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The Wall is Falling


Voodoo Nova
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In the Novaki protectorate regions of Africa, roads and rail lines were atrocious, schools and hospitals were crumbling, housing projects were boarded up and crime was high. Shakir, working with the protectorate's local leadership, was developing a plan designed to rebuild the Central-African region with new and improved roads, rebuilt roads, reconstructed schools, hospitals, homes and prisons. Shakir planned on boosting the economy by flooding it with jobs, money and stability. Novakian construction companies would open up headquarters in Kinshasa, Der es Salaam, Brazzaville, Bujumbura and Kigali. They would open up jobs to locals at wages and benefits comparable to Novak proper. A plan was developed to have companies work together on these projects in a joint venture funded by the government. Shakir's plan was similar to the Marshall Plan from decades ago. It had several goals:

1. Rebuild roads, railways and waterway transportation systems

2. Renovate, rebuild and build new primary and secondary schools.

3. Increase the quality of health care in the region by building state of the art hospitals and clinics.

4. Increase the quality of emergency services in rural areas and major cities.

5. Increase the quality of government housing.

6. Provide jobs to local residents through construction, manufacturing and service jobs.

7. Develop, create, expand and improve higher education institutions.

8. Centralize the banking system and provide growth for business ventures.

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Shakir, becoming less involved, ended up letting the government, especially the Commissar of State Security Zayd Rasul and Commissar of State Control Hikmat Murad, do as they please. Rasul and Murad earned a reputation during times of war and peace as a ruthless duo that complemented each other's abilities. When a group of 50 college-aged students protested in Somalia regarding the State's abuse of prisoners, Murad ordered the protesters gassed with sleeping gas. Once the students were gassed, Rasul ordered the military to truck them to a labor camp on the edge of the Empty Quarter.

Rasul had grown fond of using the military as his own personal tool. However, the military was becoming frequently annoyed when Rasul and Murad chose to use their political influence and agency resources to coerce their personnel, corrupting them to support them over their superior officers. Rasul had the largest budget in the government, more than the military. The military had received pay cuts several times due to the need to cut spending in the budget, yet what gave Marshal Soliman the hatred he held for Rasul and Murad was the cut in the defense budget went straight to their agencies.

Marshal Soliman wanted the SSRN to become better. He was not a communist in private thought, but to avoid being removed from his position he maintained the ideology in public conversation and action. He had done this to keep him and his family safe, but now he was in a position to do something; To change Novak's own history and the course of its path in the world. He would officially make Novak the world power it was meant to be.

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Shakir's goals for the protectorate region were well on their way to being accomplish. Highways were being built in record times, and waterways were being designed to follow already established waterways. Companies hired many unemployed citizens of the region, resulting in lowered unemployment and steady work. Seasonal jobs were no longer the majority of jobs available. Unemployment amongst men 16 and over was falling to single digit numbers for the first time in decades; amongst women was falling below 20%.

As schools, hospitals, police stations and clinics were being built, local governments began hiring qualified and educated teachers, education officials and doctors. Streets were becoming more pleasant to walk down as neighborhoods became safe once again. Kids were able to enjoy living at home as police began patrolling the streets. Cities were becoming a better place to live in, drawing in people who were looking for a better life from the rural areas. The rural areas were being developed with new housing, removing the shack cities that dotted the landscape along the rivers.

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Soliman found it was time to take control. He had the backing of the Armed Forces of Novak. The Admiral and the Chief Marshal of Aviation were supporting him in his efforts. The military of Novak, loyal to the country and not the government, would follow their commanders. Many of the old guard officers served under the previous Republic government and remember the prosperity of the nation.

Since the Soviet government took over, the bureaucracy has become too much, the military has become underfunded, the Peoples Council has become corrupted. It has allowed the free reign of power, with the backing of the Party. Soliman had become tired of it. He had the support of the military, yet he needed the support of specific people as well. He had worked as a diplomat in Burma and in Asia to help secure basing, and as a strategist in the African and Asian wars. Shakir had a meeting with Soliman once a week to discuss needs of the Army. Soliman would bring along an assistant with a document. Soliman knew the need for violence would exist, but a peaceful departure would be preferred. It would not only legitimize the transfer of power, it would ensure order was maintained in Novak. Shakir had lost the battle before it had begun; without the military, Shakir had no force to back his power up.

Edited by Voodoo Nova
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Higher education was being developed to provide adults with the ability to earn their GED at adult education centers, and the ability to earn a degree at universities. A number of higher education universities already existed, but they needed funding. Shakir would fund these universities, cutting money from domestic programs to do so. Citizens at home were getting annoyed. The protectorate regions didn't benefit the nation as a whole, yet Shakir wanted to rebuild these regions anyways.

The banking system was being developed by a committee of Novak's banking leaders. It would be set up to be run by the state and provide loans so locals can start businesses. These banks would have initial investments from the government, hoping to have high returns when they become successful. This would be the start of the service sector designed to bring tourism and investment to the region as a whole. After these improvements, unemployment amongst men 16 and older dropped to just above Novak's average unemployment of 4.5%.

The goals for the region were near completion. Everything was set in motion to allow it to continue for years as the region recovered and became a prosperous region for the first time in centuries.

*******

Soliman entered Shakir's office for their weekly meeting. Soliman gave him the weekly report and discussed options for a new Army organization method. Soliman then turned the discussion another way.
"While we are here, I have something else to discuss with you." said Soliman
"What do you wish to discuss?" Shakir asked.
"Your resignation."
Shakir laughed a little bit.
"My resignation? Who are you to suggest such a thing?"
"The man who took the force from which you were able to maintain a hold on your power."
"It seems you have something to learn Soliman."
"What is that?"
"You need to start thinking like a politician."
"I don't need to think like a politician. It's very simple, you are to resign immediately and declare me your successor."
"If I refuse?"
"You'll be killed."
"You better be prepared son, the people won't stand for this."
"I am prepared. The people support the military, and the military supports this proposal."
Soliman motioned his assistant over. Soliman's assistant stood behind him
"You will call the People's Council to an emergency session and resign. You will then name me your successor and state you will retire."
Shakir wished to continue living in Novak, the country he felt he served well. He chose to resign over losing his life and bringing chaos to Novak.

The People's Council was called to an emergency session by Shakir. He was announcing his retirement and Soliman as his successor. The Council was shocked, but accepted his resignation and appointment of his successor. There was a murmur before Soliman stepped up. He discussed his plans for Novak. The reorganization of the military, the reorganization of the government and the growth plans he had for Novak.

Soliman then got behind his new desk in the Palace and spoke to the people of Novak via televised broadcast.

"People of Novak. Tonight, Shakir relinquished his position and appointed me to take his place. As of now, the following things will happen. First, the constitution is hereby suspended and the Peoples Council is hereby terminated until such a time a new one can be written. Second, the Novakian protectorate is hereby incorporated in to the Novakian nation. Thirdly, the military will be recalled from overseas bases back home. Fourthly, we will now be known as the Afro-Arab Novak Republic. Thank you and good night."

Soliman motioned for the camera to turn off. Once it was off, he got up and went to bed.

**Classified**
Overnight, paratroopers were dropped along the new borders of Novak in Africa and Sino-Fighters were landing at airports to aid in the protection of the new territory.

Edited by Voodoo Nova
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