A New Deal
Africa is a difficult place to be as a scientist. Surrounded by warlords and former colonials, there's little time and resources to spend on the 'unknown', which is exactly why the research-group led by Niari Okoro struck the riskiest deal of their life.
Niari was trying to start up a research laboratory to explore nuclear energy for years, which in this climate was simply impossible, until she met Zulu King Shaka II, a direct descendant of the infamous Shaka Zulu.
Shaka II was a new modern generation of Zulu leaders that was greatly interested in acquiring new technology beyond beasts to use in his weapons arsenal. Both knew large-scale nuclear weaponry and rocketry was impossible to acquire within their capabilities, but on a small scale, using more practical means of delivery, nuclear weaponry could give Shaka II the edge he was seeking against his opponents, both outside, as well as inside the Warlord faction.
Okoro was never in it for the weapons, and her plan was to sabotage any nuclear weapon related projects to ensure this became a new improved energy-source for Africa. Time went on and the project progressed well and in total secrecy. Shaka II hardly ever visited the facility which was located in a forest in the heart of Rhodesia, so he wouldn't draw attention to it.
His plan was well underway, yet he had no idea of Okoro's objections and secrecy. As time went on, Shaka II became more restless and started sending inquiries on when Okoro and her team would be able to complete the first batch of small-scale nuclear weapons.
Okoro kept distracting Shaka II in the hopes of being able to finalize her development, and then deliver free energy to her people, who would then 'side with her' against Shaka II's weaponization plans.
Friend or Foe
As things continued to regress, faulty weaponry was delivered to Shaka II as 'test' which proved unstable and unreliable. Shaka II, spending enormous amounts of his tribes resources to keep the facility hidden and safe, became more and more impatient due to the lack of progress.
A breakthrough came that ignited the powder-keg, which is when one of Okoro's chief scientists got disgruntled with Okoro's secret mission, and longing for Zulu-glory, departed the facility and informed Shaka II of Okoro's deliberate sabotaging for personal beliefs. Shaka II is furious and demands Okoro turn over the facility and surrender.
Clash of Warlords
Realizes the impasse, Okoro decides to make a last-stand in the hopes either Shaka II could be brought to reason or she could find a way to escape with his technology. For this she planned to use specially designed underground Drilltanks which were retro-fitted with cargo containers instead of weaponry.
In the morning, as Shaka II's deadline ran out, traditional Zulu chants echo'd through the wilderness and thousands of Zulu warriors stormed the facility.
As the outer-rim guards were being overrun, suddenly trumpets were heard all around the Zulu warriors, and the ground began to shake. Panic erupted within the Zulu ranks as hundreds of Rhino-riders emerged from all sides to charge into the ranks of the Zulu's.
A bloodbath ensued that lasted for hours until the Zulu numbers simply became too great for the Rhino-riders to deal with.
Besides, the Rhinorider warlord was bribed by Okoro to help buy time, not sacrifice his entire warband.
Okoro managed to escape with some, but not all of her technology as it was simply too much to load into a set of modified Drilltanks.
Shaka II enters the rubble that was once the secrete laboratory, only to find many key components were missing, and Okoro and her fellow-scientists were nowhere to be found. Furious at this he raged through the ranks of his troops. Regardless of whether or not Okoro brought key components with her, the centrifuges and other valuable technology and equipment was still in the facility, so if Shaka II could find a replacement team, he should be able to reset the operation, yet at great cost.
Okoro was well aware at what Shaka II was planning to do, and even though a lot of the technology was with her in her underground Drilltanks, there's nothing she could do with it without a proper large-scale facility.
It seemed Okoro's dream was at an impasse, and so she turned to craft a plan which she felt could get her his facility back, and Shaka II out of the way; the African Warlords. Okoro used her connections to setup a meeting with several high-ranking Warlord commanders in Zambia. She was weary of the treacherous nature of the Warlords, and the lack of unification, yet felt she had no other option. As Okoro started the meeting in the circle of Warlords, the conversation quickly went from dull disbelief to excitement and plans for quick swift action. Okoro was pleased she found support in overthrowing Shaka II and reclaim her facility. She did not realize some of the Warlords were still loyal to Shaka II, and immediately after the meeting, Okoro's entourage was surrounded and attacked from all sides. It was the technology-parts they were after, and everyone else was to be killed. Okoro, realizes her doom, managed to pull one last stunt, and that was send out parts of the plans and detailed information to the international press offices in Lusaka. Okoro thought that if she wasn't to have the ability to realize her dreams, the violent ones would not see the light of day either. It is a shame Niari Okoro was unable to see the effect of her actions, as what would happen next wasn't exactly what Okoro hoped for.
As predicted, news quickly spreads and the world uncovers the truth, and calls to 'intervene' and come for 'humanitarian needs' quickly spilled through the various international communities.
Military technology officers call for expeditions to retrieve the technology and take away the plutonium deposits in order to advance their own nuclear weapons programs. The world leaders quickly find themselves in a race for Rhodesian.
Harbors all around the southern part of Africa all begun to proclaim 'neutrality and safe passage' in the hopes of not getting plundered/taken over violently, and in addition hoping to profit from these events.