The West Africa civil war was an armed conflict of the Horizon universe, which broke out in October 14, 2021. The war was fought across several countries, and saw military intervention from the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, becoming the first military invasion of the latter since World War II.
Political, economical and religious troubles created unstability across the whole continent, combined with the aftermath of the Arab Spring and the 2015 war in East Africa. In the early stages of the war, the Japanese Maritime Defense Force worked with the British Navy to evacuate civilians from the region.
Summary of events
Prelude to conflict
One of the main causes of the Japanese intervention was a transport ship of the Maritime Defense Force, which was transporting a number of F-3C-RN aircraft to the city of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom. The vessel had set sail from Yokosuka in September 2021, and its naval route included stops at ports in Singapore and the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
The conflict broke out in the Republic of Gabon, 600 kilometers west of Equatorial Guinea. In the twelfth day of tensions in the region, British intelligence obtained information on the rise of tensions, and suggested Japan to prepare a joint fleet for an emergency scenario. The following day, twelve pilots from the Japanese navy's 11th Aviation Group were given a briefing on the situation. The Japanese government urged all citizens on the country to leave immediately.
Nigerian coup d'etat
The fourteenth day of monitoring saw the outbreak of open war in Gabon. Military vehicles and troops filled the streets, taking over major institutions, closing down airports and expelling all international news agencies from the country. The ruling government was taken down in a coup d'état, and a politician favored by the military assumed control as head of state, who later proclaimed in a press conference that his goal was to establish a democratic regime.
The Blatnoi crime syndicate was suspected to be responsible for the coup in the immediate aftermath of the uprising. However, the events in Gabon were a cover for a brutal crackdown on opposition in Abuja, Nigeria, which saw the deaths of various nationals and foreigners. In the midst of the chaos, several foreigners barricaded themselves at the British embassy in Lagos, shortly after ambassadors had fled the country.
The United States and the UK carried out a joint operation to open an escape route for the survivors at Lagos, cooperating with local armed groups. A force of ten British soldiers stormed the embassy and freed the civilians before escaping to the countryside, where they were evacuated by a pair of UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. The situation had mostly calmed down by sunset, but the embassy was not rescued after the siege.
Cooperation between Britain and Japan
The British war efforts were hindered by several NATO soldiers and national staff trapped in West Africa, who were under threat of being taken as hostages by the Nigerian forces. Assistance from the United States was rendered impossible by the inability of deploying aircraft from carriers in the Arabian Sea, and forces from the UK's Duke of Edinburgh-class aircraft carrier would take too long to arrive to the region. As a last request, they requested aid to Japan.
Japan responded by covertly dispatching a squadron of Shinden IIs to Nigeria. The heads of state of both countries met and announced a false plan to liberate a British foreign officer from the Japanese embassy in the country to hide the F-3s' deployment. Serving as escorts for SH-60K and UH-60Js, the Shindens attacked enemy forces in Lagos while the helicopters rescued the trapped NATO troops; as Lagos is not landlocked, the aircraft easily retreated to a fleet in the sea. The whole operation was televised by CNN, who could not identify the F-3s.
Operation Arrow of God
In the dawn of October 15, the Japanese-British fleet carried out combat actions to rescue British nationals trapped in Lagos. The actions were named "Operation Arrow of God", after a 1964 novel by Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe.
At 6:30AM, two F-3Bs from the British Navy and team of MCH-101, a UH-60J and SH-60K helicopters carrying rescue teams launched and travelled to the city; the SH-60s were tasked with civilian recovery, while the Blackhawks were to provide fire support and the MCH-101 stayed behind to assist in an emergency. The gunships circled the Foreign office and opened fire, causing the Nigerian soldiers to flee.
When the Nigerian defensive line collapsed, the UH-60Js landed in front of the building and deployed Special Air Service troops, who stormed the compound. After heavy fighting against enemy troops, the SAS rescued the British nationals and ran 30 meters to the helicopters awaiting them. The joint force easily overpowered the poorly equipped Nigerian army and the mission was a success; the only casualty in the event was a man injured by shrapnel, who nonetheless survived the action.