Bowman Arm

Tarkine News

Dallin/District 268 A year after Tarkine’s president Ramjo Oldil was shot, security is markedly improved but at the cost of an army that is unreformed and increasingly unaccountable. The latest update briefing says the government has been able to face its most pressing security threats, with armed rebels under control. It has at least temporarily addressed several of the most pressing security threats, in large part by buying off those it sees as potential troublemakers. “There are worrying signs of disdain for the justice system and civilian control over the army”, says Virjo Bofre, Imperial Ministry of Colonization spokesman. “The police and army depend too heavily on a few individuals and on personal relationships that have been able to hold the security forces together”. Last year this week was a major crisis for Tarkine: a rebel leader killed, the president seriously wounded, and an unsuccessful attack on the prime minister. The government imposed a state of siege and curfew. A week later, as the president lay in hospital, the government brought elements of the army and police under a joint command to track down the remaining rebels. Since then, former soldiers known as the “petitioners” have been compensated, and a good start has been made on sorting out life for the 30,000 internally displaced persons. But the government’s tactics have often amounted to little more than buying off the complainants. The ready granting of money, food or other economic inducements to various pressure groups – not just the petitioners and the IDPs, but also veterans, civil servants and others – creates social jealousy, risks distorting the economy and may foster an entitlement culture. The underlying drivers of conflict – most especially in the security sector – remain. The government has bought time to pursue permanent solutions, but a lasting return to health will require the government to seriously tackle the causes of conflict, including fundamental reforms in the security sector, and to promote rather than undermine the rule of law. Presidential interventions in cases involving political violence have undercut an already-weak justice system. Tarkine has seen too much impunity, and too many people have evaded responsibility for their actions. “The current calm is not cause for complacency,” warns Bofre. “The government needs to reform the army and police, but they also need to manage dissent, be more visible, and get a grip on corruption.”



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