|Commanders and leaders|
Operation Megacat was an operation conducted by the Democratia of New Starland against Shorewell with the aim of ending Shorewelleze suzerainty in Elton, Hibadesh, Leegan, and Picasso. The conflict erupted on 19 July 2016 following a declaration on the Microwiki Forums by Violette Suzuki Akihonaomi, the Grand Protector of New Starland. Though lasting only a day, the conflict had many detrimental impacts on Shoro-Starliner relations, and their future foreign policies.
The conflict was widely criticized by foreign observers, viewing it as a blatant attempt to impose one's own beliefs or ideals on another, in terms of how to run a micronation. New Starland received great backlash from the community for its attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of another state. For many months to come, it was a hurdle and setback in re-establishing any sort of relations or ties between New Starland and many members of the community, most notably Shorewell itself.
Shorewell had formed a Commonwealth shortly after its establishment, with the purpose of uniting other nations that were closely aligned and in good terms under the ruler ship of Sultan Bilal. The Commonwealth nations at the time when this dispute arose were Elton, Hibadesh, Leegan, and Picasso, all of which were co-founded by Sultan Bilal, with their respective leaders being close acquaintances of his. Around this time, a new nation, known as the Kingdom of Verzyo was founded under the leadership of Queen Josephine. The Queen asked the Sultan for assistance in forming a Parliament, a constitution, and a running government for the newly founded nation, something which the Sultan accepted, following some initial hesitance, citing a possible conflict of interest. Suzuki voiced criticism in what she saw was an apparent grab of power by the Sultan, in newly developed nations. Furthermore, relations with the Duchy of Hodiny had deteriorated following a withdrawal of recognition by both parties on 16 July.
Dylan Emborough had previously conferred with Sultan Bilal on the status of the Commonwealth realms, wherein the latter is said to have stated, "Don't expect to ever free them from my grip". This was interpreted by many as evidence as concrete evidence of the tyranny of the Sultan, wherein new underdeveloped nations were being subject to Shorewellese control, with no hope of being fully independent of this subjected influence.
The operation began following a declaration by Violette Akihonaomi proclaiming her intent to liberate the Commonwealth nations of Elton, Hibadesh, Leegan, and Picasso from Shorewellese rule, by granting them back their independence and full sovereign rights. Sultan Bilal disputed the said declaration, by asserting that the aforementioned nations were still legally independent, and had no desire to leave the Commonwealth.
Using unfinished intelligence reports filed by the Communitarian Republic as evidence of Sultan Bilal I's alleged lethal scheme, the operation began on the midnight of 19 July. The State of Conflict (as dubbed by New Starland) was given the code-name Operation MegaCat, a reference to Akihonami's pet cat Lackey. The purpose of MegaCat was officially to make independent the member nations of the Commonwealth of Shorewell, which the intelligence purported to indicate were taken over by Bilal I without consent. The conflict abruptly ended a day later, following a unilateral declaration by New Starland, where it had wrongly presumed Shorewell had collapsed. New Starland asserted that Shorewell had taken such major diplomatic blow, and that it could be safely presumed that the Commonwealth had dissolved.
Shorewell maintained however that the operation was an utter failure, as it had not succeeded in its attempt to remove Elton, Hibadesh, Leegan, and Picasso from the Commonwealth. On the other hand, New Starland and its allies asserted that the operation was a success, at least partially, as seen in a poster which highlights the success of the coalition forces. This claim was made on the basis of a report by the Communitarian National Socialist Republic's intelligence services, where it allegedly had provided vital information regarding the Commonwealth's true purpose to Elton, Hibadesh, Leegan, and Picasso. Later however, it was proven that no such contact had been made, effectively deeming the conflict inconclusive, and a return to the status quo.
Secretly, however, the Operation was a decoy so that Leōcor could push through needed reforms in her own nation without having to wait for the Grand Council to reactivate itself. This backfired tremendously, as the Grand Council accused Akihonaomi of endangering New Starland's honor on a frivolous endeavor, during which all but four citizens openly declared their intent to leave the country. The fallout from the community was also severe, and Akihonaomi intended to close down New Starland permanently on its first anniversary (23 July). However, the change of heart of nearly the entire citizenry to stay staved off the scheduled collapse. The true purpose of the operation was only revealed a month later to Shorewell and the community in large, following which leaders from both Shorewell and New Starland apologized to each other and vowed to make amends.
Nevertheless, such amends never came to fruit until a year later, as Shorewell continued its anti-New Starliner rhetoric, playing a pivotal role in blocking their membership in the Grand Unified Micronational in January of the following year. This operation significantly impacted the landscape of Shoro-Starliner relations, and the relationship between Sultan Bilal and Suzuki Clingsmerth on a personal level. For many months to come, the Sultan mentioned the Operation in a way of disgust, in attempts to undermine her intermicronational standing.
Around April 2017, a breakthrough was made in the relationship between Bilal and Clingsmerth, one that had been marred by conflicts, enmity, and a deep distrust for the other. Both leaders eventually made amends for their past, and vowed to reconcile and work together. Till this day, that new founded trust and respect for the other has been maintained, and both leaders look for a better future for their nations, working in a cooperative and cohesive manner.