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Nedernesië

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Metro Council Approves Nedernesian Sky Force's Use of Airport

Sandhavn- The Metro Council of Sandhavn voted today in favour of allowing the Nedernesian Sky Force to make use of the airport with 67 in favour, 30 against and three abstentions. The city's Chief Executive Officer, Mr Kabelo Mbonambi, is expected to sign the bill later this afternoon with the first Nedernesian Sky Force aircraft expected to arrive overnight.

The debate was opened up during the summer when International Development Nedernesia (IDN), a Nedernesian government agency, was unable to meet food and supply deliveries solely with civilian aircraft charters. IDN requested permission from the Sandhavn Metropolitan Authority to make use of Royal Nedernesian Sky Force cargo aircraft. The request was approved, but on a case by case basis, meaning that all deliveries via Royal Nedernesian Sky Force aircraft had to receive individual approvals - a cumbersome and lengthy process.

It will not just be cargo planes making use of our desert airport, however. Griffin multi-purpose fighter jets and at least one aerial refuelling tanker are also expected to be based here. Chief Executive Mbonambi had argued in September that 'with the region not totally stable, especially with recent events in Nzadiland, our vulnerable city and surrounding area need a guarantee of protection. Our Nedernesian friends can help us rest a bit more easily'.

Sandhavn's economy relies heavily on products and jobs from Nedernesian companies. Many Nedernesian citizens live in Sandhavn and operate businesses and factories here. A booming tourist industry, focused on the powder sand beaches and the desert safaris, also sees hundreds of thousands of Nedernesian tourists visiting our southern half of the Dune Sea each year. KLM Airways, the Nedernesian national carrier, has increased the number of daily flights from Vrijpoort to Sandhavn from one to two, with three daily flights during the northern hemisphere's winter, when many Nedernesians fly south to escape the bleak Scanian winter. There have even been rumours that KLM may be toying with the idea to start a long-haul budget airline that could cater to tourists from other countries that want to visit Sandhavn.


Other Headlines
» Metro Police is struggling to battle gangs in northern city outskirts and has called on Metro Council to find a long-term solution to the pourous 'Northern Demarcation Line' that acts as Sandhavn's de facto line of control for the Southern Dune Sea. Checkpoints along the only two paved roads and other unpaved desert pistes are 'wholely inadequate' for stopping the smuggling of guns and drugs from elsewhere in Himyar to Sandhavn.

» Sassa is on the brink of insolvency and asks Metro Council for bailout 'lest hundreds of thousands starve'. Sassa (Sandhavn Social Security Agency), which provides the impoverished majority of Sandhavn and the Southern Dune Sea with basic monthly grants for food and housing, is bankrupt and will reportedly not be able to post electronic transfers and dispense cash grants in November. 60% of Sandhavn and Southern Dune Sea citizens rely on Sassa grants to feed themselves and their families and pay rent, among other uses. In 2011 Sassa received a 20 billion Nedernesian Guilder bailout from Metro Council, which controversially took money from a transport infrastructure fund. Chief Executive Mbonambi has made public his propensity towards not repeating such events, but is facing pressure from councillors to think of the plight of the masses. Sassa senior staff were seen entering the offices of International Development Nedernesia in central Sandhavn this morning, possibly to ask the Nedernesian aid and development agency for funding.

» Three Sandhaveners were denied entry into Salen last week as their passports were deemed insufficient. 'Southern Dune Sea Special Region' passports are special passports issued by Hälsingia-Wendowskie, but do not grant the same residency, working and travel rights as a true citizen of Hälsingia-Wendowskie. While many nations recognise the passport, almost all require stringent visa applications and some countries, like Salen, simply do not recognise them. Nedernesia is one of the only countries that does not require visas for Southern Dune Sea citizens (Nedernesia doesn't require visas for any nationality) and a significiant Southern Dune Sea diaspora lives in Vrijpoort - Nedernesia's embattled Senior Minister, Bas Duinman, counts himself as offspring of Southern Dune Sea diaspora immigrants.
 

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Himyari Development Bank to be Launched in Sandhavn

Sandhavn- A new development bank that will focus on poverty alleviation, infrastructure development and long-term sustainable growth across the Himyari continent will be launched in January 2020 with its headquarters in Sandhavn, Dune Sea. The memorandum of understanding was signed by Sandhavn Chief Executive Kabelo Mbonambi and the Nedernesian High Commissioner Thulani Sulu.

Starting capital of 20 billion nedernesian guilders (approx. 2.5 bln Euromarks) has been pledged by the Commonwealth of Nedernesia, with half of that amount to be earmarked for projects in The Dune Sea. Chief Executive Mbonambi together with the Government of Nedernesia will be looking for other financial backers of the development bank, whether governments or private firms/investors. Projects will be monitored and evaluated by third-party evaluation agencies to ensure that the funds are working as intended and strict anti-corruption measures will also be put in place.

There are some strings attached, however. The HDB will only release funds after scrutinising plans and receiving solid assurances written into contracts that the monies will be used for projects benefiting the public good. Any signs of abuse of funds would result in a project being frozen and further tranches being halted.

An independent council of economists, business leaders and financiers will select a managing director of the development bank before the year's end. The leader will have to be vetted and approved of via a simple majority vote of all HDB members, of which currently there are two: Nedernesia and The Dune Sea. Highly qualified applicants with a background in economics and/or public policy are encouraged to apply through the executive search firm Robert Full at .


Other Headlines
» Metro Police has accepted an offer from the Nedernesian RCMP to send 150 officers to Sandhavn to help train police in counter-gang measures and other urban policing tactics. The training is free and will last for one year with the RCMP footing the bill. There are also rumours that Sandhavn Metro Police is in talks to receive heavily discounted firearms via the RCMP and a 'goodwill' grant for Metro Police to purchase Natalian automobiles for the city's struggling police force.

» Sassa negotiates bailout with IDN and funds have already arrived. The Sandhavn Social Security Agency has received 2 billion nedernesian guilders from International Development Nedernesia as a 'friendship grant' and a further 10 billion guilders with a subsidised 3% interest loan. The funds will be used to issue monthly grants to Dune Sea citizens for their housing vouchers, food credits and other social services. Nearly 80% of Dune Sea residents rely on monthly Sassa grants to get through the month.

» Chief Executive Mbonambi calls for change to country's status and wants The Dune Sea to officially become a protectorate of Nedernesia with full autonomy for domestic affairs. With the country suffering economically, certain roles of the state have been struggling, such as national defense and policing. 'The Nedernesians have been with us for decades through thick and thin, generously supporting our development and growth. Their former senior minister was born here. We use their currency. Their businesses provide us with jobs. Their aid feeds and teaches our children. Let us seriously consider relieving ourselves of the burden of national defense and national policing so that we can focus on other issues such as our continued economic development and prosperity'. Straw polls show roughly 62% of Dune Sea citizens in support of some sort of protectorate status, which would require a national referendum. Some have voiced criticism of the idea warning of neo-colonisation, which Mbonambi calls 'rubbish'. The City Council has no tabled bill to suggest a referendum on Nedernesian protectorate status, but a debate on the matter is likely to take place before year's end.
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Nedernesië

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HSH Prince Lamberti Concludes Successful Tour of Dune Sea

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HSH Prince Lamberti, official portrait


Sandhavn- His Serene Highness Prince Lamberti of the Commonwealth of Nedernesia has completed a one-week long tour of the Dune Sea after arriving in Sandhavn earlier this month. The Prince is a frequent visitor of the Dune Sea in a private capacity as the royal family owns a significant estate that they holiday in during the northern winter. This trip, however, was his first official visit as head of state of Nedernesia.

The purpose of the tour was twofold: to allow the local Dune Sea authorities to showcase recent improvements in infrastructure and service deliveries and to drum up support for a referendum later this year that could ask Dune Sea locals how they want their political future to look like.

Although officially a Pohjanmaan overseas territory, the Scanian country long ago abandoned basic government services in the Dune Sea. Since the early 1990s, droves of Nedernesian companies, large and small, have opened up operations in the Dune Sea, attracted to cheap labour and the nearby untapped markets of wider Himyar. Corporate Nedernesia has been responsible for almost all tax revenue in the territory, which is run out of Sandhavn by the locally elected Sandhavn Metropolitan Council.

In recent years the Nedernesian government has been taking a more direct role in the affairs of the Dune Sea. It issued a number of grants and low interest loans to the territory and lent expertise for a number of critical infrastructure projects such as roads, electrical grid lines and substations, water treatment facilities, the expansion of the Sandhavn Port and the modernisation of the Sandhavn airport.

Late last year the Sandhavn Metropolitan Council voted to allowed the Royal Nedernesian Expeditionary Force to permanently station aircraft and troops from the Sky Force and this has ince expanded to a a small number of Ground Force troops as well as constant port visits by ships of the Royal Nedernesian Admiralty.

Recently there has been some criticism voiced in the region over supposed colonial treatment of the local Dune Sea population by the Nedernesians. HSH Prince Lamberti, known for being an unusually outspoken monarch, responded to questions at a press conference halfway through his trip:

'Colonists? Sorry, mate, but when a local government, duly elected by its own people, asks us for help so that people can have clean drinking water and electricity, is that now called colonialism? When they ask for help securing their porous borders and internal gangs smuggling drugs, weapons and people, are we supposed to not send in help? When Nedernesian companies came here 30 years ago to invest, build, create jobs, pay local taxes...this is colonialism? I'm afraid those fools propagating such utter falsehoods have the wrong C-word. It's called capitalism, mate. Capitalism! Nedernesians hail from all over the world and when another people welcome us, we will stand by them through thick and thin!'

The Prince and royal escort flew back to Vrijpoort aboard the government's KLM Airways-branded 747 Gans jetliner after the aircraft made a low ceremonial pass over the city to the cheers of many in the streets.

Other Headlines
» Sassa to receive more from Budget 2020, which will help service debts and provide for citizens. The Sandhavn Social Security Agency last year received a grant and a subsidised loan from International Development Nedernesua just days before the account were expected to be empty. To help avoid a similar situation in future, the Sandhavn Metropolitan Council is devoting more funds to the Sassa budget.

» Chief Executive Mbonambi wants protectorate referendum by summer and says the Sandhavn Metropolitan Council will have plenty of time to debate the pros and cons. Becoming a protectorate of Nedernesia and officially dropping the overseas territory status from Pohjanmaa would be a huge political step for the Dune Sea. Many argue that this would provide massive funding, huge amounts of foreign investment as well as increased security. Others are concerned about local independence. Mbonambi has said that his plan for a Nedernesian protectorate status would ensure full local autonomy and budget control. His government is currently revising a final draft for public review later this month.

» Small towns on the border with Nobatia experienced unexpected power cuts earlier this month when the neighbouring country's power provider initiated 'load shedding', or rolling blackouts, due to lack of power generation capacity. Some towns on the border with Nobatia import power and rely on Nobatian infrastructure for their electricity consumption. Eskom, the Nedernesian energy company that handles power generation and distribution in the Dune Sea, said that it wants to ensure all Dune Sea towns and settlements have reliable power sources from a domestic source. Currently, however, Eskom's priority is to get all human settlements connected to power. Those that already have it, even if unreliable, will have to wait for significant changes.
 

Nedernesië

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Referendum Set for 17,18 and 19 April

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Kabelo Mbonambi, Chief Executive Officer of the Sandhavn Metropolitan Council, celebrates the successful vote to bring forth the territorial status referendum.

Sandhavn- Kabelo Mbonambi is celebrating today along with members of his United Front Alliance (UNIFRA) party as they easily achieved the simple majority required in the Sandhavn Metro Council to bring forth a vote on the future political status of the Dune Sea. Trapped in an uncertain legal limbo for nearly thirty years after the Pohjanmaan colony lost virtually all administrative and financial assistance from the mother country, Mbonambi has been a vocal advocate for the Dune Sea to become a protectorate of the Commonwealth of Nedernesia in order to ensure a bright economic future alongside better security for the people. The vote will take place over three days due to the logistical challenges posed by the size of the Dune Sea and poor road connections between isolated villages and towns.

The Dune Sea has been reliant on foreign direct investment, mostly from Nedernesian businesses, in the form of factory openings, beach and safari tourism and remittances sent from the Dune Sea diaspora, many of whom live and work in Natal and Nedernesia. Mbonambi and UNIFRA are of the view that the limbo cannot continue especially as They purport, however, that the Dune Sea is not ready or viable to become a fully independent state and such a sudden move to full sovereignty would almost surely result in economic and social catastrophe. Their solution calls for protectorate status as a 'Crown Land' of Nedernesia, which would be responsible for defence and foreign relations, leaving internal affairs up to locally elected bodies. Becoming a Crown Land would increase dramatically the number of businesses and individuals who would invest in the territory, not just from Nedernesia but from across the globe.

Jennifer Petersen of Oeconomica Mundi, a think tank in Salen, said, 'at present we mostly see Nedernesian and Natalian firms investing in the Dune Sea. Natalians have close geographical and cultural ties so it's a natural choice. Nedernesians are a pragmatic bunch and are known for having a higher risk appetite than most Gallo-Germanian investors. They entered the market three decades ago sensing an opportunity to fill the vacuum that Pohjanmaa left. It turned out to be a hugely successful gamble with the Dune Sea even using Nedernesian guilders as its currency. If the Dune Sea officially becomes a Crown Land of Nedernesia, investors and companies from around the world will be more comfortable investing there as they know that Nedernesian standards for business, contract law, regulations, finances, etc would be applied. It could really be a game changer not just for the Dune Sea, but for wider Himyar.'

Opponents to protectorate status are spread out among various smaller political parties that have been unable to unite together over unrelated disputes and differences. Some accuse Nedernesia of orchestrating support for the referendum. The Gazette reached out to Overseas Relations and Cooperation Nedernesia, which said it 'does not interfere in the democratic processes of foreign entities'.

The referendum will appear on the ballot as so:

Shall the Dune Sea become a protectorate and 'Crown Land' of the Commonwealth of Nedernesia?


There are concerns that rural communities isolated in the southern dessert and northern serengeti may have difficulty accessing polling stations. UNIFRA has said that all towns will have polling stations and villagers will be provided with transport to and from polling stations. In what form the transport will be or, more importantly, how it will be financed, will be announced 'in due course' according to a UNIFRA spokesperson.

Other Headlines
» Tjamuaha Local Police and Outback Police were ambushed last night by gangs at a checkpoint along the N1 road leading north out of the city into the serengeti. Local Police have reported three dead and Outback Police five wounded after the checkpoint was overrun by men driving pikkies (pick-ups) with high calibre machine guns mounted on the backs. Unlike most raids, this one involved at least three different gangs, which is unusual. The two police forces called in for backup and a nearby Nedernesian Expeditionary Force mechanised infantry patrol arrived on scene within 15 minutes and was able to disperse the gangs.

» Himyari Development Bank says Dune Sea could sea GDP growth in double digits if the territory votes in favour of Nedernesian protectorate status. The bank, founded last year with a grant of half a trillion Nedernesian guilders from the Nedernesian government, says protectorate status will cement gains made in the past years in terms of infrastructure improvements and would also bring in high levels of foreign direct investment leading to 'massive' job creation across the territory, not just in Sandhavn. The HDB has yet to disperse loans outside the Dune Sea despite being set up to serve all of Himyar. Analysts hope that successful loan disbursements will attract more pan-Himyari interest in the bank's offerings, both for potential borrowing and lending states.

» Eskom chooses natural gas for new power station on southern coast and hopes to break ground on the facility next month. The sorely needed facility is promised to end rolling blackouts in Sandhavn as well as provide enough power to shore up the grid in the southern half of the territory. It could also limit the reliance in importing power from neighbouring Natal, which has power generation problems of its own. The Nedernesian construction firm Ten Brinke Groep was chosen as chief constructor of the power station, which will use 99% local and Himyari labour.
 
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Nedernesië

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News from The Dune Sea and Himyar -

Protectorate! The Dune Seas has Spoken!

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Kabelo Mbonambi, Chief Executive Officer of the Sandhavn Metropolitan Council.

Sandhavn- The people of the Dune Sea voted 17-19 April, from the bustling streets of Sandhavn, across the southern dunes and into the villages of the northern savannah. They chose overwhelmingly to join Nedernesia and become an official protectorate of that country, throwing off the shackles of poverty brought on by the nearly 30 years of political limbo status after Pohjanmaa lost interest in its colony and absconded. Results of the vote took many days to count as ballot boxes needed to be collected and secured from many remote villages.

The referendum appeared on the ballot as so:

Shall the Dune Sea become a protectorate and 'Crown Land' of the Commonwealth of Nedernesia?

A resounding 63 per cent of voters voted 'yes'. The ballot was available in all local languages as well as Nedernesian and Austwegian.

The Dune Sea will officially become a protectorate, or 'Crown Land' of Nedernesia on 1 June 2020. A viceroy will be appointed by HSH Prince Lamberti to represent the Crown in Sandhavn, although the viceroy will have no formal powers. The Dune Sea will maintain near full autonomy on domestic matters. The organisation of the government agencies and democratic institutions will be restructured to come into line with Nedernesian bureaucratic standards. An 'army of bureaucrats' from Vrijpoort is expected to arrive in the protectorate over the coming weeks to assist with the restructuring of the civil service.

The three days of voting were not a complete success, however. Multiple polling stations in rural areas were attacked by drug smuggling gangs despite Outback Police presence. The outskirts of the city of Tjamuaha had 17 violent attacks on polling stations, which were repelled by Local and Outback Police as well as the Royal Nedernesian Expeditionary Force.

Sandhavn and Caroline Amaliestad reported no such incidences.

Other Headlines
» Immigration and Checkpoints Authority Nedernesia
will take over border defence and exit and entry controls in the Dune Sea come 1 June when protectorate status becomes official. The agency has already begun recruiting locals to train them and is setting aside large sums of money for modernised border checkpoints with Natal, Azraq and Port Stanley, as well as Sandhavn International Airport. Parts of the border will also be fenced to help make smuggling more difficult, although a complete fencing of the border has been deemed 'unfeasible'.

» Universal Parcel Service of Nedernesia, the world's largest air cargo company, has announced plans to expand its cargo hub at Sandhavn International Airport to better serve the growing Himyari market. It plans to operate a number of smaller aircraft in Natal which will fly to Sandhavn where their cargo will be transferred to larger aircraft for routes onward to Scania, Gallo-Germania, Westernesse and Toyou. After Vrijpoort and Trier, Sandhavn will be UPS' third-largest hub and employs thousands of locals.
 

Nedernesië

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News from The Dune Sea and Himyar -

News in Brief

  • Sandhavn Metro Council passes law to restructure domestic government of entire Dune Sea. From 1 June, the date the Dune Sea becomes an Overseas Crown Land of Nedernesia, the Metro Council will cease to exist. In its place will be the new Dune Sea Diet, which will hold elections later this year. Kabelo Mbonambi, current Chief Executive of the Metro Council, will remain in his role in a caretaker capacity until elections are held.

  • The terrorist organisation Hames has claimed responsibility for two further attacks this week after their slaughtering of 15 civilian radio and television workers. An Outback Police checkpoint north of the city of Tjamuaha was hit by mortar fire before being overrun by heavily armed and organised Hames commandos. RNEF* responded to the incident with ground units and a helicopter and were able to neutralise two armoured vehicles. Four Outback Police were killed in the attack, seven Hames terrorists and one civilian caught in the crossfire also died. The other attack occurred 15km south of the northeast border with Azraq when a civilian caravan of trucks carrying goods for trade was raided. The terrorists killed the two drivers and stole various goods including radio equipment and mobile phones. Nedernesian intelligence services believe that the attack was deliberate and Hames knew of the cargo before carrying out the raid.

  • Both the business community in the Dune Sea and their many Nedernesian investors are becoming increasingly concerned over increased violence targeting civilians. What was once mostly gang violence restricted to those who partook in the trade of drugs and weapons has now developed into open attacks on businesses and civilians. The Dune Sea-Nedernesia Business Association, based in Sandhavn, has called on both the local Dune Sea government and Vrijpoort to do more to counter Hames and other gangs. 'Bring in more troops, spies, bomb their camps - anything to allow people and commerce to function properly', an association member said on the radio.

  • Outback Police and the newly-formed Preventive Security Service have seen a surge in applications as young men and women of the Dune Sea appear eager to join the fight against Hames and other gangs. Kabelo Mbonambi, Chief Executive, said 'this is proof that our bright young people see a future for themselves here. Gone are the days where emigrating to Nedernesia or Natal was the only solution. We must join together to fight against those who wish to do our homeland harm!'

  • With at least 20,000 RNEF soldiers stationed and operating in the Dune Sea and likely more on the way, RNEF Himyar Command has announced that a new Army Radio radio station will be launched in the Dune Sea within a matter of days. The radio station will be publicly broadcast on standard FM frequencies in Nedernesian and Shola, the primary local Dune Sea language. News, weather, traffic, educational programmes and comedy shows will all appear on the schedule. The primary audience is intended to be RNEF troops, Outback Police and Local Police, but RNEF also expects large portions of the Dune Sea population to tune in and enjoy the high quality broadcasts. Army Radio will initially be available in Sandhavn, Tjamuaha and Caroline Amaliestad. The N1 road that connects the three cities will also have coverage by the end of the summer. The first broadcast will be next week.
*RNEF = Royal Nedernesian Expeditionary Force (Ground, Sky, Admiralty - collective reference)
 
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