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The Rigel Demilitarized Zone Commission, or Orion Demilitarized Zone Commission, was a government organization created by the Federation to decide the fate of Orion refugees and officially determine the borders of Orion Neutrality Area, following the Four Years War, fought between the Federation and the Klingon Empire
On reference stardate 1/9709.01, towards the end of the war, the Rigel Demilitarized Zone Commission was formed, meeting on Starbase 27 and lead by Commissioner Dzwonkowski. The Commission had two duties: to relocate Orion refugees of the war (which had been fought primarily through their space) and to determine official, legal boundaries for their space. When the Axanar Peace Treaty ended the war on stardate 1/9806.13 and called for the removal of all Klingons "to the opposite side of Orion space", the Commission set to work.
The Commission had considered several possible solutions. A region of roughly 40 by 80 parsecs had once been considered by the Federation Council to be adequate room for the Orions, but the free passage of the Klingon invasion force had removed any generosity towards them. The mildest option put forth was to turn the whole of the Orion Arm into a demilitarized zone under Orion authority. The harshest involved full-scale military occupation of the Rigel system and all Orion Colonies.
- As the Orion Arm is a significant portion of the galaxy including all major powers of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, this may actually refer to some part of the Orion constellation. Please see Orion Arm (region) for more information.
In the end, they proposed a simple 10 parsec sphere centred on Rigel that would act as an enclave or reservation where Orions could live by their own rules under the terms of the Orion Neutrality Act. This was intended to be beneficial and mutually protective: it was considered ample room for a home-land, and prevented them from becoming a Klingon vassal state, with Starfleet maintaining the Federation side of the border. On the other hand, it would also contain and neutralize the Orions, and coincidentally allow the Federation to annex over 80 percent of the Orion Arm and many Orion Colonies. The Orion Space Navy was also restricted to this region.
On stardate 1/9806.29, the Commission visited Botchok (Rigel VIII) and met with the Botchok Planetary Congress (BPC) in a closed session, where Dzwonkowski outlined the plan. The BPC members were outraged, and rioting broke out in the Congress, leaving two of them dead. But under protest and with a narrow majority, the BPC capitulated. By unilateral treaty, Orion space legally became the Orion Neutrality Area.
After these two matters, the Commission and the BPC busied themselves handling the Orion refugees, resettling them on other Orion Colonies. This was rarely successful. From Sector Two, a total of 1.4 billion refugees were resettled on Qualf III, triggering an overpopulation crisis and the rise of a dictatorship. Another 2 billion were resettled on Zchol, causing chaos and leading to the collapse of local government. Refugees from Sector Four failed to readjust to the harsh conditions on Tini and soon migrated elsewhere; only those from Vola V stayed. Thirat refused to accept its quota of refugees, who rebelled rather than be forced to join the Thiratins; the BPC and the Commission respected both sides in this. (FASA RPG modules: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)