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The Occupation of Bajor refers to the Cardassian Union's occupation of Bajor between 2328 and 2369. Among Bajorans this is usually simply referred to as the Occupation. The Cardassians egotistically refer to this as the Years of Deliverance. During this time, the Cardassians stripped Bajor of raw materials and turned the Bajorans into slaves, often practicing mass killing to make them work. (DS9 episode: "Emissary"; ST novel: Captain's Peril)



Following first contact with the Bajorans in 2318, the Cardassian Union, seeing no resistance from them, then annexed Bajor ten years later. The Bajorans then surrendered peacefully to the Cardassians. However, when the Cardassians sent in ground forces, they started 50 years of slavery, torture, and oppression that led many Bajorans to fight back against their occupiers. (TNG episode: "Ensign Ro"; DS9 - Terok Nor novel: Day of the Vipers)

During the Occupation, the Cardassians were known to perform several brutal medical experiments on the native Bajorans. They also set up a puppet government for the Bajorans that was answerable to the Cardassian Central Command and the prefect in charge of Cardassian forces on Bajor. The last prefect before the end of the occupation was Gul Skrain Dukat. (DS9 novel: The Fall of Terok Nor; DS9 episode & novelization: Emissary; VOY episode: "Nothing Human"; DS9 episodes: "Waltz", "Duet", "The Collaborator")

The exact dates of occupation are uncertain. The episode "Ensign Ro" gives the date of annexation as forty years before 2368; the episode "Emissary" says the Cardassians first offered to "help" the Bajorans sixty years before 2369; the episode "Sanctuary" refers to fifty years of Cardassian rule; and multiple episodes ("In the Hands of the Prophets" and "Accession") indicate the Cardassians occupied Bajor for over fifty years. This was partially explained in Star Trek: Terok Nor because the Cardassian Union slowly worked its way into control of Bajor, leaving the way open for debate as to the exact start date.

The Federation refused to become involved in ending the Occupation, considering it a foreign political dispute and therefore covered by the Prime Directive, despite the fact that the Federation was itself at war with the Cardassians for much of the latter half of the conflict. (TNG episodes: "Ensign Ro", "The Wounded")

Bajor under Cardassian rule

When the occupation started, the Bajorans were forced to abolish their D'jarra caste system, in order to stand against the Cardassians. The Cardassians also imprisoned Vedeks such as Winn Adami for preaching of the Prophets. They also started to strip mine the planet, and forced their puppet government to approve work orders that forced Bajorans to work as slaves to mine ore among other tasks. This caused the Bajorans who worked in the puppet government to labeled as collaborators. (DS9 episodes: "Accession", "Rapture", "The Collaborator")

However, not all Bajorans who made profit during the occupation were collaborators. They were part of a Black market. Bajoran smugglers such as Ibudan and Razka Karn were admired for smuggling much-needed medical supplies to Bajor, although Ibudan did so only to gouge his fellow Bajorans. Ibudan's smuggling career came to end when he killed a Cardassian officer who wanted more money to look the other way. (DS9 episodes: "A Man Alone", "Things Past", "Indiscretion")

During this time, the Central Command tried to prepare Bajor for colonization for their people. However, they were unable to do so due to the persistent actions of the Bajoran Resistance during the 5 decades of the occupation. These actions frustrated Central command, forcing them to resort to brutal methods to resolve the problem. (DS9 episode: "Waltz")

The Cardassian military also used Bajoran women as comfort women. They like the puppet government, were labeled as collaborators. (DS9 episode: "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night")

Bajorans were mostly assigned to mining ore or working in factories. Once given a job, they were forbidden to leave it. Despite that, the Cardassians would "select" for either interrogation or forced relocation. Also that any Bajoran with family or friends in the resistance was considered a suspect in any criminal case. (DS9 episode: "Things Past")

Labor camps

During the occupation, the Cardassians interned entire families of Bajorans for a variety of reasons, mainly for mining ore and other valuable resources. Bajorans saw these camps as mostly death sentences for themeselves if they were assigned to one. Despite the conditions the government complied with the Cardassians orders. (DS9 episode: "The Collaborator")

The most infamous labor camp was the one at Gallitep that was run by Gul Trekal Darhe'el. In his time there in from 2336 to '57, Darhe'el ruled with a brutal iron fist. He encouraged his men to beat, rape and kill the Bajoran workers under his orders. At this camp, there was an accident that killed and affected Bajorans and Cardassians with Kalla-Nohra Syndrome. (DS9 episode: "Duet"; TLE - Terok Nor novel: Night of the Wolves)

Another camp was run by an officer named Dulcet. Here, Dulcet helped the Bajorans escape, but demanded that they pay him with latinum, jewelry, property and anything of value. From the women he would take "other" things from them. However, the Obsidian Order ended his operations, disgraced him, but he was able to be assigned elsewhere. (DS9 - The Maquis: Soldier of Peace comic: "Victims of Deceit")

Gul Sobrag was the administrator of the Berenthar Labor Camp on Bajor. He oversaw the deaths of several hundred Bajorans. He was known as the 'Beast of Berenthar. He disappeared after the occupation. (TNG comic: "The Bajoran and the Beast")

Another camp however, was used for medical experiments run by Doctor Crell Moset. As his camp/hospital, Moset worked on a cure to the Fostossa virus. In developing this cure, Moset infected hundred of Bajorans, including Gul Dukat's lover Kira Meru with the virus to do experimental treatments. In his time on Bajor, he never even asked any of the enzymes normally required for synthesizing a vaccine. Four days after he received the virus samples there was a minor outbreak of Fostossa near his hospital. Prior to that date there had not been a single case in the entire province. (VOY episode: "Nothing Human"; ST - Terok Nor novel: Night of the Wolves)

Terok Nor and Dukat

The mining station Terok Nor, was built during the late 2340s and was completed in 2351. The station was built with Bajoran slave labor. When construction was complete, the Cardassians devoted to processing ore, which was the task to which most Bajorans there were assigned. Temperatures in the ore processing section sometimes reached as high as 55 °C. Many Bajorans died to exhaustion, heatstroke. Deaths from such causes were seen as unfortunate but acceptable losses in the eyes of the Cardassian overseers. Community space was very limited and Bajoran sections were overcrowded, though Bajoran shop owners, who were mostly collaborators, were given their own quarters. Even detention cells were overflowed with Bajorans. (DS9 episodes: "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night", "Civil Defense", "Necessary Evil", "Things Past"; Last Unicorn RPG module: All Our Yesterdays: The Time Travel Sourcebook; ST reference: The Visual Dictionary)

The station was also the command post for the Prefect of Bajor, with last being Gul Skrain Dukat. From 2346 to '69, Dukat ruled with an iron fist but saw himself as merciful compared to his fellow Cardassians. He used the station as his headquarters to avoid being targeted by the Bajoran resistance. Despite this, Dukat had five assassination attempts on his life by half of Bajoran Resistance. (DS9 episodes: "Waltz", "Things Past")

Despite these attempts, Dukat continued to believe a gentler approach was needed to quell the growing rebellion and make Bajor safe for future colonization by Cardassians. To this end, he had labor camp quotas reduced by 50%, abolished child labor and improved medical care and food rations. Though this cut labor camp death rates by 20%, the Resistance still continued their terrorist activities, testing Dukat's patience to the limit. That limit was finally reached when Resistance agents destroyed an orbital drydock, killing 200 Cardassian workers. In response, Dukat had 200 suspected Resistance members executed. Dukat went on to perform many more atrocities against the Bajoran people, becoming one of the most hated individuals in Bajoran history. In his time at Terok Nor in 2363, Dukat appointed the shapeshifter Odo to replace Thrax Sa'kat as his Chief of Security on the station to investigate the murder of Vaatrik Drasa. (DS9 episodes: "Waltz", "Necessary Evil"; ST - Terok Nor novel: Dawn of the Eagles)

Despite Dukat's efforts to keep the Bajorans under control, the situation was beyond his control; against his wishes, the government decided to withdraw from the planet. However, Dukat was able to use this as an opportunity to disgrace politician Kotan Pa'Dar by leaving his son and other Cardassian children behind intentionally. (DS9 episodes: "Waltz", "Cardassians")

The Resistance

When the Cardassians started to enslave, torture, oppress the Bajorans, a few Bajorans at first started to fight back. The resistance movement was formed in 2333, using guerrilla tactics against the Cardassians. Cells were formed, though they were mostly small groups. (TLE novel: The Art of the Impossible)

The resistance cells, such as the Shakaar cell fought a limited war against the Cardassians (calling them "spoonheads"). They only had small sub-impulse ships, so they were forced to use the element of surprise very often against the Cardassians. They also used assassinations and bombings to keep the Cardassians off track. (DS9 episodes: "Emissary", "Past Prologue", "The Siege")

The resistance fighters were also aided by Bajorans who became their informants. These informants, such as Trentin Fala, would give the resistance information on certain targets. They were regarded with great respect, though they did not want to be known as members of any cells due to possible retaliation. (DS9 episode: "The Darkness and the Light")

Though resistance cells were often quickly eliminated by the Cardassians, new ones would rise up in their places. The one that outlasted most of the others was one led by Shakaar Edon. Even Gul Dukat was impressed that even they were not able to supress it. (DS9 episodes: "Indiscretion", "Shakaar")

Cardassian withdrawal

In 2369, the Cardassians withdrew from Bajor and its sector, ending the fifty-year occupation. Though the Bajorans believed that their resistance forces forced them to leave, the Cardassians saw it merely as a politcal decision, made by Kotan Pa'Dar and the rest of the Detapa Council. The military, primarily Gul Dukat, was against it.,One incident between the Federation and the Cardassians at Minos Korva forced them recall several of their warships and troop division to be withdrawn from the Bajoran sector.(TNG episode: "Chain of Command"; DS9 episodes: "Duet", "Cardassians", "Call to Arms")

Despite their orders, military officers such as Gul Darhe'el, furious about the withdrawal, ordered his soldiers to slaughter every Bajoran at Gallitep. While his actions were the exception rather than the rule, many Cardassian officers shared his sentiments. (DS9 episode: "Duet")

On Terok Nor, the Cardassians damaged as many of the space station's systems as they possibly could. They took every item of value, including all but a few photon torpedoes. The Bajoran Temple was badly damaged, as was the Promenade, where four Bajorans were killed trying to protect their shops. The Cardassians even removed the beds from the quarters and took the replicators offline. Much of the looting was out of hatred toward the Bajorans. (DS9 episode & novelization: Emissary)

Many Cardassian children were left behind in the wake of the Occupation, since orphans had no status in Cardassian society. This was done intentionally by Gul Dukat to help him disgrace a politician. The Bajorans opened their hearts to these so-called war orphans, one of whom was named Rugal. Rugal was left on Bajor in an elaborate plot by Gul Dukat to disgrace a rival of his. He was raised by an elderly Bajoran couple and taught to hate Cardassian "butchers", although he was later returned to his father's custody. (DS9 episode: "Cardassians")

Of particular note was the fact that the tailor and former Obsidian Order agent Elim Garak became the sole Cardassian aboard Deep Space 9. Neither the Federation nor the Bajorans knew Garak's true motives for staying behind. While it was widely held that he was "the eyes and ears of his fellow Cardassians", Garak always managed to avoid questions about his past. (DS9 episodes: "Past Prologue", "The Wire", "Civil Defense")


With much of Bajor in ruins, the new Bajoran Provisional Government appealed to the Federation for reconstruction assistance. Starfleet established a forward operating base aboard Terok Nor, now renamed Starbase Deep Space 9, and placed Commander Benjamin Sisko in command. On the urging of his first officer, Major Kira Nerys of the Bajoran Militia, Sisko consulted with Kai Opaka Sulan in hopes of finding a way to keep Bajor together, a meeting that led to the revelation that he was the Emissary of the Prophets and the discovery of the Bajoran wormhole. (DS9 episode & novelization: Emissary)

Despite Federation aid, Bajor suffered through a series of political crises over the next several years, including a near-civil war between the Provisional Government and the ultra-nationalist Alliance for Global Unity (covertly aided and abetted by Cardassian operatives), and a confrontation in Dahkur Province over soil reclamators between Kai Winn Adami, who had been appointed interim First Minister of Bajor following the sudden death of Kalem Apren, and local farmers led by former Resistance leader Shakaar Edon. (DS9 episodes: "The Circle", "The Siege", "Shakaar")

Alternate realities

In one alternate quantum reality the Bajorans overthrew the Cardassians and adopted a policy of military aggression against the Federation and other governments. (TNG episode: "Parallels")

Mirror universe

In the mirror universe the power occupying Bajor was the Terran Empire rather than the Cardassians. The planet was liberated when the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance conquered the Empire, and Bajor became an influential member of the Alliance. (DS9 episode: "Crossover")

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