Current Events Timeline for IAS PRE 2014
Sample Material (International News - January 2014)
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
It provides you with a timeline of the important events and developments in
different spheres, from an exam perspective.
Table of Content:
South Sudan Crisis
Iran Nuclear Deal
Sri Lanka War Crimes 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
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
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
- 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
- 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
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.
- S. Sudan forces backed by Ugandan troops recaptured the strategic town
of Bor, defeating an army of the rebels.
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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