Soaring Above :: Burgundian Refugee Roundtable

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Engellachia, Jul 28, 2019.

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  1. Engellachia

    Engellachia Administrator

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    Ouistreham Cathedral

    Karl Heydendahl spent more than a long uncomfortable moment adjusting his tie, laboriously shifting papers containing the names and stories of refugees he and others had invited to the Ouistreham Cathedral around him. Licking his lips, Karl looked up at his Tiburan Catholic counterparts and nodded, then gestured and winked at "Hands Across the Ocean" representatives telecommuting to the unusual conference through what modern satellite technology could afford them.

    "Ladies and Gentleman," Engellachia's 'Dictator' of 'Thaumantic Alignment' began, "I have entered this city and this cathedral unarmed an safe as a free human being. I am afforded this right to roam as a Thaumantican in thanks to the sacrifice of soldiers from my nation, the West Engell Republic, and those kindred in the League of Four Nations." Karl nodded quickly again, knowing that this list of qualifiers and titles were a tiresome bore for his civilian guests and the true Catholic hosts who possessed titles that were not qualified by gunpoint last year, but rather siege and sword many centuries prior.

    "This afternoon we are surrounded by human peers, though some of them have suffered horrors not all of us can truly imagine;" Karl said, fingering the paper of Mrs. Linville and inviting her to stand with him, "Rosalie Linville's husband Maxence Linville perished during the Seven-Days War, their marriage was consummated a day prior, and Rosalie holds Max Junior here today in her hands. They are alone."

    "Miseur Heydendahl," Rosalie bounced and comforted that baby wriggling in hand and towards her breast, "I do not know where this Catholic Church, but I am glad to be here today!" - "My husband died for this land, for this country, and we made a son here - not under marriage in a Church like this, but we loved each other, I loved him, and I love my son!"

    Heydendahl turned inwards before looking towards the SWR stream, studying the screen and what was being relayed back at him. "Where do you intend to go, Madame Linville?" Karl asked, scanning the room again before settling on Rosalie. "Honestly?" Rosalie asked, "I shall stay here in Ouistreham!". Karl nodded but waived his hands and helped Rosalie to sit down, "Rosalie and Max Junior have a home in Engellachia, if they would so choose, but she and he are friends I encountered on the road. So many more stories exist here - and this round table is about expressing their stories and finding solutions to their problems."
     
  2. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    Father Pierre, a rotund middle-aged man dressed in a simple cassock, had been appointed by His Eminence to serve as the cardinal's point man in liaising with the various charity organizations moving into Neustria. Father Pierre had long had contact with the Catholic organizations like OSB and BSD. Now he and his assistants found themselves here in a side chamber of the great cathedral where all had arrived, either in person or via technology, to further God's work of helping the poor and the needy.

    He followed along as Heydendahl began and then introduced the woman and her child. What is all this, the priest thought to himself. He glanced over at one of his fellows and the other man shrugged at the question implied by Pierre's glance. Then Heydendahl started in about telling stories and Pierre inwardly groaned. Oh God, he wants to 'dialogue'...

    Clearing his throat, the priest spoke in Heydendahl's language, not quite fluent and with a heavy accent. "We wish to work with all who come here to help those in need during this time of trouble. If M. Heydendahl can use his influence to help us in those areas where the Engell soldiers have control, we can hope those from Pllau will allow such actions on their side of the lines as well."
     
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  3. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    There was a large unit in the Eiffelloretalian armed forces that was dedicated to humanitary aid. This unit had a special status: It could operate like a part of the armed forces, but also like a humanitary organisation under the coordination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was the Chancellor and the Minister-Presidents of Retalia, Helgoland and Rügen who decided whether the humanitary aid unit operated on behalf of the Armed Forces or on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In order to prevent confusion, the members of this unit did not have military but governmental official ranks and medical ranks.

    The mission in Burgundy was carried out under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Balthasar von Aschenbach represented the humanitary aid organisation of the Government of Eiffelland-Retalia. He said in Engellish: "Your Excellency, tt is our intention to help where you want us to help. We will cooperate with all the organisations that work here, as well as the armed forces of the League of Four Nations. We are also here to take up refugees. People like Mme. Linville and her son Max are welcome in Eiffelland-Retalia as well. If they want to return to Neustria after the war and the situation allows them to return, we will cooperate with their return; else we will work towards a citizenship of Eiffelland-Retalia for them."
     
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  4. Socialist World Republic

    Socialist World Republic Well-Known Member

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    Carl Zimmer was tired and it showed. Concordia was almost the other side of the globe from Burgundy and the shores of the Greater Implarian Ocean were covered in starlight by now. This video conference wasn't scheduled with regards to the needs of the old man, a humanitarian veteran of sorts, even though the NGO he presided over was probably a featherweight compared to the Tiburan Church or the government sponsored efforts of the Eiffellandians.

    "What we need is clarity and structure in organizing our efforts. A joint structure for the duration of the war to exchange information about the presence of combatants and refugees in the affected areas and a place for the warring factions - both sides - to pass on information and warnings to civilian charities in the area. A permanent connection between all organizations where the need for aid can be assessed together and suggestions for the distribution can be made, so we do not end up in a situation where we - figuratively and literally - step on each others toes to the detriment of the people in the area."

    He then let out a slight involuntary scoff as he adressed the Eiffellandians, though he quickly tried to hide it with an emphatically friendly tone in his voice.

    "I also wish to stress that I, generally and personally, welcome the efforts of the Eiffellandian government. It has been of tremendous aid in the past and will surely be so once again. But the contentions of civilian actors like Hands across Oceans towards the Eiffeloretalian efforts still stand. The unclear seperation between armed forces and humanitarian mission is potentially dangerous and compromising to the humanitarian effort as a whole.

    To illustrate this issue to those here unfamiliar with it: were, for example, the World Republic to decide that intervention in the conflict was at order, this would not change the status of Hands across Oceans as humanitarian relief agency. We would still operate as we had before and would be protected by the international laws of warfare, as tenuous as this protection may at times prove. Were the government of Eiffelland to make the same decision, its humanitarian mission would immediately become a military one, its forces on the ground change from relief workers to legitimate military targets and possibly active combatants.

    This is not only a practical concern for this very eventuality. The mere potential of such a situation can compromise our efforts as it undermines the necessary trust of both the volunteers working for the humanitarian effort as well as those seeking their aid. It is for this reason that we ask our Eiffellandian colleagues, with utmost respect, to clearly seperate their efforts from those of purely civilian origin like ours and to ensure proper distance - and proper markings of their own efforts as those of the Eiffeloretalian mission."
     
  5. Engellachia

    Engellachia Administrator

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    “There are many conferences taking place around the world that are failing to do what we are trying to do here today.” Karl was standing again, not so much for those present in person but perhaps more so for the NGO Captain who may have trouble seeing who was speaking through his satellite stream.

    “Two months ago I was a civilian entrepreneur, and by New Year’s I intend to accomplish the mission of my ‘dictatorship’ by setting my nation on a path to be of service to Thaumantic Civilization and a partner to those on its horizon.”

    “Mister Zimmer is risking his life and that of his crew to sail across the world for the sake of civilians, Father Pierre and his historic organization have offered venue to us at great risk to safety of person and property, finally Balthasar von Aschenbach has left sword and pistol behind as I have to engage this precious mission.”

    “What I wish to propose here today is that we form a ‘Civilian Safety Coalition’ that networks our ability to shelter and transport civilians in this conflict and the next under a common coalition.” Karl suggested, with little confidence in the name’s viability, though slightly greater confidence in what he might butter on after. “Assembled here we have individuals with mouths capable of speaking to the ears of a few of the world’s most significant blocs: our Catholic partners have standing in the new Tiburan Empire, our friend from Eiffelland is symbolic of independent nations, and our friend from the SWR at sea can I believe speak to President Trumm whom I will be calling after this meeting to congratulate on her electoral victory - and appeal to her the importance of this ‘white hat and helmet’ organization of volunteers tasked with assisting in conflicts such as the one we are now surrounded by.”

    Outside jets from the Cussians, Karl guessed, or perhaps the slow arrival of his own nation’s junkers shook the roof they all sheltered under. “An organization focused on civilians and their plight in war, offering solutions that remove them from harms way. A union of nations organization centralized at some seat of empire will never work, it never has, as it always transforms into a bully pulpit of sanctions and condemnation.”

    “I want to work with my Catholic, Socialist, and Moderate partners from the perspective of a Thaumantican Merchant on the singular task of civilian safety. Can we agree here to begin the process of dialogue and trust that leads to this?”
     
  6. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Balthasar von Aschenbach replied to the conference: "Let it be clear that the humanitary aid workers we will send to former Burgundy will work under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Eiffelland-Retalia. This will be clear from the clothing they wear. Should indeed Eiffelland-Retalia decide to intervene, then the humanitary aid workers working under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will not fall under the command of the Eiffelloretalian armed forces, as per Eiffelloretalian Law. Furthermore, our humanitary aid workers have been trained to conduct medical, psychological, logistical and engineering tasks; they have not been trained as combat soldiers and will not act as such.
    We agree to forming a 'Civilian Safety Coalition' as suggested by His Excellency Heydendahl."
     
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  7. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    Father Pierre listened to all this talk and silently said a prayer for patience. When an opening came up, he took and spoke. "I and the organizations for which I speak for are more than willing to take it on faith that all are acting in good faith and are ready to move forward with concrete actions on the ground here in Neustria. This framework will allow us to move to coordination to avoid duplication. But let is talk of specific needs, food and medicines and guarantees they will be delivered to those in need."
     
  8. Engellachia

    Engellachia Administrator

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    “The vast articles of wealth, real estate, and infrastructure that our Church partners possess could be converted into the means of aid for these refugees by tomorrow if they were to agree or were forced to donate them.”

    Karl smiled and shook his head, “But no, I will use my personal wealth as well as petition affluent individuals and groups within my country and kindred to contribute as well.”

    “Food from Westernesse will begin to flow, with no small help from our SWR partners. I trust that our friends from Eiffelland are capable and willing to command their mastery of medicine to this cause;” he suggested more warmly now.

    “I have identified a point of contact, Mr. Layton Green, of the Engellachian NGO: ‘Winterhearth Mutual Benefit Society’, who will reach out to the Hands Across group to coordinate port and passengers for their ship.”
     
  9. Engellachia

    Engellachia Administrator

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    Some Days Later,
    Deliverance, SWR


    Layton Green managed the meager funds appropriated to the Mutual Benefit Society ever so frugally. When flying was necessary, as it would be to meet counterparts in the SWR, Eiffelland, and Catholic realms he packed little and packed himself on to budget planes and seats. Once in his destination he always converted his Thaumantic Pounds to the local currency and sought out public transportation or hoofed it far enough away from taxi drivers preying on tourists to scalp.

    When barriers did not prevent conversation, these means of travel allowed him to immerse in the culture and social climate of his far flung travels. More often than not he was confused with being a Cussian or Sylvanian, and he would merely suggest that they “think colder” until their memory rose north enough to Engellachia or not at all.

    In earnest, and without a West Engell Republic tail, Green approached the “Hands Across Oceans” building as it was in the Socialist World Republic. If anyone actually was inside, and this was not some shell scheme as Heydendahl had warned him of, he would walk in and ask to begin planning a refugee route for their ships to meet in Hammersmith. This of course was not approved yet by the Northern Constituent Republic, or any Domain ally, but there would absolutely be no acceptance of this ship to Ouistreham by Domain Forces, and the prospect of these mysterious ships landing elsewhere concerned everyone from the Engellachian corner.

    Effectively there was no “Civilian Safety Coalition” unless Green tried, tried, then tried again to get legitimate humane organizations to start talking with one another. Perhaps there were no plainly apolitical organizations out there, even the MBS had a recent bend towards socialist political action that thankfully, in Green’s view, were exposed as selfish power grabs from political and social climbers hoping to exploit power vacuums. There was a lot of that going around these days, and try as he might to suppress suspicion of the Catholic Aid Orgs - they seemed to him cold, distant, and convinced of their own methods.
     
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  10. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Balthasar von Aschenbach said at the conference: "I don't think it is needed to confisquate churches. In any case not for us. We can build up field hospitals ourselves by making use of our mobile hospital units."
     
  11. Nedernesië

    Nedernesië Well-Known Member

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    Jim Moresby, representative of the Nedernesian Bureau of Refugee Affairs, a division of the ministry New Citizenry and Human Movement Nedernesia, had been patched in via video link. Annoyingly a bit late due to technical difficulties getting the connection right, he was finally patched in.

    'Greetings from Vrijpoort everyone. Apologies for the delay and I'm sure I've missed a lot already. I just want to offer the assistance of Nedernesian Government in both accepting and processing refugees of this conflict. Nedernesia is a country built on migrants, many of whom were themselves asylum seekers or refugees at one point. We are prepared to take in some refugees ourselves, but perhaps even more importantly we are happy to offer Nedernesia as a major processing and transfer centre for the various civilian groups gathered here today.'

    'We have an air base on our largest island that could accept arrivals of refugees for processing and temporary stays. Temporary housing structures could be built nearby. The idea would be to get the refugees out of danger quickly - Grootland, the island, is only about a one-hour flight from Ouistreham. Once there they would be greeted and processed by teams of civil society groups and the Nedernesian Bureau of Refugee Affairs. Some would obtain refugee status in Nedernesia and could then proceed to Vrijpoort, others would be destined for countries farther away. While preparation would be made for their arrival to those countries, they could remain in Grootland in safe conditions. We can even have temporary schools set up in the French language and a nearby hospital would also be prepared to accept the injured and sick, as well as ensure routine healthcare requirements for the refugees.'

    'We estimate that hundreds of thousands of refugees could be processed here and the average duration of stay would be approximately two months. If conditions are safe enough, chartered planes from KLM Airways could be sent to Ouistreham to pick up refugees alongside transport planes from the Royal Nedernesian Sky Force, if accepted by forces currently in control of the area'.
     
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