The Emirate of the Red Sand, also known as the Red Sand Emirate is an island-nation on Grande Comore, in the former country of Comoros. The nation is named after the nickname of the revolution which led to its creation in 1989, called the Red Sand Revolution.
The former nation of the Comoros was not hit by any nuclear weapons during doomsday, nor did it receive any subsequent radiation. However, contact with Europe, North America, and a majority of Asia was quickly severed. Anxious to understand what happened, Ahmed Abdallah, president of the Comoros at the time, contacted the nearby French island of Mayotte, which could not contact Europe either. News from Africa, however, announced the undergoing of Doomsday.
Following the tracks of many other leaders worldwide, Ahmed Abdallah declared a state of emergency, using the small police and army to maintain control within panic-filled cities. Instability within the nation lingered for many months, but tight control on the people as well as the maintaining of curfews kept the population in line.
By the beginning of 1984, the economic effects of Doomsday were making a severe hit to the state of Comoros. The tiny group of islands largely unemployed, and those employed often in the agricultural business (which had effectively collapsed in terms of overseas trade), the economy began to fall apart. In March, president Abdallah took action, instituting a program to make the nation more self-sufficient as imports grew rarer and rarer. This plan focused on acquiring essential materials such as food, water, and means of building.
In 1985, Abdallah's tight control of the nation began to cause unrest as famine affected more and more people in the country. The plan launched by the president in the previous year proved ineffective; it became commonplace for fights in the street over goods to occur. Abdallah's greatest focus was to get water into the country, taken that its only source was through rainwater. Talks with countries on mainland Africa proved ineffective, as these nations were too unstable to help them out. Madagascar refused as well, citing its own need for the little water it had. Nearby Mayotte also refused. Desperate to create water for the nation, a program worth multiple millions of dollars was launched to create a saltwater filter was launched, but to no avail. This program also had a devastating effect to the already burdened economy.
1986 was another bad year for the Comoros. The government, now facing severe debt, had to deal with inflation as other nations using the Franc produced more and more of the currency, leading to inflation. However, no action to change the currency was taken, fearing that any drastic change could topple the nation into disaster. Instead, Abdallah further supported an isolationist policy, relying on the islands' own resources to keep it afloat. Meanwhile, an estimated 15% of the population died of famine in the nation.
In 1987 and 1988, little changed in the country, though there was hope for change; crops were growing better and better. Nonetheless, resentment for the government's tight control of the population, and the maintaining of a state of emergency meant that the population was not happy with Abdallah and the military/police force.
1989 and the Red Sand Revolution
In 1989, the Comoros was pushed beyond the tipping point following president Abdallah's worst fear: a dry year. Rainfall in 1989 was the lowest in 200 years, and as a result the low levels of water dropped harshly. There was fighting in the streets and total ruckus throughout cities in the nation, and the government could do very little about it. In an attempt to keep the government in power, Abdallah decided to give stable water supplies to his police and military force, taking away a significant portion of the weak water supplies from the people.
The ensuing anger was nationwide and severe. No nation turned to take any action, claiming that they had their own problem. In the heat of the conflict, Mohamed Ahmed, former co-chairman of the nation who was replaced by Abmed Abdallah in 1978, stepped up. In a heated speech spoken to a large crowd in Moroni, the capital, he spoke out against the government.
|“||What you [the government] must learn is that we are like sand in your hand, and the tighter you grip us, the quicker we slip between your fingers.||”|
In his speech, Ahmed went on with his sand analogy, saying that for freedom to occur, the sand must be stained red with the blood of the hand that held it. These words grew popular nationwide, and the term "Red Sand Revolution" was coined.
On July 19, 1989, Ahmed formally called out for the president to step down to allow a new government to be instituted. Abdallah initially refused, but following multiple death threats, he stepped down on June 1 for his own safety (ironically, Abdallah would nonetheless be assassinated the next day by an enraged citizen). Mohamed Ahmed would rise to power the very same day.
Establishment of a New Government
With many promises of quick reform, Mohamed Ahmed was swift in his actions. His first action was the disbandment of a majority of the governmental system, which he compared to tar, which slowed the nation in its tracks, sinking it down to its doom. As a replacement, he established an emirate, and named himself emir under the title Ahmed I.
Following the creation of a one-man-government, Ahmed I officially released claims to the other islands in the former Comoros, instead keeping only Grande Comore for the nation, which he named the Emirate of the Red Sand, after the nickname of his rebellion. According to the emir, the separation caused by inhabiting multiple islands meant that everything had to be light enough to be carried by boat, which was especially harmful taken that the only source of water not from rain was a water source on Grande Comore.
Ahmed I also established a laissez-faire economy, favoring weak control of the flow of goods. However, he strongly controlled the behavior of the people, and kept an absolute state of isolationism. No one was allowed into the country, and no one was allowed out. A few people still living on the other islands were allowed to sell their crops to the Red Sand Emirate, but no contact with anyone outside of the country was allowed.
The main reason behind the success of Ahmed I was his policy on culture. It was his opinion that for a stable government to arise, everyone had to be extremely prideful of their nation. For that reason, he declared the unification of language for all members of the society, and abolished as many cultural variations as possible. By 1990, the country officially spoke Arabic. To this day, of course, many speak other languages - only a third of the population can be considered to speak Arabic as their primary language - but his mandatory learning of Arabic in schools has ensured that most of the population can speak Arabic.
In 1991, Ahmed I decided to launch a program to help fight the problem of water shortages. He had two parts of this plan. The first was the creation of large water-catchers that could contain water in large containers on all the islands of the former Comoros, and then sending out small boats to fetch the water each time it rained. The second part of his plan was realized in what he called the "Hafizah" (transliterations varied), or "Preservation", where he promoted the keeping of smaller families that were more stable. This was a thinly disguised way of keeping the population low, but it worked, and the demand for water remained stable.
Ahmed I's Death and the Rise of Ahmed II
Ahmed I died in 1995 of heart failure, and his son, Abd Al-Ala Ahmed, rose to power as Ahmed II. Ahmed II did very little to the country, claiming that his father had set the nation on the right track and that there was "no reason to change a winning plan". The public was satisfied, and to this day Ahmed II has yet to perform any important change to the nation.
The Emirate of the Red Sand has no standing army, and peace is preserved only through a 500-man police force.
Politics and Society
The political system in the Red Sand Emirate is relatively clear-cut: the emir controls everything. Although generally a weak leader, the emir is entitled to complete control of the nation, its people, and its possessions. Though some have argued in favor of democracy, the emir has maintained himself as absolute leader, arguing that he is the voice of the people, and that even if elections were held, he would still win unanimously. Brief support for democracy rose again at the rise of Ahmed II, but this quick subsided when he proved to be an even more laissez-faire leader. The Emirate of the Red Sand is among the few monarchies worldwide to have a history of weak government.
Propaganda in the Red Sand Emirate is relatively strong. Under Ahmed I's rule, a goal for total nationwide unification was set (and quite nearly achieved, without any controversies), and many of these "One nation, one people" policies remain strong in the nation. Posters on walls bearing slogans such as, "We Are Stronger Together" and "Union Creates Strength" (taken from the motto of Haiti, "L'union fait la force"). Nonetheless, people enjoy relative freedom, their only major right constricted is the right to movement, as it is prohibited to exit the nation (following Ahmed I's policy of isolationism), and only a few are allowed to visit the other islands surrounding the Red Sand Emirate.
Among all the posters seen throughout the nation, the most commonly seen one is the infamous "Do not lose your way" poster, discouraging citizens to try and go off to other countries. This has commonly been recognized as the symbol of Red-Sander propaganda.
Though the new government of the island is better than its predecessor, the Emirate of the Red Sand remains a poor nation. The economy is effectively dominated by fishing and agriculture, and its isolationist policy keeps the movement of goods relatively unchanging. Among concerns in the nation is the lack of materials to build with, which has caused the Red Sand Emirate to rely on other nations for certain materials such as metal.
Due to a rather conservative and inactive government, taxation in the Red Sand Emirate is very low, only at around 2% on all goods. This is mainly directed towards funding the police force, though it is fairly corrupt anyways.
Under Ahmed I's rule, it became a strict policy of the Red Sand Emirate to promote unity, and this has proven to be very successful. All children are taught only Arabic in schools, and all others are officially discouraged.
Though the Red Sand Emirate is in the League of Nations and is applying to enter the Gulf States Union (for religious and cultural reasons primarily), isolationism is strong in the nation. Both emirs of the country have accented that it is necessary to remain isolated from the world, as to avoid international dilemmas, vendettas, and economic downturn. It would appear that this system has done the nation well, and the country is growing at a very stable and conservative pace, with its GDP growing at an estimated 1.2% per year. However, this is enough for the country to sustain itself.