Utanian
people.

Perhaps surprisingly, the President has the full support from one unexpected
quarter: the opposition, who are in full support of the President's tough
stand.


©UPA, 301 AP.

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