Kemoh Foday

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Kemoh Foday
Foday2.jpeg
Foday pictured at a military rally in 2017.
7th President of Lyoa
Assumed office
February 1, 2012
Vice PresidentAmelia Maluku
Preceded byJoseph Kyundu
Personal details
Born
Kemoh Nakora Foday

(1968-07-20) July 20, 1968 (age 52)
Getie, Lyoa
NationalityLyoan
Political partyRevolutionary United Front
Spouse(s)Alice Foday (m. 1993)
Children2
Alma materChristian University of Getie
ProfessionPolitician
Warlord
Military service
Nickname(s)"Tiger"
AllegianceRevolutionary United Forces
Years of service1999-2003
RankGeneral
Battles/warsFirst Lyoan Civil War

Kemoh Nakora Foday (b. July 27, 1968) is a former warlord and current president of Lyoa. He fought against government forces during the First Lyoan Civil War as one of the main commanders of the Revolutionary United Forces, the predecessor to the Revolutionary United Front party. After the war, he became a politician, serving as the 7th President of Lyoa from 2012 to present. In 2020 he announced that he would not be seeking reelection in the 2021 Lyoan general election. Foday has been the longest-serving democratically-elected president of Lyoa.

Early Life

Foday was born on July 27, 1968 in the eastern town of Getie to Kindu parents. Foday's father was a physician, which inspired his original career path. Upon graduating from high school in 1985, Foday attended the Christian University of Getie to become a doctor. He graduated in 1991 and began a private practice in Kalole.

Early Political Activities

First Lyoan Civil War

Upon the outbreak of the First Lyoan Civil War in 1998, Foday, opposed to then-president Laurent Tulossa reportedly espoused support for the Democratic Army of Lyoa. Near the end of the year, Foday was introduced to Marcil Yantanda, a prominent anti-Tulossa protestor from Yakutu province. Together they began recruiting to launch an armed struggle against Tulossa's government. Both men were influential in their communities, and were able to organize at least 1,000 men to form the Revolutionary United Forces in February of 1999.

The group's initial battlefield success encouraged many others to join, and by the end of 1999, the RUF had almost 30,000 fighters, controlling a significant portion of the south of Lyoa. Foday went on to secure international support for his rebellion, recruiting mercenaries from Paleocacher and Malgax. Foday also was able to convince the government of Creeperopolis to provide the group arms and advisors, which greatly contributed to the RUF's success. By the end of 2000, the RUF controlled nearly 1/3 of Lyoa. In 2002, the RUF launched Operation Angel, a major offensive which eventually resulted in the capturing of the capital city, Tigera. RUF forces declared themselves to be the government, with Yantanda as president. Fighting continued until a peace agreement was signed in mid-2003.

Post-Civil War

Foday became an influential figure in the new Revolutionary United Front party that was created following the civil war's conclusion. Foday held an important position on the party's leadership council, and worked with Joseph Kyundu's campaigns during the 2006 Lyoan presidential election and the 2009 Lyoan presidential election. Besides holding an important party position, he was not very active in other political areas.

Presidency

In June 2011, Joseph Kyundu announced that he would not be seeking re-election in the upcoming 2012 Lyoan presidential election. Foday decided to announce his candidacy a week after Kyundu made his announcement. In September, Foday was selected as the RUF's nominee for the election. Foday won the election with 61% of the vote, and became president in February 2012.

First Term

Much of Foday's first term was marked with military offensives against residual armed groups fighting in the Northern Lyoa Conflict and the Eastern Lyoa Conflict. In fall of 2012, Foday's government launched the 2012 Northern Lyoa offensive, targetting the Army for the Rescue of Lyoa. The same year, two rebel factions were established, the Free Lyoan Army and the Holy Resistance Movement. Foday's government encouraged the creation of the United Self-Defense Movement in 2014, unifying various pro-government anti-rebel militias across Lyoa.

Foday's first term also marked an increased relationship with Creeperopolis. In 2014, Foday's administration approved the establishment of three new National Mining and Smelting Corporation mines in Northern and Southern Lyoa. Foday also secured several new shipments of small arms from Creeperopolis to update the equipment of the Lyoa National Defense Force.

In summer of 2014, Foday announced that he would run for reelection in the upcoming 2015 Lyoan presidential election. Foday won with 63% of the vote and continued his presidency.

Second Term

Foday's second term began with increased military activity against eastern rebels, in particular the Islamic Front and Allied Republican Forces. Military action dislodged the groups from some of their main bases in the region. In mid-2015, the LNDF and the Institute of Cooperation for the Conservation of Nature launched a joint offensive against the Mai-Mai Nkutu group which pushed it out of Ango National Park.

In 2016, Foday announced that 300 LNDF soldiers would stand trial for crimes of sexual violence and looting against civilians in the eastern provinces. Of these 300, around 210 were convicted and sentenced. Foday's administration also launched a new initiative to help fund the rebuilding of Kalwezi province in areas previously untouched by post-civil war rebuilding programs. In early 2017, southern Lyoa was plagued by an outbreak of Creeperian Malaria. Foday's government provided monetary aid to the areas affected and allowed foreign doctors to help treat the epidemic, which was successfully contained by summer. Foday also negotiated peace with the Lyoan Integrationist Front which enabled them to demobilize and enter politics.

Foday announced he would be running for a third term in the upcoming 2018 Lyoan presidential election. He won by 62% of the vote and began his third term in office.

Third Term

Foday's third term was marked by an increase in armed conflict and violence across the country. His term opened with the First Battle of Kabule in March, where the newly-formed Lyoan Revolutionary Movement briefly captured the city before being driven out by the army. Increased activity from the National Coalition of Lyoan Opposition Forces was also reported throughout 2018. In 2019, ex-LIF fighters began a minor insurrection, which was targeted by Foday's administration as well, and eventually was defeated by 2020. Additionally, at the end of 2019, NCLOF forces began the Battle of Nyabari, which continued into the next year.

In January of 2020, Creeperopolis, Lyoa, El Salvador, and the State of the Church established the Cooperation and Development Coalition, an economic and political alliance. At the end of February, rebel forces in Nyabari were successfully pushed out by joint Creeperian-Lyoan forces. Around this time as well, Foday's administration launched several military offensives against the Islamic Front and Allied Republican Forces, eventually destroying these groups. Around this time, Foday's government began supplying the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Terranihil in order to target Islamist groups in the nation.

In March, the Second Lyoan Civil War erupted. Rebel forces of the previous conflicts unified to oppose the central government, and were able to capture a significant amount of territory. Foreign forces were also involved in the war, notably Terranihil. The nation of New Gandor briefly supported rebel forces but eventually withdrew its support, normalizing relations with Lyoa after a state visit to Tigera.

In April, rebel forces supported by Terranihil launched a major offensive that nearly captured Tigera, but was stopped by Creeperian troops. The war continued until July, when a peace treaty was signed by all the belligerents.

In late July, Foday's administration began a project to normalize relations with Terranihil. An extradition treaty was signed on July 30th, and in late August, several Terranilian militant groups were labeled terrorists by the Lyoan government. Terranihil would later respond by labeling several Lyoan militant groups as terrorists as well, and further cooperation would begin between the two nations. At the same time, a new conflict began in Lyoa, which Foday's government began to fight against.

Foday announced that he would not be seeking reelection in the upcoming 2021 elections, and the RUF selected incumbent defense secretary Alexander Nyarashe to be their candidate in the elections.

Personal Life

Foday was married in 1993 to his then-girlfriend, Alice Nkurunziza. Together, they have two children. Foday resides in the Presidential Palace in Tigera with his family.

See Also