Alternate History

Zanzibar (1983: Doomsday)

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Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba
Timeline: 1983: Doomsday

OTL equivalent: Zanzibar
Flag of Zanzibar (January-April 1964) Coat of arms of Zanzibar
Flag Coat of Arms
Spice Islands (Zanzibar highlighted)
Location of Zanzibar
(and largest city)
Zanzibar City
President Amani Abeid Karume
Area 2643 km² km²
Population 980,000 
Independence 1984
Currency Zanzibar Shilling

Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba (commonly known as Zanzibar) is a sovereign state in East Africa. It comprises the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 km (16–31 mi) off the coast of the mainland, and consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, informally referred to as Zanzibar), and Pemba. Zanzibar was once a separate state with a long trading history within the Arab world; it united with Tanganyika to form Tanzania in 1964 and but regained its independence in 1984 shortly after Doomsday. Zanzibar's main industries are spices and raffia. In particular, the islands produce cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper. For this reason, the islands, together with Tanzania's Mafia Island, are sometimes called the "Spice Islands".



Though Tanzania avoided being targeted by nuclear missiles, the collapse of the global economy and the climate changes caused by Doomsday had a terrible effect on the nation. Years of poorly-implemented "African socialist" policies, including forced relocations to collective farms, left the country as one of the poorest, the least developed and the most aid-dependent in the world. The collapse of the United States, the Soviet Union and China left Tanzania without access to the international aid it so desperately needed and the country collapsed into anarchy. President Aboud Jumbe of Zanzibar was quick to take action by closing off both Zanzibar and Pemba from refugees streaming in from the mainland, less they overwhelm the islands. In 1984 he oversaw Zanzibar secession from Tanzania and the re-establishment of the Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba. This action was done to distance the islands from the various successor governments that had sprung up on the mainland. By 1985, radiation levels had increased in southern Africa leading a rise in cancer cases and a poor harvest. This coincided with an increase in social disorder in Zanzibar, but the government managed to keep control.


Zanzibar had sporadic contact with the outside world, but it was not until 1991 that the arrival of Indian refugees heading toward New Britain that the nation received an overview of what was happening throughout the rest of the world. This renewed contact soon opened new doors of trade and spices from the islands soon found there way into new markets, helping to reinvigorate the nation's economy. International aide also began to flow into the former area of Tanzania when Zanzibar signed their own "Safe Harbor Compact" in 2001, similar to the one in practice in Somaliland. Zanzibar by signing the compact would allow the military ships of different nations access to their ports in an effort to better combat African piracy in exchange for money and goods.

Bloody Politics

The Safe Harbor Compact of 2001 proved, however, to be more contentious then originally planned. The arrival of large number of foreigners led to riots in several Zanzibar cities and culminated in the 2005 Pemba massacre which led to the death of 50 civilians after police fired into a crowd of protestors. Fear of foreign intervention if things got out of hand forced the Zanzibar government to crack down on various civil liberties, but this soon led to a deep division between the main political parties (Chama Cha Mapinduzi and the Civic United Front) which had worked together since 1983 to keep the country from falling apart after Doomsday. Today a power sharing agreement is in existence, however, it is suffering from numerous drawbacks and many analysts fear open civil war if things are not resolved.


Zanzibar's government is officially known as the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar and Pemba. It is made up of the Revolutionary Council and the House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives is made up of 50 members from electoral constituencies, directly elected by universal suffrage to serve five-year terms; ten members appointed by the President of Zanzibar; 15 special seats for women; five Regional commissioners; and an attorney-general.

Unguja comprises three administrative regions: Zanzibar Central/South, Zanzibar North and Zanzibar Urban/West. Pemba has two: Pemba North and Pemba South.

International Relations

Zanzibar is a member of the League of Nations.


Zanzibar, mainly Pemba Island, was once the world's leading clove producer, but the effects of Doomsday have weakened clove production in the region. Improvement to the crop, however, has allowed Zanzibar to compete with the successor states of Indonesia. Zanzibar also exports spices, seaweed and fine raffia. It also has a large fishing and dugout canoe production. Tourism was once a major foreign currency earner, but in the post-Doomsday world tourism is non-existent in Zanzibar.


Since the collapse of Tanzania caused Zanzibar to be cut off from electricity from the mainland, the Islanders became entirely dependent on alternative methods of electricity generation (mainly diesel generators that were heavily rationed) and firewood for heat. Since the turn of 21st century, increased trade and foreign aide has allowed electricity usage to increase. Electricity is also generated for Pemba by thermal energy.

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