Aramas

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Alydian Republic of Aramas
Repubblika Alydjana tal-Aramas
Flag
Flag Coat of Arms
Motto: "Deus meumque opus"
"God and my duty"
Anthem: Da pacem Domine
"Give peace, Lord"
MediaPlayer.png
Capital
and largest city
Sannat
Official languages Aramasian
Demonym Aramasian
Government Theocratic one-party state under military dictatorship
 -  President Gelormo Muscat
 -  High Flamen Nazarenu Diedo
Legislature Senate
Establishment
 -  Crusader state 1201 
 -  Colony of Aquidneck 1862 
 -  Independence 1960 
Population
 -  estimate 32,000,000
 -  2015 census 32,008,432
GDP (PPP) 2016 estimate
 -  Total $524.345 billion
 -  Per capita $16,386
GDP (nominal) 2016 estimate
 -  Total $156.734 billion
 -  Per capita $4,898
Gininegative increase 44.9
medium
HDI (2015)Decrease 0.643
medium
Currency Aramas Shilling (AMS)
Time zone East Arabekh Standard time (UTC-1)
Date format dd ˘ mm ˘ yyyy
Drives on the left
Calling code +38
Internet TLD .ar

Aramas, sometimes referred to as Aramatheria; officially the Alydian Republic of Aramas is a sovereign state located in North-Eastern Arabekh. The country is bordered by Torroso to the west, Kavo to the south and to the north by the Aquidish territory of Troping, over which Aramas claims sovereignty.

Whilst the area of modern Aramas has been inhabited for thousands of years, the development of complex Aramasian society is usually drawn from the Fiorentine province of Aramatheria, from which the modern country takes its name. Following the fall of the Empire, the Aramatherian area underwent a period of considerable turmoil, with the land regularly fought over by local warlords. The region would eventually come to be dominated by the Irsadic Caliphate and later Hawid Empire before being conquered and turned into an Alydian crusader kingdom in the late Twelfth Century. During this time Aquidish settlers established the settlement of Troping and Aramas became closely linked with other southern Asuran states. However, the hostile nature of Aramas' southern neighbours saw regular border skirmishes and soon the Kingdom fell behind its more established Asuran counterparts. In the 1860s with the onset of the scramble for Arabekh Aquidneck invaded and subjugated the region turning it into a protectorate. Aramas would remain an Aquidish colony for around one hundred years. Upon independence Aramas was a weak, albeit developing democracy however independence had caused a series of issues such as huge wealth inequality and the lack of true governmental institutions. In 1974 a Communist coup broke out, with revolutionaries seizing the capital of Sannat. Whilst the Communist uprising was eventually suppressed by the military, a dictatorial regime was soon established, which remains in place today.

Aramas has a varied geography, with the south-west playing host to the Abjad mountains, whilst the coastal regions remain relatively flat and sufficiently fertile for growing a wide variety of crops. The capital of Sannat which plays host to over 3 million people is located in the east of the country on the northern coast. The vast majority of the population live within the coastal regions of the country, however a sizeable portion of the population lives within the mountainous regions. The official religion of the country is Alydianism which is followed by around 75% of the population. The remaining 25% are either non-religious or part of the country's Irsadic minority which mostly lives in the Abjad mountains.

Aramas is currently locked in a bitter Civil war between governmental forces, democratic rebels and Irsadic insurgents which has been ongoing since 2009.

History

Prehistory and antiquity

The region of modern Aramas has been inhabited since before the palaeolithic era with considerable settlements along the region's coasts. The fossilised remains of settlers from the region, especilly those found in the Valletta caves indicate that the region may have been inhabited as early as 320,000 years ago. According to DNA samples Aramas was also subject to considerable migration from southern Arabekh and even as far as central Majula. The soils of Aramas were much more fertile that it is today, with much of the inland territories resembling a savanna more than the arid terrain which make up the country today.

By the Tenth Century BCE, Aramas was home to a large number of nomadic Berber tribes which settled the region due to the protection provided by the Abjad mountains to the south. By 500 BCE Aramas played host to a tribal Berber Kingdom known as the Sophanites. Their territory spread across the modern Aramasian coast as far south as Lanchester. Though this kingdom became a major trading state on the Asur, it was soon subjugated by the Troparcan Empire, with the Sophanite King becoming a vassal of the empire. With the Troparcan defeat at the hands of the Fiorentines however, the Sophanite Kingdom passed into the empire. Though the Sopahanites launched a shortlived war of independence against the Fiorentine legions, they were ultimately unsuccessful and their kingdom was re-organised as the province of Aramatheria.

Under the Fiorentine's Aramas became an incredibly important province for a number of reasons. The strategic location of the province, close to both Asura and Majula, ensured that Aramas was a key base for the Fiorentine legions, allowing them to conduct campaigns both into Torroso and Cebregas. Additionally, Aramas provided key trade links between the Empire's southern and northern holdings. Most trade goods from Arabekh travelling to mainland Asura departed from ports within the province of Aramas, with cities such as Sanatium and Sciberras housing large merchant communities from all over the empire. Most of these traded goods were silks and rugs traded up north from areas such as Onza, though agricultural products such as wheat and almonds were also traded.

With the decline of the Empire, however, Aramas began to distance itself from the imperial core at Laterna; becoming more and more self-governing throughout the years. By 411 CE the province along with its neighbour Torroso was seized by a Fiorentine general named Maximian who proclaimed the independence of the Sanatian Empire. Though the Sanatian Empire lasted a number of years, internal instability, as well as the rise of conflict with the neighbouring Shuhuntu; led to its collapse, with a new Kingdom of Aramatheria being proclaimed under the native Moghaddam dynasty.

Irsadic Aramas

Scholars at the Irsadic Library of Sannat in 984 CE

Moghaddamid Aramatheria lasted for just over a century before it found itself embroiled in a conflict with the rising Irsadic Caliphate. Though the young kingdom resisted against the Caliphate for several years, Aramas eventually fell in 507. Under the new regime, Aramas retained many elements of its traditional governing structure, though the new provincial governor was directly selected by the Caliph. The Irsadic Caliphate did not engage in outright religious persecution against Aramas' Alydian population, except those who rebelled, and Alydians were able to live side by side with Irsadis provided they paid a special tax known as the jizya. If they converted, they would no longer have to pay such tax. As a result, along with an influx of new Irsadi settlers attracted by the trading links of Aramas, the province gradually began a demographic shift away from Alydianism towards Irsad. By the beginning of the new millennium, the vast majority of Aramas' population were followers of Irsad, though a considerable portion remained devoutly Alydian.

Under the Caliphate, Aramas also benefitted from considerable technological advancement and infrastructural improvements. The introduction of the Barid or postal service allowed for much easier communication among residents, but also a much greater degree of control to be exerted on the province by Meccat. The Barid also considerably eased bureaucratic strains on tax collection, reducing corruption and reliance on tax auctions. Improvements were made to the ancient Fiorentine sewers at Sannat, reducing the overall level of disease and the death rate within the city. Considerable architectural marvels were also built throughout the province during this time, including the now destroyed Great Mosque of Sannat which was described by contemporaries as "one of the great marvels of the world." Furthermore, Aramas became a great centre for learning throughout the Irsadic Caliphate, attracting scholars from across Arabekh, Asura, and Majula. Many Madrasa existed across Aramas, and the province's literacy rate was very high in comparison with its Asuran counterparts, with many of these new intellectuals coming from a variety of social backgrounds.

Alydian Kingdom

Throughout the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries Asuran Alydian kingdoms were involved in a series of religious wars in northern Arabekh with the aim of establishing a number of crusader states in the area once controlled by the Fiorentine Empire. The impetus for such an invasion were numerous, though primary motivations can be seen in the Irsadic invasion of southern Aquidneck and the desire of the Aquidish Kingdom to continue to the reconquista, as well as the desire to establish a stable and friendly 'buffer zone' for Asura. Despite this, secondary motivations can be seen in the Alydian Pontiff's desire to unite the Alydian world in a time of great turmoil for the church and also a desire by Asuran kingdoms to access the resource spoils of northern Arabekh.

Fort Għawdex was a key outpost for the Asurans looking to buy Arabekhi slaves

The first of these wars was the Millenial Crusade which succeeded in capturing territory around key cities such as Balandrae and Sannat. However, as time passed these settlements soon became overrun by Irsadic powers once more. As such, further wars were carried out by the Alydian kingdoms, aimed at removing Irsadic presence from the area. The Kingdom of Aramas was officially established in 1203 following the Third Arabekhi Crusade. Despite this, the land of Fátima was ceded to Aquidneck where they established the port of Troping. Furthermore, the new kingdom was to be ruled by a member of the Annabaldi dynasty. Despite the initial close relations between Aquidneck and Aramas, relations between the two kingdoms soon began to break down as Aquidneck refused to lend aid to Aramas in its wars with the Second Shuhuntu Kingdom and the Aramasian crown passed from the Annabaldi dynasty. Tensions also arose over the status of Troping, which Aramas attempted to conquer in 1410.

By the Sixteenth Century, with Asuran kingdoms beginning to establish overseas holdings in Vestrim and eastern Rennekka Aramas found itself embroiled in a series of wars with its neighbours the Shuhuntu and Torroso. Further internal religious conflict also undermined the kingdom as attempts were made to convert the majority Irsadic population in the interior to Alydianism. Soon Aramas had lost much of its southern territory to the Shuhuntu, whilst Torroso had seized much of the old western provinces. Despite this, Aramas was still able to establish itself as a considerable trading power, exporting spices from central Arabekh into Asura. The kingdom also played a considerable role in the Asuran slave trade, capturing natives from the Deromi desert or buying them from local warlords to sell onto Asurans who needed such labour for plantations in Vestrim or Rennekka.

Aquidish Aramas

The explosion of the MM Renato II

By the 1860s Asuran states had begun to exert much greater influence on the continent of Arabekh, going so far as to establish permanent inland colonies in the south of the continent. The Council of Tolvas had met in an attempt to solve disputes between the colonial powers and divide the continent up as part of the 'civilising mission' of the Asuran powers. Whilst initially the Alydian kingdoms of Aramas and Torroso were spared, they were declared to be within the sphere of influence of the colonial powers. Aramas itself came under the influence of Aquidneck however local officials resisted attempts by their northern neighbour to directly interfere with the Kingdom's affairs. The Treaty of Sannat in 1859 signed between the two countries gave assurances that Aquidneck would not interfere in the affairs of the Kingdom, however that Aramas must open their markets to the Aquidish. In return Aramas would be placed under Aquidish military protection and the port of Troping would open its docks to the Aramasian fleet.

In 1862 however an explosion occurred on the MM Renato II which at the time was docked at Troping. The resultant fallout ended any semblance of stability in the previous arrangement. Authorities were quick to blame a group of ethnic Aramasians who belonged to the Society for the Liberation of Fátima. The Aquidish responded with a swift invasion of the country and the subjugation of the Aramasian King to a mere vassal of Aquidneck. Furthermore, all ethnic Aramasians were exiled from Troping and strict limits placed on the native Aramasian population. Only several years later, the Aramasian King would be officially deposed for allegedly plotting to rebel against the Aquidish. Aramas would remain under Aquidish control throughout the remainder of the Nineteenth Century and beyond, subject to the settlement of Aquidish natives and the confiscation of its material resources by the crown.

Aramasian revolt against the Aquidish

Throughout the Great War Aramasian troops were conscripted into the Aquidish army, fighting both on the front lines in Asura and against the Voortrekker rebels in the Kavo colony. Inspired by the rebellion of the Araabyner-Vrijstaat several dissidents would rebel against the Aquidish in 1897 with the short-lived Sannat Rebellion. The rebels were quashed within only 5 months of fighting, whilst an increasing number of troops returning from the Kavo front were re-deployed to maintain order within Aramas. Evidence exists which suggests Veleazan authorities were in contact with Aramasian rebels and planning an uprising to draw Aquidish attention away from the Asuran front. In co-operation with Sheeran freedom fighters, Aramas was expected to rise up against the Aquidish, however hopes of an uprising were dashed with the surrender of Veleaz in late 1899.

Aramas would remain an Aquidish colony throughout the first half of the Twentieth Century, however the discovery of oil within the country would spur on a new independence movement. With the influence of key political figures educated in Aquidneck such as Benjamin Gabaretta and Mosè Spagnol, large portions of the population began to pressure for independence from the Aquidish crown. Whilst initially colonial authorities were reluctant to give into such demands due to the profitability of the Aramas colony; the outbreak of colonial violence, along with the wider economic recession saw Aquidneck officially withdraw from Aramas in 1960. No official treaty was signed confirming Aramasian independence however and the port of Troping, which remains de facto under Aquidish control is claimed in its entirety by the Aramasian government.

Independence

Gabaretta celebrates his election victory in 1962
Attacks at oil wells have greatly impacted the Aramasian economy in recent years

Aramas was a divided society upon independence. With little in the way of democratic heritage and Aquidish authorities no longer retaining law and order, the fringes of Aramasian society began to devolve into turmoil and outright rebellion. Under the leadership of Gabaretta however a new national government was established along with a military. The first years of the new Republic were dominated by the issue of the war in the Abjad mountains, where the Irsadic minority had declared independence from the new administration. Despite this setback, Gabaretta called for the first free elections in Aramas' history which he won with 67% of the vote. Under Gabaretta's Popular Union Party the government set about modernising Aramasian society through infrastructure investments and the development of Aramas' oil industry. The socialist government of Gabaretta also introduced old age pensions and developed friendly ties with the Aeian Socialist Union and Onza. Through such reforms Aramas' economy developed considerably, with its GDP almost tripling and standard of living rising significantly. Gabaretta would go on to win re-election in 1967 before stepping down in 1972.

With the departure of Gabaretta however, the Aramasian political scene would fall into disunity as radical elements of the Popular Union Party would break off to form the Communist Party of Aramas. On the right-wing, religious elements would call for end to secularisation and settlement of the Abjad mountains, whose Irsadic populace continued to perpetuate violence. In early 1974 however, the Popular Union Party lost its Senate majority, leading to a snap election which would result in a hung parliament. Taking advantage of the situation, the Communist Party of Aramas launched a coup in an attempt to overthrow the government. The party and its followers were able to take control of the capital of Sannat by April and dissolved the Senate, declaring the People's Republic of Aramas. In response, the military, led by General Massiminu Puli, declared war on the new government. The ensuing struggle would last the remainder of the year, when the Communists were defeated in December. With the military in control of the country, expectation was that it would hand power back to the Senate or Benjamin Gabaretta. However, General Puli instead invited members of the right-wing religious parties to aid in his establishment of a military dictatorship. Puli's new government included key political offices for religious figures, including the establishment of the High Flamen, the senior religious figure of the government, responsible for setting policy regarding 'societal morality'. The new constitution declared Alydianism to be the official state religion, with demands for all citizens to adhere to the church or risk losing their legal rights. General Puli, who had re-branded himself as President, refused to call new elections due to the "risk of instability". Despite the new dictatorial regime, Aramas continued to prosper financially and standard of living remained good for the majority of the Alydian population. Between 1978 and 1985 the government undertook a brutal military campaign against the Abjad Irsadic population, which many have decried as genocidal. The operation was called off after seven years due to excessive cost and little progress. The government also broke off its ties with the ASU, instead seeking to bolster relations with Newrey, Navorgska and Volgaria. Massiminu Puli would rule Aramas until 1988 when he would pass power to his son Stiefnu Puli. Despite this, the military, seeing Puli's son as incompetent, deposed him the following year, handing power to the senior military General, Gelormo Muscat who continues to run the country to this day.

Under the leadership of Muscat, the government has pursued a much more authoritarian line, clamping down on pro-democracy protesters which have become more commonplace in recent times. The government also restarted military operations in the Abjad mountains to restore control to the region and eliminate Irsadic terror organisations operating within the area. Whilst the government was able to restore order in 1998, attacks by Irsadic insurgents have only increased, with a number of car bombings in the capital of Sannat killing 28 in 2001 alone. Attacks by other groups such as the underground Communist Party and Gabarettan loyalists have also escalated in recent years. In 2007 the military was once again forced out of the Abjad mountains by an Irsadic counterattack, most likely funded by Saraibia. Furthermore, with civil unrest gripping the country, the economic situation of Aramas began to decline, with production down across the country and exports falling, mostly due to Irsadic attacks on oil wells in central Aramas.

Civil War

Main article: Aramas Civil War
Car bombing carried out by the Nation of Irsad on the outskirts of Qala

Following the military's withdrawal from the Abjad mountains in 2008, the government began to draw up initiatives to retake the region once more. In contrast with the previous operation under the leadership of Muscat, the new offensive sought to utilise tactics seen during the 1978 campaign. The implementation of practices regarded as ethnic cleansing or genocidal by the international community has seen a number of sanctions placed upon the republic. Although, in light of Irsadic terror attacks on Asuran soil in recent years, a number of nations have dropped or eased sanctions on Aramas. With the military's efforts focused on restoring order to the Abjad provinces and an ailing economic situation at home, widespread protests broke out across the country in mid-2009, prompting a crackdown by authorities. Whilst initial protests were dispersed, several underground organisations such as the Communist Party of Aramas, the Gabarettists and a number of Socialist and Democratic organisations banded together in armed resistance against the Muscat government, forming the 'Free Republic of Aramas'.

Whilst in the initial phases of the war, the Free Republic made considerable gains, seizing much of the northern coast and a number of settlements on the Torrosan border; the military held consistent control of the capital of Sannat and began to push back against the rebellion. Despite this, opposition forces have been present in the capital, with a number of skirmishes breaking out, most notably in 2012 when opposition forces killed 43 with improvised explosive devices, and in 2015 with a failed assassination attempt on President Muscat. As of 2017 the Free Republic's territory has been drastically reduced, however a number of key holdout territories remain in the region surrounding the Aramasian border with Troping and along the sections of the Aramas-Kavo border. Irsadic forces during the civil war initially began to spread their authority far beyond the Abjad mountains, taking key positions in the interior of the country. Control of this territory greatly impacted the Aramasian economy, preventing oil exports all throughout 2008-2012, leading to further economic turmoil and decline. Whilst Irsadic forces were eventually pushed back, many oil wells were destroyed by retreating forces. As of 2017 the military has been able to retake much of the interior, however a stalemate has been reached, with government forces unable to penetrate Irsadic positions in the Abjad mountains. Moreover, Irsadic terror attacks continue to be a regular occurrence in several parts of the country, and a number of organisations operating out of the region have also claimed responsibility for attacks on Asuran soil.

Geography

Politics

Gelormo Muscat is the current President of Aramas, having held office since 1988

The political system of Aramas has evolved greatly over time. Throughout the twentieth century, Aramas has seen a transition from a colonial government, to a multi-party democracy to the current theocratic dictatorial regime. The current system is based upon the constitution introduced following the 1974 coup d'etat under Massiminu Puli.

Government

Human rights

Aramas has been greatly criticised by a number of human-rights watchdogs and governments across Aeia for alleged human rights abuses. Although this criticism began as early as 1974, with the outbreak of the country's civil war, the uproar regarding these issues has only grown. Aramas is one of the lowest ranked nations on the Aeian Freedom Index with only 2 points. Though there has been some improvement as the civil war has died down, international observers continue to label the nation a repressive regime.

Prison conditions within the country are allegedly disgraceful, with inmates living in squalid conditions and subject to regular beatings by prison staff and military officials. Reports indicate that as many as 300 prisoners may have died in Aramasian prisoners in 2016 alone. Those found guilty of treason, or prisoners of war from both the Nation of Irsad or Free Aramas are treated in a manner which violates all international conventions on the treatment of war prisoners. Execution of POWs are commonplace, with the use of hanging and even crucifixion reported. Citizens do not have the right to freedom of assembly since the crushing of the 2009 Sannat demonstrations. The country's press is subject to harsh censorship measures imposed by the Ministry of Propaganda, which has led many publications such as Radio Free Aramas to move operations into neighbouring countries such as Aquidneck.

However, by far the area of most focus by international observers is the nation's treatment of the Irsadic minority which resides within the Abjad mountains. Allegations of ethnic cleansing and the deployment of forbidden weaponry such as Sarin gas are rife, with many inhabitants being put to death by the Aramasian military. The city of Abuqiya, in particular, has suffered extensive shelling throughout the duration of the war, with international attempts at organising a ceasefire being ignored by the Muscat regime.

Foreign relations

Territorial disputes

Administrative divisions

Military

Economy

Demographics

Culture