Soldiers of the Arab Socialist Union in Rhea, January 1957
| State of Gandhara
||Arab Socialist Union|
|Commanders and leaders|
| Emir Mohamed al-Mansur|
| Ahmed Assiri
The Gandhari Revolution (Arabic: ثورة الغانذاري, Thawrat al-Gāndhāri) was an armed conflict in the State of Gandhara, fought between forces loyal to Emir Mohamed al-Mansur and those seeking to abolish the constitutional monarchy and to establish an Arab Republic. As a result of the Revolution, the Lettuce Governorate proclaimed the Lettucian independence as the First Lettucian Republic.
The discovery of significant oil reserves in the early 1950s and the subsequent income from petroleum sales enabled the State of Gandhara to become a wealthy state. Although oil drastically improved the Gandhari government's finances, resentment began to build over the increased concentration of the nation's wealth in the hands of Emir Mohamed al-Mansur. Several movements promoted the view that the Gandhari monarchy was corrupt and that Gandhara would become a pro-Western puppet state. This discontent mounted with the rise of Arab nationalism and socialism throughout the country.
By 1956, the government of Gandhara made large profits from the export of oil and gas. The Gandhari society had little benefit from the newly acquired wealth, which led to civil unrest. Public demonstrations began during the spring in Rhea, Port Eden, and other large cities throughout Gandhara.
Rise of the Arab Socialist Union of Gandhara
As a response to the growing Arab nationalism, the Arab Socialist Union of Gandhara was established in 1952 by four military officers of the Gandhari army. The movement was originally founded as a nationalist movement, in order to promote Arab nationalism, but the military strength of the organization increased during the early years, which led to distrust of the organization by the government. The Gandhari government tried to prohibit the Arab Socialist Union several times, but the movement received support from conservative political parties.
Reaction of the Emir
In September 1956, Emir Mohamed al-Mansur ordered the army to stop the mass demonstrations. During a demonstration in Port Eden on 28 September, the Gandhari army opened the fire on the protesters, killing 23 people. Another 148 people were arrested by the police. Three days of major riots throughout Gandhara followed, in which the Arab Socialist Union of Gandhara fought back in Port Eden against the police and the army. The Union managed to take over several police stations and to gain control over a major part of Port Eden. These events are considered to be the beginning of the revolution.
General strike and increasing opposition
On 9 October 1956, 700 workers at Port Eden's main oil refinery went on strike, and on 11 October the same occurred at refineries in 5 other cities. On 13 October, central government workers in Rhea simultaneously went on strike.
The protesters, led by the Arab Socialist Union, gained support from Arab nationalists and from ethnic groups who lived in the northern and southern regions of Gandhara. Several ethnic groups had little rights under the rule of the Emir, and they were hoping for more rights in a new Arab state.
Street demonstrations in many cities continued at full force, while the Arab Socialist Union gained control over a bigger area. Emir Mohamed al-Mansur gave the army and the police of Rhea orders to guard all entrances to Rhea and to stop every demonstration in the capital. By the end of 1956, the Emir lost control over the most important areas of Gandhara.
Finally on 15 January 1957, soldiers of the Arab Socialist Union reached Rhea. After a couple of hours, the soldiers managed to reach the city center. Emir Mohamed al-Mansur left the capital with his family and his personal staff, and the Arab Socialist Union installed an interim government the same day. It meant the end of the revolution.
The revolution led to the overthrow of the Al-Mansur dynasty and the abolition of the Emirate. The Arab Socialist Union declared a transitional period in which preparations were made to establish a republic. A new Constitution was adopted on 4 October 1957, stipulating the formation of a new parliament on 10 December that year.
As a result of the victory of the Arab Socialist Union, the Lettuce Governorate proclaimed the Lettucian independence as the First Lettucian Republic. The Lettucian people, mostly Christian, feared the loss of several privileges that were granted under the Al-Mansur dynasty. The independence was formalized on 15 August 1957 with the Lettucian Independence Act, and the new Gandhari government recognized the independence in the Treaty of Vola on 14 May 1958.