(Sample Material) Current Events Timeline: "International News - January 2014 (Vol -2)"

Current Events Timeline for IAS PRE 2014

Sample Material (International News - January 2014)

Everyone reads a newspaper and magazine, but sometimes, it becomes hard to keep a track of the different issues and development. Since the news items on different issues are found in a scattered form in the newspapers and magazines, it becomes a cumbersome process to memorize the important events, from an exam point of view.

It provides you with a timeline of the important events and developments in different spheres, from an exam perspective.

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Table of Content:

  • Syrian Issue

  • South Sudan Crisis

  • Bangladesh Elections

  • Iran Nuclear Deal

  • Egypt Issue

  • China-Japan Conflict

  • Afghanistan Issue

  • Other Issues

  • Sri Lanka War Crimes Issue

  • Ukraine Crisis

  • MCQs

Syrian Issue:


  • International Conference on Syria- to be held in Geneva on January 22, 2014. Last month, the Indian government has sent Mr. Sandeep Kumar, Joint Secretary (W. Asia and N. America) to Syria to get firsthand assessment of the developments. India has offered USD 1 million for use in destruction of chemical weapons and related facilities by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). India has been formally invited by the UNO to attend the Geneva II Conference. The Earlier meeting produced the Geneva Communique that backed a political transition without seeking the ouster of President Assad. India had also been a member of the West sponsored group- Friends of Syria- which had unsuccessfully tried a regime change.


  • Syrian opposition agreed to join the international peace talks, after the Syrian government offered concessions including a ceasefire plan for the battered city of Aleppo. The main opposition group is the National Coalition, which voted for the peace talks by majority. The GENEVA-2 peace talks are aimed at setting up a transitional government to find a way out of the brutal conflict that has killed 130000 people since March 2011.


  • Syrian President Bashar Al Assad has rejected to step down, thus sharpening the conflict with the opposition, which has agreed to join the GENEVA-2 talks. The Opposition in Syria is externally backed, and is not ready to compromise. The Opposition leader Ahmad Jarba mentioned that they are sitting for the Geneva-2 talks only to remove the President Assad. Meanwhile, Prez Assad has challenged the opposition to put up a candidate against him in the polls. The Chances for the participation of Iran in the Geneva-2 talks have dimmed lately. The UN and Russia strongly favor Iran's participation in the peace talks.


  • Russia has come out to support Iran's participation in the Geneva-2 Peace Conference. Around 40 countries have been invited to the peace talks, including India. Iran did not endorse Geneva-I communique, which calls for a transitional government in Syria and we expect the invitation will be rescinded.


  • Geneva 2 talks- the two parties at the talks clashed over the issue of Syrian Prez Bashar al-Assad. The opposition was not ready to compromise with any negotiations. At the same time, Syrian officials did not agree to change their stance.


  • Syrian government and the oppposition have agreed to meet together for GENEVA 2 peace talks. The UN-Arab League Envoy- Lakhdar Brahimi said that the negotiations would be based on the accord reached at the GENEVA 1 peace conference in 2012.
  • Geneva 1 agreement calls for a transitional governing body, but does not specify Mr. Assad's role in the future.


  • The warring sides met at Geneva peace talks to discuss the fates of the thousands of jailed, kidnapped and missing people in Syria. The peace talks are being held in closed doors, with UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi.
  • The two sides discussed aid to be given to the besieged residents in the rebel-held areas. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a watchdog organization, estimates that about 17,000 people have gone missing in the war, with tens of thousands being held in government jails.


  • India's Stand on Syrian Issue- the problem in Syria has political, economic, ethnic and religious dimensions. Syrian protests have largely been driven by economic frustrations due to the four-year long drought that threw millions into starvation, unemployment and poverty.

  • For the US, bringing down the Assad regime would help its pro-democracy agenda, while addressing the anti-US regime by restricting the Russian-Iranian influence in the Middle East. This would also appease Israel.
    India faces a difficult balancing task, given its friendly relations with each rival- US, Russia, Iran, Syria- in the matter. However, India adopted an astute position by aligning with BRICS nations, which has eventually sided with Russia.

  • Syria is home to few Indian expatriates. There is no oil trade with Syria as well. However, the negotiation process is important for India to emerge as an important power at the global scenario, and secure a seat at the UN Security Council.

  • However, Syria is moving contrary to an India-friendly path, and towards an Islamist regime. Assad's regime has been one of the few secular ones in Middle East.

  • India earlier supported Syrian claim to the Golan Heights, and in exchange, Syria supported India's position on Kashmir. Such support is rare in the Middle East. While Officially the Arab League does not take a stance on Kashmir issue, it has been sympathetic to Pakistan.

  • Assad also supports India's bid to become a member of UNSC.


  • Syrian government troops control the city of Homs, which was earlier, the centre of conflict. But the parts of old city are still under the rebels. Government believes that the rebels might take cover under the humanitarian actions. Syrian government has agreed that women and children could be freed, but men who wished to leave need to be listed.
  • UN envoy- Lakhdar Brahimi- said that the opposition has agreed to provide lists to the government of detainees that the armed groups were holding.
  • The opposition has been demanding the formation of a transitional government in Damascus.


  • UK will provide sanctuary to some of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees, like- victims of sexual violence and torture, women and children at risk, and those in need of urgent medical care.
  • The move come in the background of the recommendations of the UNHRC to resettle about 30000 Syrian refugees, under the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme. However, the English programme would not subscribe to any quotas set by the UNHRC.

  • An estimated 2.3 million Syrians have fled the country due to the crisis situation.

South Sudan Crisis


  • Serious internal hostilities in South Sudan has created a humanitarian crisis in the world's youngest nation. About 2 lakh people had been displaced due to it, and more than 1000 been killed. India has important stakes in Sudan, as ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL), along with China and Malaysia, are the primary players in the South Sudan's Oil sector. OVL also maintains a 741km long pipeline here. A contingent of 2200 Indian army personnel are currently deployed in S. Sudan as peacekeepers with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Meanwhile, talks and negotiations are under progress in Addis Ababa between the warring factions.


  • Rebel forces in South Sudan attacked the capital killing more than 200. there is a political dispute between the President- Salva Kiir- and the former Vice-President. UN has said that more than 1000 have died since the fighting broke out in South Sudan on December 15. this has given rise to a humanitarian crisis.


  • Sudan offers ONGC two oil blocks- Sudan has offered ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) two oil and gas blocks. OVL has been present in Sudan since 2003. However, India has raised concerns over the issue of overdue payments and high transit fee imposed by the Sudan government.


  • S. Sudan forces backed by Ugandan troops recaptured the strategic town of Bor, defeating an army of the rebels.


  • S. Sudan Prez Salva Kiir said that the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was running a parallel government in his country, adding to the increasing friction between UNMISS and his ruling party. A small group of protesters opposed the UNMISS accusing them of protecting the rebels.

  • International pressure has been mounting over the S. Sudan government and the rebels to arrive at a ceasefire, as thousands have died and millions have been displaced.


  • South Sudan rebels and the Government signed a ceasefire agreement at Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. South Sudan government also agreed to release the 11 officials close to the rebels. The mediators, in these negotiations this time, is the East African regional bloc (IGAD).



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