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Republic of Maryland in Africa
Timeline: 1983: Doomsday
Flag Coat of Arms
Flag Coat of Arms
Location of Maryland
Location in Green
Capital
(and largest city)
Harper
Language English
Religion Christianity (85%), Islam (12%), other (3%)
Government Presidential Republic
President
Area 4300 km²
Population 98,000 
Established 2012
Currency West African Franc

The Republic of Maryland in Africa (also know as Maryland, Maryland in Liberia, African Maryland) is a country in former southwest Liberia forming in the years following the collapse of the Revolutionary Republic of Maryland after the interventions of the Ivory Coast following the Ivorian-Liberian border conflict.

History

Pre-Doomsday

The American Colonization Society would first settle the region that would become Maryland in 1834 around Cape Palma. Most of the settlers at this time were freed slaves and free born African Americans from the State of Maryland in a hope that the United States would have a direct trade link with West Africa in the future. On February 12, 1834, the colony was named Maryland-in-Africa.

1838 saw several American colonies in West Africa unite to for the Commonwealth of Liberia, who later declared independence from the USA in 1847. Maryland at this time chose to remain independent of Liberia at this time.

On May 29, 1854, the State of Maryland declared its independence, naming itself Maryland in Liberia, with its capital at Harper. It was also known as the Republic of Maryland. It held the land along the coast between the Grand Cess and San Pedro rivers. It lasted three years as an independent state.

Soon afterward, local tribes, including the Grebo and the Kru, attacked the State of Maryland. Unable to maintain its own defense, Maryland appealed for help to Liberia, its more powerful neighbor. President Roberts of Liberia sent military assistance, and an alliance of Marylanders and Liberian militia troops successfully repelled the local tribesmen. The Republic of Maryland recognized that it could not survive as an independent state, and following a referendum, Maryland was annexed by Liberia on April 6, 1857, becoming known as Maryland County.

Liberia (1857-1983)

see Liberia

Revolutionary Republic of Liberia (1992 - 2012)

see Revolutionary Republic of Liberia

Ivorian-Liberian Border Conflict

The Ivorian-Liberian Border Conflict, also known as the Putu War, began following breakdowns in ceasefire negotiations between RRL ambassador and President Johnstone’s brother, Miki Johnstone, and Delegations from the Democratic Republic of Liberia, (Representing the Federation of Liberia) and Ivorian Troops on behalf of the West African Union.  The President of Monrovia remained neutral in the conflict, hoping to act as a stabiliser in the region. A Monrovian Mission of the Red Cross was established in Harper offering aid to those trying to escape the conflict at the border and north.

War was declared by the Federation of Liberia and WAU on 22 May 2012 following attacks on Liberian border crossings manned by Ivorian Troops, leaving 22 dead and many seriously injured. Ivorians had begun to move into Maryland County from the east and Federation Troops moved south crossing the borders. The WAU ordered a taskforce of 2000 troops from across the union to move to the border regions of the Ivory coast and support, with the Federation of Liberia amassing a force of 1500 Federation troops and Lofan volunteers in Grand Geddeh. Ivorian Troops helping in Bong County were also redeployed to attack the Republic from the west through Sinoe County.

The war would last 13 days but the damage would be severe. Most of the upper leadership of the RRL had been killed in the shelling of the presidential compound and had virtually stripped the nation of all governance.  Fighting would not stop immediately leading to greater damage to infrastructure. The RRL army capitulated and was dissolved by the invading nations with many of the commanders captured awaiting trial for rumoured war crimes.  Among them was Miki Johnstone, brother to the now deceased president, he was captured and sent to the WAU international court in Accra to await trial for war crimes.

The instability was too much for the nation which quickly fell into anarchy. Food was scarce before the war but now famine was unavoidable. The destruction of port facilities also cost the nation many of its fishing vessels further exacerbating the issues in the region.  Infrastructure damage made it difficult to safely travel through the nation. On June 4 2012 the Revolutionary Republic of the ceased to exist.

Joint Mandate of Maryland-in-Africa (2012-2016)

The red cross mission in Harper was at its limit, thousands of people dispersed by the war were sheltered in the city and the food scarcity was further threatening total anarchy.  A council was called to the city by the Monrovian’s on behalf of the League of Nations to discuss the future solution to the now former state of the RRL.  As there was no acting government during these talks, the discussions fell to the Ivorians, Federation and Monrovians.

Delegates from the Federation of Liberia, and the Ivory Coast on behalf of the WAU met with Monrovian Ambassadors in Harper on the June 30 2012 to discuss the current crisis.  Anti-federation sentiments were high after a long propaganda campaign by President Johnstone had weakened the trust of Marylanders towards their northern neighbors. Seen as ‘invaders, rapists and thugs’, their invasion and subsequent occupation of Sinoe County had led to unrest in other areas of the territory.  Similarly Ivorian soldiers were being attacked in the streets by locals who blamed the current crisis on their ‘aggressions’ towards the people of Maryland.  Monrovian officials claimed that their nation was the safest bet to administrate the failed state until a democratic government could be established.  The Ivorian and Federation delegates rejected this claim as the Monrovians did not participate in the war, thus were not in standing to lay claim to the area. Talks were adjourned for a week when news reached the ambassadors of an angry mob outside the Red Cross Headquarters in Harper demanding access to the Federation and Ivorian Ambassadors.

The talks were delayed for a month due to the unrest in Maryland but commenced once again on the 7th August 2012. To prevent any side being considered favored by the League of Nations, the neutral nation of Ghana was asked to host the meetings and delegates from the nations were invited to stay at Osu Castle for the duration of the conference. The conference invitations were also extended to include representatives of the Confederation of Socialist West African Nations. Talks began on August 9 2012 after foreign dignitaries were welcomed into Ghana.

Initial conversations were not well received by either representative from the Federation of Liberia nor Monrovia as both had tried to lay claim to the establishment of a democratic government in the region.  Both argued that they had right and reason to establish a functioning transitional government, with the Federation accusing the Monrovians of reaping the benefit of a war without shedding blood and the Monrovians demanding that the state of Maryland not be offered up to the Federation as a trophy of war when the Monrovians had been spending money on aid to the true victims of the war, the Maryland people.  This stalemate risked overshadowing the future of Maryland with both groups torpedoing the others attempts at finding resolution.  Many aspects of the future of Maryland were considered and voted on by the delegation. Tensions reached an all time high on the third week of negotiations when the border dispute between Monrovia and the Federation risked turning violent. The talks regarding Maryland were suspended while the League of Nations intervened in the dispute over the Gbarpolu Region between Monrovia and the Federation.

Formal talks would not commence again in Accra until September 6, 2012. This time delegates from both Monrovia and the Federation were joined by representatives from Benin and The League of Nations (Representative from Morocco). The Ivorian Delegation was excluded from this round of negotiation as they were perceived as too biased in previous conferences and counterproductive to the goal of peace in the region, they were replaced by representative from Ghana.  Now there was no chance of either side moving to claim bias on the proceedings, as three of the representatives were of neutral stance. The motions were voted on accordingly and the following was set out as the Accra Resolution for the Future Affairs of the State and Peoples of Maryland-in-Africa, 2012, Informally known as The Accra Resolution:

The Accra Resolution (2012)

  1. On the day of the First of October 2012, The Provisional Government of Maryland-in-Africa will be established. (5 Ayes)
    1. The people of Maryland-in-Africa will have the right to choose who may govern them in fair and free elections. (5 Ayes)
      1. Members of the Former Ruling Party will be removed from office and barred from holding public office for life. (5 Ayes)
    2. The provisional government will be assisted by members of the West African Union and the League of Nations in establishing a sound and democratic process in which subsequent elections may occur with transparency and a lack of corruption. (5 Ayes)
    3. The provisional government will not in any way be influenced by outside nations by way of coercion, intimidation, bribery, or corruption. (5 Ayes)
    4. Representatives from the League of Nations and West African Union will meet with the provisional government every two years to review the ongoing resolution and arrange for procedures towards a fair and free democratic election. (5 Ayes)
    5. When the time is appropriate, the representatives for the league of nations and west African union will implement an exit strategy to allow for the self-rule and self-determination of the Peoples of Maryland-in-Africa. (5 Ayes)
  2. Upon review of the following items, the representatives for the League of Nations and West African union will enact the ‘Exit Strategy’ for the Transitional Government of Maryland-in-Africa:
    1. A Great Reduction in Military Capacity in the region, including the disarmament and discharge of any soldiers under the age of 18. (5 Ayes)
      1. During the transitional period, military duties will fall to the League of Nations Peace Corps and West African Union International Aid Unit. (3 Ayes, 2 Nos Representative for The Federation of Liberia, Representative for the Free Port of Monrovia)
        1. The Military duties will exclude peacekeepers from the nation of Cote D’Ivoire (4 Ayes, 1 No Representative for the Federation of Liberia)
        2. The Military duties will exclude peacekeepers from the nation of The Federation of Liberia (4 Ayes, 1 No Representative for the Federation of Liberia)
        3. The Military duties will exclude peacekeepers from the nation of The Free Port of Monrovia (4 Ayes, 1 No; Representative for the Free Port of Monrovia)
    2. An increase in literacy rate and education among girls in the region in line with expectations from the West African index for Development.  (5 Ayes)
    3. An increase in self sufficiency in agriculture and industry in the region in line with the expectations of the West African Index for Development, the International Agricultural Consortium. (5 Ayes)
    4. An increase in healthcare spending in the region in line with expectations from the World Health Organisation and the West African Index for Development. (5 Ayes)
    5. A robust democratic process including the establishment of term restrictions for government officials and the regular process of democratic election in line with the.
      1. The nation of the Free Port of Monrovia may not interfere with internal politics of the nation. This includes but is not limited to;
        1. Dissemination of propaganda.
        2. Coercion of officials.
        3. Bribery.
        4. Acts of Aggression.
        5. Restriction of Aid. (4 Ayes, 1 No; Representative for The Free Port of Monrovia)
      2. The nation of the Federation of Liberia may not interfere with internal politics of the nation. This includes but is not limited to;
        1. Dissemination of propaganda.
        2. Coercion of officials.
        3. Bribery.
        4. Acts of Aggression.
        5. Restriction of Aid. (4 Ayes, 1 No; Representative for The Federation of Liberia)
      3. Failure for compliance with 2.5.1 and 2.5.2 will result in sanctions levied against those involved and possible suspension of membership to the League of Nations and West African Union. (3 Ayes, 2 Nos; representative for The Freeport of Monrovia, Representative for The Federation of Liberia)

3.       The Land Occupied during the Ivorian-Liberian conflict, Namely the Province of Sinoe and the Province of Grand Geddeh, will be ceded to the Federation of Liberia immediately. (4 Ayes, 1 No Representative for The Freeport of Monrovia).

The Following was ratified on September 10, 2012, after much debate and addition of amendments of the resolution by the representatives of Monrovia and Liberia.  From the October 1 a transitional government was sworn into office in Harper, as the Transitional Government of the Republic of Maryland-in-Africa.   

Reaction to the Accra Resolution

People in Maryland were overjoyed to hear the outcome of the peace talks in Accra, many stating that the people can now rest knowing that they may decide for themselves their own path.  A crowd had gathered outside of the Mission of the International Red Cross and Crescent in the city proper and a makeshift stage was erected near the county offices where local leaders were speaking of hope in the coming years for Maryland.  Parties went on into the night and throughout the following days in local townships and cities. 

Others were not so pleased. The Ivorian president swore retaliation in what he believed was a ‘disservice to the lives of the Ivorians lost in the conflict against the rebel sect.’ Troops were amassed on the border and Ivorian ships moved closer to Maryland’s water before an intervention from the high commissioner of the WAU forced a cessation of hostilities.  Similar displays by the federation of Liberia to the north were also quelled as they had ratified the accords, they were tied by their own agreement. 

The president of Monrovia shared his relief at the end to hostilities, promising to continue supporting the people of Maryland until they were ready to support themselves. Some saw this as opportunistic and were wary of the presidents’ intentions, but he further reiterated that the upholding of the Accords was paramount to the success of the region.

Almost immediately, representatives from both Benin and Upper Volta entered the region with aid and workers in tow.  Protests from the Federation and Monrovia were refuted as the WAU agreed that the influence of Benin and Volta was outside the scope of the accords and if the interim government of Maryland would accept the aid, then there is nothing to be done.  Soon the federation and Monrovia turned their heads to their other borders and the threats from Mali and Sierra Leone respectively.

Road to Democracy (2016-2020)

Initial interventions by relief organizations were slow as years of a repressive regime and the subsequent war in the region had left both the people and the infrastructure of the region worse for wear. 

Monrovia continued its efforts through the Red Cross mission in harper to assist the people of Maryland and helped to establish clinics in the region.  A school for nursing was built in Harper and saw a large student body of mostly women.  A series of orphanages for child soldiers who had since been released from service were also established in Monrovia’s name. These were met with scepticism as oppositions within the Federation accused the Monrovians of trying to pollute the children of Maryland with Monrovian ideology. The Monrovians refuted these claims and once again expressed support of the resolutions stating that ‘the children of Maryland have already lost so much innocence, let us not corrupt this innocence further with empty accusations.’ Monrovia continued in providing aid in this role until 2020 the year of the referendum.  Two schools were established in the city of Harper by Monrovia, The Maryland Preparatory School for Girls and the William Tubman Boarding School for boys respectively.  These schools laid the groundwork for other education sites in the country. The first gender mixed school, Harper Polytechnic was opened in 2018.  Monrovia also accepted student from Maryland to study at their universities though many would stay to study at Tubman University.

The Federation restricted in its ability to establish a military presence in the region instead aimed to improve infrastructure.  A railway was to be built between the two nations, as of 2022 the Harper Fishtown line has been constructed, with a border crossing into Grand Geddeh county to be planned and built to expand the line to Zwedru. Similarly, a line on the coast from harper to Greenville city is under construction, expecting completion of the line to be in 2023. Road networks were also greatly improved with a direct road from Harper to Zwedru being constructed and completed in 2021, as well as improvements to the Barclayville road networks and the opening of a coast road between Harper and Grand Cess. Road network improvements are expected to be completed in 2025.  A bus terminal in Harper and Fishtown was built by the Federation to allow for cross country travel. The port of harper was quickly repaired to functionality in 2017 but long-term infrastructure upgrades are planned.  As of 2022 there have been no plans to upgrade the airport at Cape Palmas which is seldom used. 

The representatives of the WAU and LoN moved their peace corps into most major settlements. The main goal of the WAU was to observer the aid in the region and to uphold the Resolution.  The LoN helped to establish a Maryland Police Force and Judicial System.  The new courthouse was built in downtown Harper. A permanent mission of the West African Union was established in the city. The Lon also moved a delegation into the city for their tenure as peacekeepers.  The city of harper underwent massive redevelopment during this time, as so much foreign investment poured into the region.  Plans for a parliamentary assembly building were drawn up by west African architects and construction was underway in 2018, the completion of the parliamentary house was to be completed in 2022. A new church of Harper was erected in the city centre as well as a bank. The old city hall was restored in 2018 and was used as the temporary seat of the interim government until the new site of the assembly was finished.  The interim president also moved into the historic Tubman mansion as a permanent residence and used the old masonic lodge nearby as the cabinet offices after restoration in 2018. The new residences and assembly are due to be moved into in 2022 wherein the masonic lodge and Tubman mansion are to be converted into museums. A memorial park was also commissioned nearby the new assembly complex.

The representatives from Benin and Upper Volta had similar roles in the nation, notably their influence on the regional agriculture. Massive farms were established, and farming communities flourished with the help of the Beninese. Mining was also expanded in the region to help Maryland compete with exports from Monrovia and the Federation.  Their freedom to move and promote their ideals often brushed up against resistance from the Federation and Monrovia however this was not against the resolution. Beninese and Voltaic ‘Charity Rallies’ were common in this time, representatives of the nations would travel into outlying towns and villages with goods, produce and aid hoping to charm the locals, alongside propaganda for the socialist way of life, pamphlets and speeches promoting the ideals that have allowed Benin and Upper Volta to ‘flourish’ with a ‘true west African identity’. These rallies were initially met with skepticism as people remember the RRL claims of similar virtues but the stream of aid into these smaller communities were essential and as such the locals would warm to these events over time. A rally in Harper threatened to turn violent after an altercation between Monrovian aid workers and the Voltaic delegation came close to inciting a riot. From here the WAU politely asked the Beninese and Voltaic representatives to change course in their aid provision. The aid would still be alongside propaganda for the socialist cause but would be less of a spectacle as the rallies were pared back.   

During this time Marylanders had relative peace. The region had begun to establish strong economic infrastructures with their agricultural expansion and mining operations.  Increases in education and healthcare. By 2020, most of the societal systems required for autonomy were in place, the police force and judicial system had been implemented by the LoN and most health systems and educational institutions were in operation.  In 2020 the LoN and WAU agreed to begin the implementation of the exit strategy outlined in Section 2 of the Accra Resolution.   

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