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The region that is now Tshuapa was formerly under the control of the government of Zaire, and the source of their power. The region was highly unstable politically speaking, as the population was divided in the south by the Tshiluba-speaking diamond miners of Kasai, and the Lingala-speaking farmers of the northern provinces. The Lingala people had more pull in the government for they formed the majority, and were easily the most powerful ethnic group in the nation with more members of their people running things from the top. This caused contention amongst the people, and led to a number of armed conflicts between the ethnic groups in Zaire over a voice in the government.
One such group belonged to General Kengo Tshisekedi, a Lingala commander in the Zairian Armed Forces. He was concerned with the possible collapse of the government, and a civil war that would end with his loss of political power through the Lingala-controlled military. He used the fears to gain the support of his people, and formed a militia force that would protect the territories of the Lingala people from the threat of attack by the Tshiluba or Kongo people. This army made regular patrols through Lingala territories with the permission of Mobutu, and conducted raids on "enemies of the peace".
Overtime, these paramilitary forces came to respect Tshisekedi and his devotion to the Lingala people, and resulted in many pledging their allegiance to him. This resulted in Tshisekedi believing that he would be much better equipped to handle the ethnic problems in Zaire than Mobutu, and ultimately saw him betray the very who supported his actions in the beginning. The Zairian military was quick to respond, and saw two major military forces fighting over control of the nation. However, the military coming from the United States in the form of money and equipment, saw Tshisekedi's forces pushed back into the Équateur province.
Almost immediately after the forces of Tshisekedi were being pushed back, many Zairian commanders discovered that the rest of the world had been consumed by nuclear fire, and that their support was going to dry up. Many of Zaire's combat units withdrew to Kinshasa, fearing for their lives that Africa may be the next target, and others fleeing for the jungles for safety. Tshisekedi took advantage of the war, and immediately order his troops to begin snatching up land as chaos consumed the nation. Without foreign aid, Zaire's force could not hope to maintain a large military presence throughout the large nation, and gave up many provinces with the hope to protecting the capital from falling to rebel forces.
Over the next four years, Tshisekedi and his men took city after city, town after town, and village after village, forcing them to pay homage to their new "Emperor", Tshisekedi I. With no organized military forces to confront them, Tshisekedi's army swiftly took lands that would have normally fought a good fight. His previous "contributions" to the Lingala people ensured that the northern provinces of Équateur and Orientale were pacified quickly. Kasai-Occidental and Kasai-Oriental were both taken in incredibly bloody wars that saw tens of thousands killed as the poorly-armed and trained militias of the two provinces attempted to mount a defense against Tshisekedi and his army. When they were both taken, Tshisekedi had the wives and daughters of the slain militia fighters given to his men as rewards for their courage, bravery, and ferocity in battle.
The Imperial Armed Forces of the Tshapani (Forces Armées de la Impériale du Tshuapani) or the FAIT, are the official military force of Tshuapa. They were established the same day as the empire when Kengo Tshisekedi I declared that his militia forces would form the core of the new military. Professionally trained and equipped over the last three decades, the FAIT has been used to maintain order where ever rebels or thugs may attempt to gain ground. Because of the military's brutal methods and methodical planning for wars, internal stability is rather high. The military consists of 803,057 personnel, divided into the army, navy, and air force, as well as an imperial guard unit tasked with protecting the capital city of Kikwat.
The army is composed of 755,070 troops, 1,615 battle tanks, and 240 artillery pieces, split up amongst the five provinces that make up the empire. Each army is commanded by a Field Marshal, who hand-picked by the Emperor himself from the best generals of his military force. Each of the five regional armies is named after the province they protect: the Army of Bandundu, the Army of Équateur, the Army of Orientale, the Army of Kasai-Occidental, and the Army of Kasai-Oriental. A sixth army known as the Imperial Homeguard is tasked with guarding the city of Kikwat, and consists of a force of 35,000 men. As for the other armies, they vary in size according to the population, size, and importance of each.
The regional armies of Imperial Tshuapa Army: 755,070 personnel
- Imperial Homeguard: 35,000 men, 340 tanks, 40 artillery
- Army of Bandundu: 188,325 men, 438 tanks, 52 artillery
- Army of Équateur: 104,678 men, 360 tanks, 48 artillery
- Army of Orientale: 113,487 men, 275 tanks, 36 artillery
- Army of Kasai-Occidental: 176,440 men, 112 tanks, 35 artillery
- Army of Kasai-Oriental: 137,140 men, 90 tanks, 29 artillery