UNITED NATIONS–In a bold gambit hoped to resolve dozens of conflicts around the world, the U.N. announced Monday the establishment of Ethniklashistan, a multinational haven in the West Bank that will serve as a new homeland for Irish Protestants, Hutus, Serbs, and other troubled groups.
"For far too long, these groups have been locked in prolonged strife with their former neighbors, unable to achieve a lasting peace," U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said. "Now that these various peoples have a new homeland where they can find refuge, all the years of fighting and bloodshed can finally be put behind them."
Former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, now presiding over a Serb settlement near the Jordanian border, was optimistic about the future. "All Muslim scum must die," he said. "Death to all enemies of Serbian purity!"
The various groups, transported to Ethniklashistan by a massive U.N. airlift, will share their new homeland with the roughly two million Palestinians and Israeli settlers who currently occupy the region. U.N. officials say the West Bank site was chosen for its centralized location, opportunities for tourism, and comfortable desert climate. These factors, combined with the already diverse cultural, ethnic, and religious composition of the area, offer "a unique opportunity for many international groups to live together in peace."
"This is truly a win-win situation," U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said. "War-ravaged peoples from all over the world finally have a place they can feel safe. And, for the Palestinians and Israelis already there, the presence of additional ethnicities should reduce any pre-existing stresses. Arabs and Jews will enjoy exposure to a glorious, multiethnic stew, and they will, in turn, have the opportunity to lead by example, serving as role models of peaceful coexistence."
Hutu leader Kagabo Ndadaye, who between 1994 and 1996 personally oversaw the machete deaths of more than 10,000 Tutsi Rwandans, echoed the positive outlook. "The glorious Hutu are the one pure race," said Ndadaye, speaking from a Hutu settlement near Hebron while eyeing a nearby Kurdish settlement. "All inferior mongrel peoples shall be put to the blade."
Though hopes are high for Ethniklashistan–a name created by a team of linguists who combined 17 different languages' words for "sanctuary"–the establishment of the new homeland has proven rocky. Of the more than 500,000 people relocated there so far, approximately 97 percent have responded with violent resistance, swearing oaths of eternal vengeance against U.N. volunteers conducting the forced relocations.
Bloodshed also marred the "Festival Of Human Brotherhood," a weeklong, nationwide event celebrating the founding of Ethniklashistan. On Monday, 11 people were killed in a skirmish between Basques and Sikhs near Nablus. The same day, six were killed and dozens injured on the streets of Bethlehem when Somalis and Greek Cypriots exchanged gunfire and grenades.
Dozens of shifting alliances have added to the confusion and chaos. In a pre-dawn border raid Monday, Burmese Karen rebels attacked a Tamil settlement. By late afternoon, the Karens were driven back by the Tamils, who were newly armed with Israeli anti-personnel missiles smuggled into the West Bank by Zionist fundamentalists who had allied themselves–some say only as a temporary ruse–with the Tamils.
On Tuesday, guerrilla fighters made up of an uneasy Palestinian-Papuan alliance attacked an Irish Protestant church near the Golan Heights, killing 121 Irish worshippers with nerve gas before being repelled by a nearby faction of Protestant-sympathizing Zapatista rebels from the Chiapas region of Mexico.
The violence continued that evening, when the severed heads of 20 Chechens were paraded through the streets of Jericho by Azerbaijani extremists. The killings are thought to be in retaliation for rocket attacks by a band of pro-Armenian Chechen rebels, who have thus far evaded Azerbaijani attempts to flush them out of their encampments in the hills with prolonged shelling.
Alarmed by the new nation's growing pains, world leaders have launched a large-scale international-aid effort to help Ethniklashistan get on its feet. Great Britain has pledged 12,000 peacekeeping troops, vowing to "pummel with rubber bullets, tear gas, and billy clubs anyone who dares threaten the Sons of Ulster." China has pledged 40,000 soldiers to supervise the 2,000-plus Tibetan Buddhists relocated to the region. Indonesia, Cambodia, Nigeria, and Afghanistan have also sent troops.
"There is always a period of transition and upheaval in the founding of a new government," President Bush said. "That is why an international humanitarian consortium of nations, including the U.S., France, Russia, Iraq, and North Korea, has pledged $2 trillion in military aid to the new nation. This way, all Ethniklashistanis, regardless of race, color, creed, or economic background, will have equal access to the state-of-the-art ordnance they need to defend themselves and their families during this initial period of instability."
Encouraged by such aid efforts, experts are confident that a lasting peace can soon be established among the rival Ethniklashistani groups.
"When you take that many long-suffering, war-torn groups and put them in the same place, how can you not have peace?" asked former president Jimmy Carter, who will lead talks among the various Ethniklashistani groups. "This hatred cannot possibly last long."