Alternate History

Isiro (1983: Doomsday)

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The Greater Empire of Isiro
OTL equivalent: Isiro-Niangara, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa
Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Coat of arms of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Flag Coat of Arms
Location of Isiro

Obéissez le fort, Oprimez le faible (French)
("Obey the strong, Oppress the weak")

Capital Isiro
Largest city Isiro
Other cities Dungu, Watsa, Andudu, Wamba, Niangara, Faradje, Rungu, and several smaller towns
Religion Isironism
Demonym Isiran
Emperor of Isiro Serge Mbia
Premier Fiston Mbia
Population est ~ one million 
Currency Isiran franc

The Greater Empire of Isiro is a small country in what in OTL is the Democratic Republic of Congo, near the Sudanese border. It controls Isiro-Niangara and the environs. Founded from the city of Isiro, it gradually conquered the nearby cities and founded its so-called empire of Congo, despite only controlling part of it. Its leader, Julien Mbia, was a priest who took over Isiro in 1987, after the utter collapse of all surrounding government. His army, consisting of conscripts from nearby farms, took over the city and installed him as Emperor, and devised a new religion (Isironism) worshiping him. The surrounding cities were completely chaotic at this point, and Mbia's rule could be said to have brought a measure of peace. When Mbia died in early 2012, it was decided to send out exploration forces to the rest of Zaire, but close to their own position, as he had wanted to conquer all of Africa, but his sons were conflicted over the matter. This was to decide whether or not to continue on said plans.


Mbia was a priest of the region. When Mobutu fell, he led 20 soldiers into the jungle. They became his core council. During his stay in the forest, his sons Serge and Fiston, Fiston the younger by two years, were born. In 1987, he returned, and after a two day battle, killed the soldiers controlling Isiro and installed himself as head of the general law and order, with eventually, when they came of age, Serge controlling the priests, Fiston controlling the army. In 2009 he developed lung cancer due to smoking and the radioactive fallout that blew through Africa in the early years. In late 2011, he was shot in the chest. Complications emerged, and he died on January 2nd, 2012. After a national day of mourning, it was decided that Serge would be appointed Emperor, Fiston Premier, and the attacks on the rest of Congo, a major argument between Serge and Fiston, would be indefinitely postponed.


Isiro Pre-Doomsday was part of Zaire, in Central Africa. The first civilization existed there in around 2000 BC, though not much is known about them. The first main city-states existed after 650 BC, the 'Imbonga' and 'Ngovo' traditions. The 'Urewe' traditions existed mainly in the west, as extensions of the mainly Ugandan cultures. Gradually, these developed into several Kingdoms, like the Kingdom of Luba. Trading was extensive, as the country was very rich in mineral wealth. Eventually, Luba became dominant, and established control for its extensive (for the area) metal technologies. The Status Quo essentially remained the same for several hundred years. In the 16th century, a new problem arose: slave-traders 'snatching' men, women, and children. During the late 1800s, European explorers under the Belgians slowly played off other European powers, with designs on making it a colony. King Leopold II eventually gained control in the 1885 Berlin Conference, naming it the African Congo Free State. At first, various massive infrastructure projects were undertaken, but these were not for the Congolese, and locals were often brutalized to produce rubber, which made a fortune for the Belgians. The Army, or Force Publique, often tortured Natives to keep up with quotas. In addition, sleeping sickness ravaged the weakened population- between 1885 and 1908, over a million Congolese died. Eventually, international pressure forced the Belgians to adopt it as a colony, and much social progress was achieved. There was still much separation between the whites and natives, however. After 1971, Belgium freed Congo, which became Zaire, under 'President' Mobutu. Due to his anti- Communist views, the U.S. government supported him despite rampant corruption and mistreatment of those under his government.


The reaction to Doomsday was very delayed, but as news slowly leaked through, Mobutu was attacked by various military factions within his army. Within a month, he and his government had either fled or (in majority) were executed. All throughout the country, small city-states very being established, most failing within months. In Isiro, Mbia went with 50 soldiers to the area surrounding Isiro and stayed there, conscripting and surrounding Isiro. Serge was born in 1984, Fiston in 1986. Then, in 1987, Mbia attacked the anarchist city that was ruled by several soldiers from the area. The population, hoping that he would be better, helped him to overthrow the soldiers, though the soldiers numbered barely ten. Mbia had plans to take over all of Congo, though his sons, Fiston and Serge, currently have conflicting views on the matter.

The War of Dungu

In 2001, Isiro attacked Dungu, claiming that Dungu defied Mbia's religion. Mbia's son, Serge, lead the attack personally. After taking the city of Watsa, they attacked Dungu. Using machine-guns mounted on pick up trucks pulled along to the ridges above the city (fuel was too scarce) they launched a surprise attack on the north of the city while most of the soldiers were fighting a group of untrained conscripts towards the east. By the time the conscripts were fought off, the more highly trained soldiers in the pick-up trucks had gotten a firm foothold, and boats headed there via the Uele river captured the west. Many of the Dungu soldiers defected at this point, and captured the committee. All senior officers above the rank of Lt. Col. were executed, as were 1/3 of all soldiers below them. The committee were tortured first.


Democratie pour Isiro was a militant group determined to overthrow Mbia's government, and was responsible for at least eight terrorist attacks, though it is suspected in three others. Formed in 2002, it had 18 official members, with at least another hundred not officially part of the group, such as the general who fatally shot Julien Mbia on December 24th, 2011. Perhaps its most famous action was the shooting (in the leg; the injury was non-fatal and he was even able to walk within a week) of Serge Mbia, Julien's eldest. This sparked the manhunt that in August 2010 finally flushed out the group, though a few members are on the loose. However, in early 2012, another terrorist attack killing many suggested that they had returned. Emperor Mbia announced that he may draw up a constitution and democratize Isiro.


Isiro's economy is mainly agricultural. A project by Julien Mbia from 2003 to 2010 cleared much land not in cities for farming, and the cities are often populated by traders and artisans. Roughly 49% of the population lives on farms. Despite having a currency, often items are traded as a barter system for goods and services. This is because the Isiran franc is easy to forge- just take a nickel or zinc coin and apply the Isiran stamp to both sides.

The Isiran franc is divisible into 20 isiros, divisible into 5 shillings. However, often a barter system is used, as it is easy to forge coins, and hard to get the coins (without forging). Also, it is easier to trade in that way, though it makes banking harder.


Isironism, the national religion of Isiro, is essentially Catholicism with several added parts about the Mbias being a bloodline graced by God. According to it, God caused Doomsday because mankind had forgotten its earlier ways of living, and Mbia would set Isiro and its provinces on the path to heaven. It is less restricting than Catholicism, allowing priests to get married.


Isiro is a monarchy. Essentially, there are three 'councils'. The military, the rich/nobles, and the priests. The military is controlled by a prominent general, the nobles are controlled by the Premier, and the priests by the Arch-Bishop. However, the Emperor has final say in everything, controlling every decision made by these councils, which each have equal power. The nobles make decisions on laws, the priests interpret and challenge laws according to religion, and the military enforces those laws, similar to the U.S. before it was destroyed. However, no officials are elected, and the Emperor controls all.

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