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Judge Assengai

Judge Kwame Assengai, in 2116

The Pan-African Judges police the areas of the continent that fall under the Pan-African Compromise: simply, the less powerful cities and countries of the continent. Crimes they dealt with included slave-trading and poaching, the latter as Pan-Africa's shattered biosphere was reliant on 'farming' clone animals long-term. [1] The judiciary was based out of Siwa, with mission control stations in Bangui (Central African Republic), Chad, and Tibesti mountains.

Many places even there refuse to acknowledge their jurisdiction and they are legally barred from entering places outside the Compromise. In the communist People's Republic of Freedonia, a Pan-African Judge could be shot as a spy.[2]


HistoryEdit

The force was formed after the Credit Wars, as part of the sop to get non-African megacities to stand down.

In 2114, the Pan-African Judge hierarchy attended the Hondo conference about Judgement Day.

No time for debate

Judge Sadiq deals with a perp.

In 2116, Justice Patrol 8 - commander Kwame Assengai, Rashid el Sadiq, communist Adam Smith, caucasian Kit Rothman, and Brit-Cit transfer Becky Steel - tracked the poacher James Van Buesen to Freedonia. The communist government had made Van Buesen a "People's Deputy" in exchange for money, and he tortured the patrol before leaving them to die. After escaping, Patrol 8 tracked down Van Buesen and wiped out most of his gang; the villain himself escaped only to be killed by rivals. [3]

When the global InterDep agency began pushing for more concessions and active involvement in the megacities, the Pan-African judiciary were in favour. Unknown to the Judges, the corrupted InterDep had triggered a violent war between factions in the Afrikaner Townships around the Kenyetta Sea. [4]

In 2117, the Pan-African Judges were one of the multiple judicial forces that tried to get access to Tek-Judge Eckhart in Antarctica. Judge Daktari was killed in battle with Hondo City's Judge Shojo. [5]

Yoruba war

Judges wiped out by Shango, 2117

Later that year, the Yoruba gods returned to Africa and lay waste to entire cities over slights. When the Judges arrested Esu in the city of Ife, believing him a troublemaking drunk, he devastated the city and led his pantheon in a rampage across Sub-Saharan Africa (abducting children to worship them) before heading east to Egypt, abandoning the areas to their witches. The Pan-African Judge forces had united with Simba City's army in a counterstrike but were devastated by the might of the god Shango, in possession of Judge Assegai's body; various control stations followed. As Esu had used magic to cut communications, the outside world was unaware of the destruction

Steel and Sadiq had been on patrol - Justice Department had ordered Sadiq to trade Steel to slavers, as an unwitting decoy so they could be tracked - and missed the battle, leaving them in a position to retaliate. They competed with the gods in a series of trials and failed, but were able to awaken Assengai's consciousness. Out of fear of the mortal wielding Shango's powers, the gods retreated. [6]

EquipmentEdit

Pan-African lawmasters

In the 2110s, the Judges rode armoured hoverbikes with a lion-head frontpiece - as with Mega-City One, they were called Lawmasters.[7] Firearms were oversized sidearms with devastatingly powerful bullets.

In extreme cases, the Judges had battle-tanks.

DepictionEdit

The concept of a Pan-African Judge first turned up in a poster for the 1988 Judge Dredd Mega-Special drawn by Brendan McCarthy: the text said they had the hardest job of any Judge, "policing a society that mixes centuries' old tribal law and customs with high 22nd century technology. Applicants chosen for linguistic and diplomatic skills."

Dredd's World poster

The Dredd's World poster, McCarthy's Judge design between Sov and Hondo.

After a single cameo in Judgement Day, the Judges' look was replaced by a Siku design in 1993 - a text feature in Megazine (Vol.2) #55 claimed those Judges had been Simba City Judges instead (which would later be contradicted in strip). [8] In an article in Judge Dredd Megazine #238, Siku said he got the job after criticising the McCarthy design as too stereotyped: "I asked, why do people think all Africans run around in animal prints? [Editor] Dave Bishop challenged me to come up with something better."

In the same article, Siku referred to Paul Cornell's first Pan African script as being well researched but flawed in its approach - "imperialism, jungle safaris, that's the way Westerners see Africa". (The second Pan African strip was written by Siku alone and had Yoruba gods attacking the continent.) He did enjoy having a "token white guy" Judge. Cornell himself referred to his work as "a trudge", feeling it had too many competing ideas in one story and that his dialogue was "overblown"; he was happy, however, with his decision to deliberately show Islam and a Muslim Judge, as he felt the Judge Dredd universe was "a little too disconnected from the real world" by turning all the world's religions into the worship of Grud.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Megazine 2.45
  2. Megazine 2.45
  3. Pan-African Judges 6 episodes (Megs 2.44 to 2.49)
  4. Wetworks
  5. "Crusade": progs 928 to 937
  6. Megazine 3.06 to 3.13: "Fever of the Gods"
  7. Megazine 3.06
  8. Inquisition feature, Megazine 2.55
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