The war with the Draconis Combine, like the entire Civil War, was obviously drawing to a close. Coordinator Kurita had more resources to draw upon than either the Federated Suns or the Lyran Alliance, but he had just ended a costly war against the Ghost Dears, and as much as his people wanted vengeance for Duke James Sandoval's assault into the Combine, they simply could not afford another lengthy war.
Of course, that war with the Federated Suns came to a startling end in mid-March, following the loss of the final FedSuns-held world within the Draconis Combine. Duke Tancred Sandoval bartered a deal with Coordinator Kurita on the 17th of March that ended hostilities within the Federated Suns. The Combine would keep Breed and Kesai—worlds they already rather securely held—while withdrawing from the other Federated Suns worlds they were contesting. Further, both sides would repatriate all POWs taken during the course of the war.
While that agreement did not give the Dragon the honor of taking a regional capital like Duke James Sandoval's troops had done, it did give the Combine a victory that it could afford. And it recognized that the Federated Suns was in the wrong. In addition to the sound military defeats the DCMS troops had handed the vaunted soldiers of the Federated Suns, this agreement proved ultimately satisfactory to the people of the Draconis Combine, at least after the Coordinator publicly announced victory within the Federated Suns.
The postscript to this agreement is that today, more than a year and a half later, both sides continue to claim that there are still POWs being held by the other. Of course, with all of the confusion of the time, only the most basic of records were kept in most cases. At the same time, commanders and soldiers on both sides were gripped by extreme emotions. Scores of tales have surfaced since the end of that war of mass murders and other atrocities committed by both sides.
Some officers allegedly shot hundreds of prisoners at a time, burying them in mass graves, while others shipped them off to remote corners of their worlds to be interned in unofficial prison camps.
Investigators on both sides of the border have been studying these claims for months now, but so far have turned up little actual evidence to support these claims. On the other hand, journalists and some multi-national non-governmental organizations, like the Interstellar Red Cross, have received what they consider credible leads substantiating these claims. Both governments will continue to delve into these claims, but at the same time, answers will undoubtedly not be forthcoming for some time yet.
Was this article helpful?