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Republic of ImpfondoTimeline: 1983: Doomsday
OTL equivalent: Likouala Department
"Unité, Travail, Progrès" (French)
"Unity, Work, Progress"
Map (WIP) of Impfondo in 2014. Areas under direct control shown in dark brown. Areas of light control, frequent raiding or use, and/or sphere of influence shown in light brown.
Traditional African Religion
|Government||Dominant-party presidential republic|
|-||Civil War||1984 - 1986|
|-||Democratic War||1989 - 1991|
|-||Mbandaka War||1997 - 1999|
The Republic of Impfondo, also known simply as Impfondo, is an African nation located in the northern departments of the former nation of the Republic of the Congo, primarily consisting of the former Likuala Region, as well as parts of the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo. After Doomsday the region surrounding Impfondo was cut off from the Congolese national government in Brazzaville, and eventually developed its own independent government through years of civil war and conflict. To this day the region is plagued by war, and is largely forested and cut off from neighboring nations. Many inhabitants of the Impfondo region are cut off from urbanized areas by jungle or impassable terrain, making the nation of Impfondo very decentralized and weak.
Before doomsday the region today comprising of Impfondo was a part of the People's Republic of the Congo, a self-declared Marxist–Leninist socialist state that had been established in 1970 from the Republic of the Congo. The nation was led by the Congolese Party of Labour (French: Parti congolais du travail, PCT), whose remnants would play a heavy role in the early history of the Republic of Impfondo.
On Doomsday the stability of the region within the Republic of the Congo virtually collapsed. Contact with Brazzaville and the national government in the west temporarily ended, with air transportation to Impfondo's airport, and travel by river from the mouth of the Congo being the region's main sources of communication and trade with the capital. Within a short amount of time the administration in Brazzaville collapsed, leaving Impfondo completely alone in its efforts to administrate the region.
Over the next few months cities such as Impfondo became overrun with refugees from the surrounding area, and traveling settlers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and inhabitants traveling north down the Ubangi River. An influx of settlers led to a housing crisis, leading to the birth of slums and poor quality of life housing around the banks of the river. Settlers also brought crime and conflict, carrying over gang violence from the south, escalating the struggle for power in the city and the efforts to control the few means of transportation or manufacturing in the city. In these early months the city of Impfondo would also contact the city of Bangui in the Central African Republic, leading to small scale trade among villages and continued conflict over resources.
Small scale mining and logging operations in the north were largely captured by powerful gangs or militants, seeking to establish sources of revenue in the post-doomsday breakup. Along the Ubangi River the slave trade of native Africans living in the north of the country grew, with many hiring slaves to work small agricultural ventures or as a form of wealth. While some relied on farming, many relied on the hunting of wild and exotic animals for consumption or trade, leading to the rise of the bushmeat markets. Poor quality meat became essential to the lives of many, who struggled to feed their families following the collapse or hostile takeover of much of the region's industry. The hunting of bushmeat also fueled the logging industry minimally, as jungles had to be cleared to reach deeper into the jungle, making slave labor logging camps a profitable venture.
The influx of Congolese refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other areas, combined with the breakdown of the area's large scale industry following the collapse of the export industry, caused a shortage of food, and thousands died of starvation in the early months, mostly poor or homeless in the area. Despite large outputs of food in some areas, the ineffective methods of distribution and the lack of leadership in organizing food production caused food to be unevenly distributed to markets. The majority of native populations in the region continued to be supplied by small scale traditional farms, with most food remaining local and food diversity decreasing. The large scale corporate fields in operation at the time of doomsday, formally operated by corporations for the purpose of exporting to foreign nations, were largely taken over by gangs and local warlords. Rich or well equipped individuals found themselves in a position of power, able to control large amounts of farmland. With the collapse of the foreign markets, plantations once growing cash crops such as cocoa and coffee were converted to wheat and other edible crops, guarded closely by local warlords, and worked by low income workers or slaves. Over the next few years the region would be plagued with conflict between land owners and refugees and other inhabitants from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, causing many casualties and the displacement of thousands. The development of these factions, however, would create a series of loosely connected local states, in control of large portions of the region's food production.
During the early months post-doomsday, despite the loss of the majority of the Likuala Region, much of the city of Impfondo itself managed to stay in the hands of the regional government, formally subordinate to the national government in Brazzaville. The Impfondo government was a Marxist-Leninist socialist state under the control of the Congolese Party of Labour. The nation had a single party system, which although claiming to be designed after a Soviet-style socialist party-state government, was essentially a military dictatorship, in which the party retained order through the use of armed force. As the months after doomsday progressed, the nation of Impfondo became even more so under a military regime, with the party using force to control parts of the city.
After only a few months without national support, the city of Impfondo was already divided among rival gangs and local warlords who sought to establish a dictatorship under their own rule. Violence within the city increased heavily, with the government struggling to control large portions of the region. Eventually many in the city began to view the government as another major gang, rather than an organized government, lowering its legitimacy as a proper government.
Many of the nation's citizens called for the return of authority, including a military force capable of protecting the city of Impfondo. These protests were largely combated by the government however, keeping the government in control for some time. In the summer of 1984 the situation worsened when crop yields reached an all time low in urban markets, with many fields devastated or fueling local factions. Many citizens sought to directly combat the powerful warlords in control of trade along the Ubangi River and in nearby fields, and soon disorganized militia contributed to the fighting. On 1 July 1984 the Pan-Impfondo Union for Social Democracy was founded in opposition to the city's government, calling for the establishment of a multiparty system. Its leader, Joseph Kignoumbi Kia Mboungou, mostly operated in the city, while the majority of the organization quickly grew into a militant force, striking against wealthy targets across the region.
The uneven distribution of crops and supplies by the government party and many regional warlords eventually culminated in an uprising in Impfondo. Largely peaceful at first, the situation fell apart when on 20 July 1984 the government called for the forceful removal of all Democratic forces, including civilians. The decision was partially motivated by an alliance between the government and a series of warlords in control of nearby fields. These operations had become at risk by the Democratic rebels, and the party leaders sought to preserve their own wealth and financial security by neutralizing this threat. Another motivation was the need to ensure the party's continued success in the future, preventing a multiparty system from dislodging the powerful grasp of the party's elite.
Known as the Impfondo Massacre, the swift government crackdown against Democratic forces caused massive upheaval in the city. Many joined the rebel cause, strengthening the militia's numbers. The event also spread the fame of the various powers in the conflict, leading to the eventual alliance between Democratic and rival gang factions in opposition of the party. On 27 July 1984 Joseph Kignoumbi Kia Mboungou personally fled Impfondo along with the Democratic party's leadership, having fought a bloody eight day battle during the withdraw. The city's docks along the Ubangi River were heavily damaged, while nearby marketplaces were largely looted or ransacked. The start of the massacre and the subsequent backlash is largely considered to be the official start of the Impfondo Civil War, beginning several years of conflict between Democratic and government forces.
The majority of Democratic forces fled east to the town of Bomongo, past the border of the former Republic of the Congo. Situated along the Ngiri River, the region was sparsely populated and surrounded by swamp forest running from the Ubangi to the Congo rivers, allowing rebel forces to evade attack. Resistance against the government in the next several months became more of an unorganized insurgency. Training camps along the Ngiri trained small groups of Democratic forces, but were unable to strike against fortified targets due to their spread out nature. Eventually the war became a struggle over resources and farmland, with the winning faction being the one who could accumulate the most wealth to supply the war, and contain the region's inhabitants.
The first major battle involving Democratic forces and government organized forces from Impfondo was the Battle of Kungu, fought near a small village at the northern end of the Kgiri, several miles to the northeast from the town. A government sponsored militia utilizing superior government weaponry and technology departed from the Ubangi River, north of the city of Impfondo, and had headed east hoping to traverse into the Congo along some of the more hospitable territory. The operation became a month long conflict from roughly 26 December 1984 to 2 February 1985, consisting of fierce guerrilla warfare and skirmish encounters between various militant groups. The government led forces had been tipped off past the border that the Pan-Impfondo Union for Social Democracy had established a presence in the town of Kungu, and sought to capture its regional leadership. Unknown specifically to the government was the series of training camps in operation near the town, creating a moderately sized army in opposition to the advancing forces.
On 26 December the government forces were ambushed by enemy militia, pinning down the main section of the army's supply lines and causing the army overall to halt. A good section of the army, however, had detached and had scouted ahead, leaving dozens of soldiers in unknown jungle terrain. Over the course of the afternoon into the morning of 27 December the ambush was slowly broken up as the various insurgents did battle through out the night. The forward supply line of the advancing army was left destroyed, but the rebel forces were pushed back into the jungle. Over the course of the next few days the remaining government forces would be locked in battle as the main army recovered. Faced against larger numbers the government forces eventually managed to push toward Kungu. Fighting within the city continued into 2 February causing heavy damage to the town and the civilian population. Some of the heaviest fighting occurred that evening, with the defending forces stalling the attackers, giving the regional leadership in the region time to retreat. By morning the town was abandoned and the government forces entered with no resistance. The town was taken, but the invaders failed to accomplish their goal of capturing any notable resistance leadership, and at heavy cost. The government forces also found that over the course of the next few months they would struggle to return back west and secure even the smallest amount of territory in the region.
Following the fighting near Kungu the Democratic forces began a fierce campaign into the region east of Impfondo using fresh militants trained in the Congo, harassing government supply lines and engaging in brief skirmishes with various government sponsored groups. Many of the original forces sponsored by the government that had fought in Kungu and in the many guerrilla campaigns became heavily exhausted, and many deserted as their various warlord's individual interests became at threat. The unorganized forces were also plagued by infighting, leading to a breakdown in an adequate defense against the Democratic rebels.
In the city of Impfondo itself a deadly campaign by the government had led to the imprisonment, torture, and execution of hundreds of believed Democratic rebels or sympathizers. This method was used to control the general population, although results varied. Since the conclusion of the civil war, many look at this action as an act of genocide, with many studies finding the imprisoned to be primarily from different ethnic minorities. The lack of well-kept records, however, make this claim hard to prove, and also cover up exact number of casualties. By the end of 1985 violence in the city and other major towns had escalated heavily, causing the government to institute a series of laws that made political violence punishable by death and property confiscation. In practice, however, these laws were poorly executed if at all, instead being used as justification for the random acts of retaliation perpetrated by government aligned gangs.
On 29 January 1986 a battle broke out in Impfondo itself between government and Democratic forces. The autumn and winter of 1985 had been spent by the Democratic movement smuggling troops and supplies into the city, preparing for a possible coup to overthrow the government once and for all. Across the region a fierce and costly battle for the nation's resources had left the rebels with a slight advantage for the first time in the conflict, allowing the rebels to muster more support from local gangs within the city. When these infiltrators and rival gangs finally initiated their attack in January of 1986 the fighting broke out into the streets, causing massive damage to the city. Several days later on 2 February the majority of the government forces were discovered to be dead, and the Democratic faction declared the success of the Republic of Impfondo. Fighting continued over the course of the next few weeks as the new government struggled to retain control. Over time a number of warlords in the region would claim to be the successor the the socialist movement, although they would be primarily motivated by the desire to take over the nation for themselves, rather than any specific installation of political system. The various rebellious factions would be loosely united into an armed forces, ordered by the new regime to combat the Socialist insurgents and enemy gangs that still operated outside of the city. The new government found, however, that their army was of very poor discipline, and with the civil war over many of its soldiers deserted or returned to their individual allegiances, leaving the government with many disorganized groups across the country.
With the former government now deposed, the Democratic faction selected an eleven man committee from the Pan-Impfondo Union for Social Democracy to serve as an interim government, with Joseph Kignoumbi Kia Mboungou as the head of the committee. This provisional government was to govern the nation until formal elections could take place the following year. The rule of the interim government was turbulent, with infighting within the government slowing progress. Various other democratic parties also surfaced, pushing various goals, and often in conflict with the interim committee. During this time the nation also faced various insurgencies from several factions and gangs, causing conflict from the civil war to spill over into the next few years. With government property now in the open markets fierce feuds between local gangs fought over the spoils of the war.
The interim government did, however, succeed in passing a number of pro-industry laws, helping to rebuild the damaged city of Impfondo, often benefiting government aligned businesses. Funding from the government recreated the city's docks, bringing in much needed revenue and supplies from neighboring communities. Administration and centralization, however, remained fairly low, making it hard for the government to profit from tax collection in distant towns. Eventually the unofficial rule of warlords was recognized by the government in an effort to end violence and increase their manpower against warring factions, creating the basis of regional government.
In 1987 the nation held their first democratic election since its establishment, and the first in the former Republic of the Congo since 1961. The majority of seats in the government were won by the Pan-Impfondo Union for Social Democracy, officially electing Joseph Kignoumbi Kia Mboungou as president. The government's ability to rule was hindered by unrest, and in 1993 a coalition of opposition groups, supported by personal militias, accused Kignoumbi Kia Mboungou of rigging the elections. This caused widespread resistance, and after almost two years of uneasy rule a civil war broke out in the city of Impfondo when Kignoumbi Kia Mboungou engaged militia under Paul Kaya, accusing Kaya of an attempted coup against the government. Kaya managed to escape the attack, however, and organized his forces for a counterattack against the government.
Impfondo Democratic War
The ensuing civil war that broke out in Impfondo in 1989 became known as the Impfondo Democratic War. Fought between various internal factions in the government, and rival parties and gangs, the war escalated as differing powers within the nation aligned to certain sides, seeking to secure a loyal or favorable government to their individual organizations.
Much of the capital city of Impfondo was damaged in the fierce fighting that broke out there over the next four months. In October 1989 an army assembled from factions within the military and various militias ousted Kignoumbi Kia Mboungou from Impfondo, causing his regime to flee. With the city and most of the nation's major towns taken, Kaya declared himself president and appointed a thirty three man government from loyal leaders in the war. Kignoumbi Kia Mboungou continued a successful insurrection against the government, causing Kaya to seek a peaceful settlement.
Kaya's regime called together a national assembly in January 1990 to determine the duration and specific procedures for the transitional government. Unevenly loyal to the existing regime, the assembly decided that elections should not be held for approximately three years. The group also elected a transition advisory legislature, and announced that a constitutional convention would finalize a draft constitution. This progress was stalled by a large outbreak of violence in late 1990 when Kignoumbi Kia Mboungou's army and several militant factions ended the peace with the government and begin heavy fighting. The war would continue into 1991, causing the heavy destruction of the nation's remaining infrastructure, large loss of life, and displacement of inhabitants across the nation. Overall Kaya's regime would be successful and Kignoumbi Kia Mboungou was forces to flee into exile. A ceasefire would be signed with a number of rebellious gangs in 1991. However, sporadic insurgency would continue for years later.
Kaya began his term as president by shifting the nation's political structure toward a personal dictatorship. Political repression became essential to retaining control, and alongside his hand picked provisional government, Kaya managed to appease much of the nation's inhabitants with investments in rebuilding the nation and repairing infrastructure. Trade routes with distant towns were reconnected with the city of Impfondo. Kaya also invested in the logging industry, clearing areas for farms and roads, and also supplying the nation with supplies of lumber. Kaya's unrestricted subsidy of certain companies allowed him to accumulate a good amount of personal wealth, and also helped grow illegal or gang-related markets, such as the increased sale of bushmeat.
In 1994 the provisional government held its first election. The election would become heavily controversial with Kaya receiving almost the entirety of votes. Kaya's main opponents were also prevented from running, while the opponents that were able to run chose to boycott or oppose the elections. Following his election as president Kaya instituted a new constitution, extending his powers, increasing the presidential term to a length of seven years, and instituting a new bicameral assembly. Many feared these reforms brought the nation closer to its former system under a single party, and almost immediately protests broke out against Kaya. In the south of the nation an insurrection broke out against the government in favor of a rival candidate, which did not officially end until one year later.
Using his accumulated wealth, Kaya personally created one of the largest military forces the region had seen in decades, employing this force to retaining order around the city of Impfondo. For the first time in years the majority of the nation's agricultural and industrial regions were under the control of the government directly, taken in some cases by force. Under Kaya the nation would undergo the largest shift in agricultural output since doomsday, shifting almost entirely to crops grown for regional consumption.
By 1996, with the nation of Impfondo under Kaya's strict control, the nation's military became a police force, striking against resistance, and leading to the development of a near totalitarian government. Although the nation's parliament continued to operate as the ultimate legislative body in the nation, power largely became in the hands of Kaya personally, who was able to ensure his wishes through the use of the military. Comprised mostly of former gang members and weapons smugglers, the military of Impfondo remained irregular and disorganized up to this point. Many soldiers take advantage of the population for supplies and money, while working for the nation's government. Kaya would make a big presentation out of ending corruption in the government and stopping violence from the nation's army, even if actual efforts to reform the government were minimal. In reality Kaya focused on removing his rivals, ensuring that corrupt individuals only worked on his behalf.
Seeking to show his power to the surrounding area, and ensure payment and land for his soldiers, Kaya announced a military operation to liberate the region east of the Ubangi River. Throughout 1996 the government began training, using similar tactics and training camps as rebels and insurgent groups in the recent past. The Impfondo military was partially armed with makeshift, or locally manufactured weapons. The vast majority, however, relied on outdated technology from the former Soviet Union and other nations, which had been in circulation across the nation, and actively smuggled throughout the Congo region for years. The nation's economic and political problems were pinned on settlers to the far east in the former Democratic Republic of the Congo, and over the course of that year public opinion was partially against non Impfondo inhabitants.
In early 1997 Kaya ordered a military operation across the Ubangi, raiding settlements along the Congo river. The raids managed to carry off quantities of weapons and other supplies, killing hundreds of native inhabitants in the process. In the far north, south of Bangui and near the former northern border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the raids were motivated by different reasons. Kaya had been educated in France and was an avid Christian, as were many of his military commanders and supporters. Native populations in the north found to be adhering to traditional African religions were targeted, and a large number of people would be killed in the violence.
By late 1997 Kaya's reign of terror was well under way along the western Congo river. The success of the operation made Kaya appear vastly popular in the eyes of the government, even if the military operation failed to actually accomplish the goals advertised by Kaya to the people of Impfondo. One of the most raided areas became the region between the Ubangi and the Congo, where the two rivers met. Resistance against Kaya's forces began to be organized by individual settlements or gangs in the region. Most of these forces originated from the city of Mbandaka, which had since collapsed, almost all of its population dying or migrating to other areas. Many citizens of Impfondo had originated from Mbandaka, and Kaya claimed this was reason enough to reclaim the region from these hostile gangs.
Many refugees from the city of Mbandaka had settled in different locations along the Congo, where violence was more sparse, and farmland could be reclaimed for agriculture production. The largest of these settlements was Oubanguiville, settled near the beginning of the Ubangi River into the Congo. Surviving as an outpost between nations in the south such as Zaire, and other settlements farther north, including Impfondo. Oubanguiville had long since become a fierce rival of Impfondo, bottle necking trade traveling down the Ubangi River.
Kaya and his leading generals sought to capture the settlement, to cut off the so called "Mbandaka Ligue" from supplies that traveled through the city. With its vital outpost to the south and other settlements cut off, the Impfondo forces would posses a great advantage over cities farther along the river. Congolese forces were slowly recalled from raiding operations in the north, and concentrated along the Ubangi River. The main components of the Impfondo army was placed under the command of Joseph Hondjuila Miokono, a Teke native of the central region of the former Republic of the Congo, who had originally risen to the role of a military commander after establishing himself as a leading smuggler and gang leader. In the mid 1980's Miokono had immigrated to Impfondo after traveling along the Ubangi River, joining a local gang as a soldier. He would be in charge of importation along the river, eventually distinguishing himself as a leading member of his gang. Miokono made the jump from small time gang leader to military commander by supporting Kaya in the Impfondo Democratic War. Miokono ordered his forces to support Kaya, supplying important supplies needed for the coup in the city of Impfondo in 1989.
Miokono planned to surround the settlement to cut it off from supplies, but the settlement's many points of entry into nearby rivers made this difficult. Oubanguiville has also cut off all shipments to Impfondo, raiding any ships that attempted to travel up the Ubangi River. A fleet of river boats and transports from Oubanguiville would go as far as to travel up the Ubangi and raid Impfondo ships directly south of the city itself. This proved to the Impfondo forces that an attack via the river would be close to impossible. Throughout the second half of 1997 Miokono would focus Impfondo attacks northeast of Oubanguiville, hoping to deter further raids up the river by ambushing potential raiding ships. Oubanguiville was forced to focus its forces in this area as well, to ensure its right flank remained protected from Impfondo marauders.
After several months of planning Miokono would split off the remaining Impfondo army, having them travel to the outskirts of enemy controlled sections of the Ubangi River, before embarking onto land and traveling the approximately twenty-five km to a river tributary in the west. The Impfondo army traveled along this river to the settlement of Loukoléla, several dozen km south of Oubanguiville when traveling along the Congo river. Miokono believed that by taking this settlement farther south along the river, Oubanguiville would be cut off in the same way that Oubanguiville had cut off Impfondo. Taking this strategic location would also allow him to attack Oubanguiville from the south as well as the north.
The unexpected attack caused terror and destruction to Loukoléla and the surrounding area. Lacking a proper army to defend itself from the attack, the settlement was ravaged by the forces from Impfondo. After a night of intense raids the settlement of Loukoléla surrendered to Miokono's forces. With Loukoléla in the hands of Impfondo, settlements in the north currently at war, such as Oubanguiville, were now cut off from any shipments from the south. Leaders in Oubanguiville knew that any attack against Impfondo would now leave them heavily exposed, and as such elected to concentrate their small number of forces within the settlement itself. The naval presence north of the city was lifted so that those riverboats could be better used in the south, allowed Impfondo access to the river for traveling into the city. As a last ditch effort Oubanguiville gathered the majority of its boats and launched an attack on Loukoléla by river.
Impfondo forces in Loukoléla were caught off guard, having begun to prepare for the march north, and were pushed away from the river. At the same time a small force from Oubanguiville had entered onto land and was now harassing Impfondo positions around the city. The Impfondo forces suffered heavy casualties on the outskirts of the settlement, alongside further destruction of the settlement. Eventually the forces from Oubanguiville retreated back up the river, have sustained many casualties and the loss of a handful of ships. The battle would prove a Pyrrhic victory for Impfondo, having successfully defended the settlement at the cost of a larger number of losses.
The Second Battle of Loukoléla set back Impfondo's operations by quite some time, as preparations for the assault on Oubanguiville had to be recreated. Defending the settlement at the cost of a loss of life and equipment had also weakened Impfondo's forces, who now also needed to defend their section of the river from enemy raids. Military operations would be in a standstill for the rest of the year, as Impfondo fought to defend the territory it had already seized, as well as continually apply pressure on Oubanguiville and other settlements.
In early 1998 Impfondo launched its first major attack since the previous year, ordering a large operation up the Congo River from Loukoléla, while ground forces surrounded the city of Oubanguiville from the north. Eventually Impfondo was able to break through the defenses of the city, entering the settlement itself, and engaging in urban combat in the streets. The settlement had been feeling the affects of the encirclement, and many citizens were poorly equipped for combat. Impfondo also possessed a slightly higher degree of firepower, able to pin down the defending forces. After several days of fighting the settlement finally fell, with the majority of its inhabitants killed in the fighting. A large number of Oubanguiville's military and allies still operated in the jungle as guerrilla forces, and would continue to harass Impfondo's forces for years, even after the capture of the city itself.
For the next year Impfondo would be entrenched in conflict along the Congo River with various insurgent groups and the armed forces of the remaining Mbandaka Ligue. Little to no actual progress would be made in terms of territory acquired, with this phase of the conflict focusing on defending against militant groups in the territory already seized. Initially public opinion would remain highly in favor of the operation, but as the war reached a stalemate, the idea of continuing the conflict became less favorable. Kaya's administration made it appear as if the nation was actually defending against attack, not further instigating them, and as a result could not withdraw until the aggressors had been stopped. At the same time no formal government existed in Mbandaka from which a peace could be signed, as most of the hostile groups in the area acted independently of one another.
This phase of the war would culminate in the Battle of Mbandaka, a month long battle of skirmishes and raids along the Congo River outside the city. This battle would prove the most costly yet for Impfondo. Unable to completely subjugate the city itself, Impfondo armed forces retreated to more defensible strongholds in the west. To control the northern section of the Congo River, Impfondo's next operation would be to seize sections north of Mbandaka by the end of the 1998. This would be largely successful, with settlements more than fifty km north now under Impfondo control. Kaya ordered the construction of a large fort at this location, to control the northern end of the river north of Mbandaka. This plan however would prove to be a massive financial disaster, becoming Kaya's personal city, surrounded by an active war zone.
Known as Château de Kaya, the fort on the Congo river began construction in spring of 1999. Labor and supplies for its construction had to be brought by land from Impfondo, or locally harvested from around the settlement, making construction slow and difficult. At the same time Impfondo soldiers were required to actively garrison the site and defend against attack, taking away valuable forces and costing a large amount of lives defending against ambushes and raids. Although envisioned by Kaya to serve as a monument to himself, the project was largely scaled back, until in reality it only resembled a small settlement and fort. In 1999 the area would defend against a major attack from Makanza, further up the river, causing damage to the project. The raid would be repulsed, but at the cost of setting back construction further.
While Kaya focused on the construction of his château, Miokono continued the struggle in the south against various insurgent groups. By 1999 the constant attacks against communities near Mbandaka had taken a toll on the remaining population and the militant organizations in the area. Desperate, the city became the location of the first meeting between rival gangs and militant groups working against Impfondo, including the Oubanguiville insurgency and numerous Mongo factions. The group embraced their nickname of the Mbandaka Ligue, selecting a leader to serve as temporary head of the alliance. This position was largely ceremonial, as no one leader controlled the entire organization, and power was largely held in each faction. This would however be the first step in creating a unified front against Impfondo forces.
One of the first actions the league took was launching an attack against Château de Kaya in the north, which was weakened by multiple attacks in the recent past. The insurgents began a long assault against the fort, while at the same time defending against Miokono's perimeter in the south. This continued into the summer of 1999, with neither side managing to obtain a major advantage over the other. With both sides locked in stalemate, negotiations would finally begin for peace.
A delegation from each part met in Mbandaka in June 1999, with Miokono temporarily ceasing his attacks near the city, and the league ending its assault on the château. After a period of negotiations, both sides agreed to the Mbandaka Agreement, a document that would in theory end the war, although in practice would not end the violence that had plagued the region for years. In the treaty Impfondo agreed to withdraw from Mbandaka, and attacks against the city would cease immediately. Lands roughly ten to twenty-five km east of the Ubangi river, depending on the area, would be recognized as Impfondo land, including the settlement of Oubanguiville and Loukoléla. Areas on the east bank of the Congo river and south of Mbandaka would be established as Impfondo's sphere of influence, and Impfondo would be allowed to conduct military operations in the area to combat hostile groups. A similar area would be created in the north, running from Makanza's northern border to Bozene in the north. Château de Kaya and areas more than fifty km north of Mbandaka would be recognized as Impfondo territory, and the Mbandaka Ligue would end all hostilities against the settlement. Impfondo would open its borders for the purpose of trade, and shall not block free access along the Ubangi or Congo rivers.
The treaty was praised by Kaya's administration as a major victory for Impfondo, although immediately after its signing problems already began to arise. Many insurgency groups, especially the Oubanguiville insurgency, were angered by the treaty, which ceded their land to Impfondo and allowed them to conduct military operations around it. As such the Oubanguiville Insurgency continued hostilities in the south, going as far as to be condemned by the league in Mbandaka. War between the Oubanguiville insurgents and Impfondo forces in the south would continue inconclusively and sporadically for years, with Impfondo exercising its right to used the designated sphere of influence, and often beyond, as a battleground against hostile groups. One of the lasting accomplishments of the treaty, even if temporary, was that it ended the constant attacks on the area south of the château and north of Oubanguiville. As a result communities near Mbandaka managed to recover to some degree, leading to the possible creation of a legitimate government down the line. Within the small corridor west of the Congo river however, harassment against native communities continued, as Impfondo sought to remove perceived threats from their border.
Another important element of the agreement was the stipulation on free access of the Ubangi and Congo rivers. This was the first time such an agreement had ever been signed, and was important to numerous communities in the area, as many groups solely depended on the rivers for trade and commerce. The region as a whole was able to recover with open access ensured, as when one section of the river was cut, entire communities up river suffered from its affects. Impfondo was also on the forefront of the river trade, controlling multiple strongholds along its route. The free access along the rivers also led to the widespread refugee crisis that swept into Impfondo. In late 1999 the Kaya administration, pressured by native populations within the nation, passed legislation allowing migration into its borders, as a means of increasing production and military manpower. The process backfired however, as hundreds fled via the river networks into the nation, hoping to be reunited with families on the other side of the conflict, or to find work in less war torn areas. The refugee crisis began after many fled east or south, toward settlements further within the Congo, or to Kinshasa and Brazzaville. By the end of the year the Mbandaka region had suffered another giant loss in population, as this refugee movement took place, and the affects of the war took their toll on the locals.
End of Kaya's Reign
Kaya would spend the last two years of his term rebuilding the nation and attempting to accommodate refugees who had fled to Impfondo or its newly acquired territories. His efforts were stalled however, as large amounts of resources were being poured into the development of Château de Kaya and defending territory in the south from hostile groups. His project in Château de Kaya was nearing completion, after experiencing a giant spike in population following the war. Many refugees fleeing up the Congo river chose to stay at the location, where the military presence added a small level of security, while others continuing to Makanza or other locations were forced to buy supplies or trade in the settlement. Kaya would construct a large residence for his own personal use within the fort, serving as his home following the end of his term.
With the war now over Impfondo now encompassed a diverse population, which was largely in opposition to Kaya's regime politically. The early 2000's saw a resurgence in popularity for the Pan-Impfondo Union for Social Democracy, which called for the restoration of a more democratic government. At the same time many native Impfondo inhabitants still supported Kaya, and many of the new citizens of the nation still did not have access to voting or other means of citizenship during this early period.
With the next elections nearing, knowing that his continued rule would most likely result in a civil war, which the weakened nation could not support, Kaya announced his intentions not to run for a third term, and also resigned the office, allowing for elections to take place in 2001. Kaya's faction, now organized into the Congolese Republican Movement, chose Joseph Hondjuila Miokono as their candidate. Miokono was a successful general and was very popular among native Impfondo citizens. He was less popular however among newly annexed sections of territory, and from immigrants, who were more liberal politically.
In the 2001 election Miokono won by a slim majority, with the population voting almost geographically divided. Miokono won almost all the votes in the west, and in older territories of the nation, while in the far south the Pan Impfondo Union for Social Democracy received a majority of votes. In major cities such as Impfondo itself voters were more split. Many critics noted that Miokono's victory was largely due to many citizens' inability to vote, and some feared that Miokono had used the military to ensure this. Knowing full well that the majority of the population, if able, would have voted in opposition, Miokono pledged to be a less radical leader, and to promote compromise in the nation's parliament.
For the first time in years the parliament rose in predominance again, being used to pass a number of laws. In 2002 an amendment to the constitution was passed reducing the presidential term to five years, and limiting the number of terms to two years. The government also signed a number of laws which would benefit the nation's industry during the rebuilding process. Much of the newly acquired territory along the Congo river was cleared to create large scale farming operations, an investment that proved costly but essential in the coming years, as Impfondo's population continued to grow. Impoverished refugees in the city were granted land on the east bank of the Congo river, with members of the military being given preferential treatment. As a result Impfondo's military remained steady, and overcrowded areas in the city were cleared to some degree.
The Impfondo presence in Loukoléla opened up a direct line of trade and communication along the Sangha River. Military personnel were sent by Miokono to scout this area, essentially establishing the river as the nation's officially secured western border. At the northern end of the river the nation of Impfondo also came into contact with the city of Ouésso, a community of natives who had lived mostly independent of outside influence. Impfondo officially viewed Ouésso as rightfully part of their territory, as it consisted of many gang run farm operations, which unlike their neighbors had not joined or supplied Impfondo initially.
Throughout the early 2000's Impfondo became increasingly influential in Ouésso, which became a trade partner with the Impfondo in many respects. In 2003 a pro-Impfondo leader was elected in Ouésso, and many natives in the city feared their nation would grow increasingly under Imfondo control. This led to protest in the city against the government, staged mainly by local inhabitants who were independent of the nation's industries and government. Leaders in Ouésso and many Impfondo leading businessmen and merchants called for Impfondo's assistance in restoring order, and this call was answered by Miokono. In August 2003 a military force traveled down the Sangha River to the city, seizing control of a number of strategic locations.
Violence broke out against the Impfondo forces and the rebels, although poorly armed, if at all, the rebels were defeated and forced to flee outside the city. The Impfondo forces did not leave however, instead declaring Ouésso to be a community of Impfondo from there on. Annexation was never approved by the nation's parliament, although it was approved by Miokono. As a result the annexation and control of the city would largely be undertaken by the military and run as a military occupied territory for the first year of its rule by Impfondo.
In 2006 presidential elections began in the Republic of Impfondo. Miokono had announced his intentions to retire from politics that year, and as a result many independent candidates or smaller time political parties sought to be elected. The Pan-Impfondo Union for Social Democracy had become increasingly popular, especially among voters in the cities and in the south, as the party advocated for further rights and stability. The party was led by Jean-Dominique Okemba, a native Impfondo resident from the north, which helped to bridge the gap between natives and immigrants. Okemba also advocated for progressive reforms that would benefit the impoverished and poor citizens of the nation, which made him appeal to a large audience.
On 8 July 2006 Okemba was elected president by a large majority, signaling a return of the Pan-Impfondo Union for Social Democracy into predominance, and an era of reform for Impfondo's citizens. Okemba continued the policies of his predecessor Miokono, as well as investing money in improved housing projects to decrease homelessness and poverty. Okemba's construction projects would be essential toward facilitating a growing population, as well as later alleviating the refugee crisis arising from Dongo in 2009, and other disasters in the region. The city of Impfondo itself received the largest investment, while towns previously ravaged during the Mbandaka War were also rebuilt.
In late October 2009 a conflict between two communities near the city of Dongo over fishing ponds escalated into violence. The conflict began when a a local leader in Dongo was deposed, and he returned with a group of ten men from his community. The men sought to take control of fish ponds which had belonged to Enyele and Monzaya villages in the area. Inhabitants were were not from the man's community were attacked, and seven police officers who intervened in the fighting were also killed. Hundreds of people fled Dongo, settling in Kungu and Impfondo.
Violence broke out between these gangs and refugees fleeing the city's conflict, which continued into November. By now the gang in Dongo had organized itself into the "Resistance Patriots of Dongo" (Patriotes-Résistants de Dongo), and had begun raiding shipments along the Ubangi river, attacking those attempting to flee. Over one hundred people would be killed over the next month, with many more displaced. The disruption along the Ubangi river would cause problems for the Impfondo government, prompting a response by government forces later that month.
In early December the Impfondo armed forces reentered the city of Dongo, capturing the city from the rebel groups operational in the area. Several other towns in the north that had been attacked by the rebels were also liberated that month, and a large garrison was moved into the area to quell further attacks. The conflict had led to a large scale refugee crisis, which the government hoped to resolve by swiftly rebuilding towns in the area. Medical equipment and staff in the city of Impfondo, which had arrived from Zaire to the south, was instrumental in controlling the spread of disease and treating refugees who had fled into the city. For the next several years the nation would continually invest in infrastructure in the north, including the rebuilding of towns, spurred by local lumber industries, although Impfondo would continue to experience problems from the crisis for years to come. The crisis would also spur further involvement in the north by the Impfondo military, to prevent further violence from breaking out in the region.
The majority of Impfondo's territory is covered with dense forests and jungles, often flooded or sprinkled with various lakes and ponds. The large amount of bodies of water supply the nation with fish, and also provide some methods of transportation. The nation's soil is argillaceous and sandy in some sections, while the northern section of the nation is more mountainous, influenced by the Massif Oubanguien.
Impfondo has a tropical climate, with a dry season lasting from March to July. The remainder of the year is dominated by the rainy season, when precipitation is at its height.
Rivers and other waterways play an important part in the economy and lifestyle of Impfondo's citizens. The city of Impfondo itself resides upon the Ubangi River, which serves as an important waterway running from the the city of Bangui in the Central African Republic, to the many nations and communities surrounding the city of Brazzaville, former capital of the Republic of the Congo. Other rivers include the Likuala-aux-herbes, Libenga and Motaba, which all connect different communities with distant towns within the nation. Many communities rely on these rivers to catch fish, which suppl their local communities, despite high pollution in most areas.
Agriculture in Impfondo is essential to the continued sustainability of the nation's population. The majority of the nation's farmland is worked in the traditional sense, owned and operated by a small number of individuals for the purpose of sustaining individual communities and local areas. More recently large plantations have arisen in the nation, sponsored by different warlords and gangs, as a way to make profit and support military campaigns. Many of the largest plantations are owned or operated by militant groups, who use the supplies directly toward continued military force. The principal crops in Impfondo include manioc, banana, and taros. Coffee and cocoa and palm oil is also commonly produced, usually for sale in urban markets.
The Republic of Impfondo follows the framework of a multiparty system, and a presidential republic, with a president who is both head of state and head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government, while legislative power is exercised by both the government and the nation's two chambers of parliament. Originally the nation's political system was based very closely on the former Republic of the Congo's system, which in turn was based on the nation of France. Alterations have since been made to this model however, led by President Kaya, who in 1994 instituted a new constitution that implemented a seven year term and a bicameral assembly.
The President of the Republic of Impfondo is both the head of state and the head of government, with executive power exercised by the government. Following the success of the Pan Impfondo Union for Social Democracy in the Impfondo Democratic War, which overthrew the Congolese Party of Labour and the pre-existing government organization, based on a Marxist-Leninist pro-Soviet single party system, the Republic of Impfondo was officially declared, with a president as head. The Republic of Impfondo has been ruled by a president beginning in 1987 with the election of Joseph Kignoumbi Kia Mboungou, who was previously provisional president and head of a provisional government committee since 2 February 1986, which continues to this day.
The Republic of Impfondo is divided into eight départements (departments). These departments are:
The Armed Forces of the Republic of Impfondo serves as the combined military for the Republic of Impfondo, comprised almost entirely of land forces. The armed forces began from the foundations of the military dictatorship that ruled the city of Impfondo prior to the republic's creation after the Impfondo Civil War, and includes elements from the pre-doomsday Republic of the Congo military, and other elements.
The Land Forces of the Impfondo Armed Forces, known collectively as the Impfondo Army, is the largest and most well funded branch of the military, consisting of almost all of its active personnel. Before the mid 1990's the Imfondo Army was largely disorganized and irregular, before the reforms of president Kaya in 1996. In a process known as brassage integration, warring factions and gangs in the Republic of Impfondo were integrated into the nations military.
The brassage integration process began by gathering several factions for disarmament. These fighters were then sent to an orientation center in Impfondo, where they had the choice of returning to civilian life, in which case they would receive a small sum of money and be allowed to demobilize, or chose to be integrated into the national army. Fighters who joined the Impfondo army were transferred to training camps in the east of the nation, in which they were trained using some of the same methods that rebel groups had once worked against the government.
The army achieved success in the Mbandaka War, in which Impfondo's forces successfully combated numerous towns east of the border, and along the Congo river. Since the war the army has operated mostly as a police force, and as a combatant against insurgency groups east of the Congo River. The army has also participated in a small number of engagements since the Mbandaka War, including the conflict in Ouésso and in Dongo.
The Impfondo Army is organized into ten battalions, which ideally consist of five hundred soldiers each. The first battalion consists solely of citizens of the city of Impfondo, and is stationed in the city as a police force and security detail for important government officials, as well as a guard force in case of attack or rebellion. The remaining nine battalions are divided into three brigades.
The first brigade is stationed in Oubanguiville, and has been the principle force in pacifying the region west of Mbandaka. The first brigade fought heavily in the Mbandaka War, and numerous other engagements. Since then it has served as the principle defense force along the Ubangi River and the Congo river south of Mbandaka. The first brigade has its roots in the force commanded by general Miokono during the war against the Mbandaka Ligue, and is the nation's most experienced and developed.
The second brigade is stationed in the north of the nation, and from 1997 to 2003, and 2009 on, has been in charge of conducting extensive land operations north of the Congo river. The brigade's headquarters is at Château de Kaya, which serves as the center of its operations the north. In 2009 the second brigade fought in the Dongo Conflict, and since then has established the city as a regional headquarters for one of its battalions, renewing operations to pacify the northern reaches of the nation.
The third brigade is centered in Loukoléla, and was a major participant in operations in the south of the nation during and after the Mbandaka War. Following the peace of 1999, the third brigade has been actively combating the Oubanguibille Insurgency, and other rebel organizations, primarily on the east and south bank of the Congo river. The third brigade is in charge of defending the Sangha river, and participated in the subjugation of Ouésso in 2003. Today Ouésso is home to one of the brigade's battalions, which patrols the Sangha river and the western edge of the nation. Primarily the third brigade serves to protect settlers south of Mbandaka and east of the Congo river, asserting Impfondo's claims in the territory.
The Impfondo army is armed with a number of weapons inherited from the Republic of the Congo, which in turn were mostly imported from the Soviet Union, France, and other nations. Aside from weapons originating from before doomsday, the nation also uses a large number of locally manufactured guns smuggled or imported from surrounding nations. Most weapons are employed by individual battalions and are poorly documented, originating from before the unification of the Impfondo army.
The navy of Impfondo consists of a series of patrol boats and other minor or civilian crafts outfitted for patrolling the Ubangi and Congo rivers. The flagship of the navy is the Type 062-class gunboat, a ship formally operated by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, before operating under a Congo river gang and being captured by Impfondo. This ship is largely not operation, and instead is stationed in Impfondo in case of war. Impfondo operates another half dozen ships which are lightly armored civilian crafts, used sparingly in operations near the capital.
The Impfondo Air Force is headquartered at the Impfondo Airport, and was initially placed in charge of transitioning the establishment into a military base. Today the airport continues to be operated by the air force, although little to no actual military aircraft are in Impfondo's possession. The air force instead mainly maintains the air field, as well as its equipment and facilities.