|Flag of Rehochipe|
|Motto: Gens et ma Gauche|
|Official Language(s)||Celdonian, Chipean, Rehoi, Ayahalpa, Edile|
|Population||63 million (cap)|
|NS Sunset XML|
Rehochipe is a large, landlocked nation on the continent of Alçaera. It is bounded to the north by the Surag Desert and to the west by the Atelskrust Mountains. Its climate is principally arid subtropical, although there is higher rainfall in the various mountainous areas (notably the Edile Hills). Two major rivers, the Krata and the Veer, pass through the nation to drain into the vast Ibwe Pan at the edges of the Surag.
The original inhabitants of Rehochipe were the hunter-gatherer Ayahalpa. Nomadic traders, the Rehoi in the Atelskrust margin and the Chipeans in the south and east, populated much of the area but did not begin to settle until the colonisation of the land by Celdonia. More recently, immigration from Aperin, (notably from Xikuang) and refugee movements from West Hackney and Arcnow has produced significant minority populations. Rehochipe has an open-borders policy towards its allies, which has greatly encouraged these movements. The majority of Rehochipe's population live in or near cities, but there are a wide scattering of rural communities, including some extremely isolated ones.
Rehochipe began its formal existence as the Protectorate of Wafootooland, a land-grab by Celdonia, but in the aftermath of Celdonia's communist revolution it was swiftly granted independence as the Veer Republic. Originally conceived as a power-sharing exercise between the three major ethnic groups, by the early 50s intermarriage was rendering these distinctions increasingly moot and the Community of Rehochipe was declared. The exception to the rule, the Mantis Ayahalpa tribe of eastern Rehochipe, elected for semi-independence in order to preserve its traditional semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer way of life; this led to the formation of the Ayahalpa Autonomous Zone.
Rehochipe is a vigorous democracy, with a strong focus on consensus and discussion; party politics is not a strong feature (there is only one organised party, and it has never gained very much influence). The five Ministry Heads and the Head of State, along with other senior positions, are directly elected by the populace; local government elects representatives to vote in the quinquates, and determines local policy by a combination of referenda and elected officials.
Government is broadly divided into five interrelated Ministries of inequal size; The Head of State holds less official power than any of these ministerial heads.
The Ministry of Being Nice
The MoBN has responsibility for social issues (welfare, health, crime) and the environment.
Rehochipe has virtually nonexistent crime, and doesn't have a conventional police force - a high proportion of Rehochipeans hold community officer badges and aikido training, however, and act as unarmed police when the need dictates. Prostitution and most recreational drugs are legal and regulated.
The environment is a high priority, and a central reason why Rehochipe avoided large-scale industrialisation. Large areas of Rehochipe's land are national parks, and hunting outside these has to be on foot and without benefit of guns. Vast amounts of open desert space have made solar power a genuine prospect. Petrochemical-burning personal vehicles are banned in urban centres, leading to a high reliance on public transport, horses and cycles. There are huge efforts being made on waste-reduction and recycling.
The current Minister is Elsepeth R. Nibbling.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry
Rehochipe is a non-capitalist economy, operating a homebrewed system nicknamed 'tranquil economics', which gives relatively strong independence to individual communes but makes all ultimately members of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, unless they're a one-man operation in name and effect and desire to be exempt. Rehochipe never underwent a period of heavy industrialisation, and its land makes it unsuitable for heavy agriculture without dire environmental consequences; it relies largely on small, specialised industries, tourism and culture, although a few cash crops and some iron mining supplement this. The MoBN is also responsible for infrastructure issues.
The current Minister is Kamquin Dakar.
The Ministry of Personal Development
The MoPD deals with education and religious affairs. All education in Rehochipe is free and noncompulsory; there is no national curriculum, and a great deal of choice is offered between institutions. Particularly at the primary level, most educators have teaching as a second job.
Rehochipe's universities have had a hard time competing with the strong traditional practise of sending students overseas, particularly to Celdonia. However, it has one world-class university in the form of Culbarbis, and competitors Gabran and Bakrata are not far behind.
Rehochipean religion has a strong leaning against organised and heirarchical religions, giving them no special taxation status and looking sternly on the conversion of minors. However, it strongly encourages personal faith, with comparative religion high among academic priorities, and builds a great many places of worship. Approximately half of all adult Rehochipeans identify as religious; the largest religion is Daoism, representing about 15% of the population; the animist Ayahalpa and polytheist Gdana faiths, Universalist Unitarianism (largely Deist), and Sufism also have followings over 1 million.
The current Minister is Thackeray Sung.
The Ministry of Defensive Incapacitation
...or, strictly speaking, Defensive Incapacitation, Aikido and Productive Dialogue. Rehochipe's constitution forbids aggressive war, and only allows counterinvasion if the Minister is on the front line of the first attack; it nonetheless has a medium-sized and extremely well-trained military. Involuntary conscription is also constitutionally forbidden, and no conflict can be entered into without a three-quarters Quinquate majority. Rehochipe nonetheless tends to consider itself committed to aiding its allies in CACE if they are the victims of aggression.
There is a strong emphasis on critical ethical thought at every level of command, and soldiers are actively encouraged to refuse direct orders if they cannot condone them. Before being allowed to so much as touch a gun, soldiers must undergo extensive training in unarmed and close-quarters combat, almost invariably with a strong bias towards incapacitating martial arts. (It is all but impossible to rise to any position of prominence within the Ministry without at least being competent at aikido). Both women and men are admitted in all roles, though there are a handful of exclusively male or female batallions.
The military is organised into two major branches, the First Army and the Special Forces, the latter including the Ranger Corps responsible for patrolling Rehochipe's vast wildernesses (particularly the borders with Arcnow and West Hackney). Being landlocked, Rehochipe has no navy to speak of (except a river patrols brigade) and no real airforce except for various forms of troop transport. It therefore would rely heavily on the much larger militaries of its allies if it were ever involved in open warfare - something that has never happened in the nation's hisory.
The current Minister is Sensei Amadeus Sable, though equally significant is former Minister and Special Liason to the UN, Nusku Capleton.
The Ministry of Wu-Wei
The MoWW, Rehochipe's smallest Ministry, is responsible for arts and leisure as well as being a civil liberties watchdog; it is a crucial factor in reconciling Rehochipe's high priority on personal freedoms with its strong emphasis on social and community issues. It is also largely responsible for Rehochipe's flourishing arts and culture scene, centred around the second city Bakrata.
At present, the Ministerial position is shared by PDK Orthmann and Retswe Agono, as is standard when a Ministerial election is sufficiently close.