International Current Affairs
April 2011 international current affairs
Category : International Current Affairs
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Ismail Omar Guelleh won the Presidential Elections in Djibouti according to the election results declared on 9 April 2011. Guelleh of the ruling People’s Rally for Progress (RPP) party got 79.26 percent of the vote while the only opposition candidate Mohamed Warsama Ragueh could manage 20.74 percent votes only. Ismail Guelleh has served two Presidential terms already since 1999.
Ivory Coast leader Alassane Ouattara`s forces, backed by French and U.N. troops, captured his besieged rival Laurent Gbagbo in Abidjan on 12 April at the climax of a deadly months-long crisis. Mr. Gbagbo, who has held power since 2000 and stubbornly refused to admit defeat in November`s presidential election, was detained and taken to his rival`s temporary headquarters, with his wife Simone and son Michel.

Moscow named a Soyuz spaceship after Gagarin which last week brought a new team to the International Space Station (ISS). April 12 is marked in Russia every year as Day of Cosmonautics, but from this year on it will be celebrated throughout the world. The U.N. General Assembly has adopted a Russia-moved resolution declaring April 12 “International Day of Human Space Flight.”
The Economic and Trade Ministers of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations have decided in Sanya (China), to set up a liaison group to intensify cooperation and pledged to oppose trade protectionism.

India, Brazil and South Africa drew comfort from Russia and China “endorsing” their candidature for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in the Sanya Declaration though Indian officials later sounded a cautionary footnote.
Pakistan on 19 April claimed to have successfully conducted the first flight test of the newly developed short range surface-to-surface multi-tube ballistic missile ‘Hatf IX` (NASR). NASR has a range of 60 km and “shoot-and-scoot`` nuclear delivery capability.
President Raul Castro was named first secretary of Cuba`s Communist Party. Despite raising hopes during the gathering at Havana that a new generation of leaders was poised to take up important positions, Mr. Raul Castro announced that Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, 80-year-old long-time confidante, would be his No. 2. Ramiro Valdes, a 78-year-old Vice-President, was named to the No. 3 spot. Several younger people were added to the 15-member leadership group, but in lesser positions.

Syria has lifted an emergency law that had been in force for 48 years following a spate of protests, which included a violent overnight clash between the security forces and protesters in the city of Homs on 19 April. A new law has been passed that allows the right to peaceful protests. Syria`s emergency law had armed the government with pervasive powers, including making summary arrests, as well as a license to intrude in all aspects of a citizen`s life. Human Rights groups estimate that at least 200 people have been killed in the protests, which started and spread nationwide from the southern city of Daraa one month ago.
Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni found himself ranked above U.S. President Barack Obama in the Time magazine`s list of 100 most influential people in the world for the year 2010.Dhoni, ranked 52nd in the chart, was the only Indian sportsperson to make the list which also included four of his compatriots in “Titan of Industry” Mukesh Ambani (61), “Brain Mapper” V.S. Ramachandran (79), “Philanthropist” Azim Premji (88) and “Change Agent” Aruna Roy (89). Dhoni found himself way above Messi who was just below Obama at the 87th spot in a list topped by Wael Ghonim, the Google executive who became the “Spokesman for a Revolution” in Egypt. The other global celebrities included are U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is incidentally ranked higher than Obama at 43rd, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (6), and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (9).

Exchange of gunfire across the Thai-Cambodia border continued. Cambodia’s Ministry of National Defence said “the apparent goal of Thailand`s military aggression is to take control over … Tamone and Ta Krabei temples of Cambodia.” These two temples, located “deep inside the Cambodian territory,” are distinct from the border-temple of Preah Vihear. The internationally-adjudicated status of Preah Vihear as a Cambodian asset and its subsequent designation as a world heritage site are widely believed to be at the heart of hostilities.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan won the oil-rich country`s presidential election.

Russia proposed a plan to strengthen the safety standards in nuclear power plants of the world on 26 April 2011 with the objective of not allowing any nuclear catastrophe similar to Fukushima Daichi, Japan or Chernobyl to happen in future. The plan proposed by Russia includes the following points:
            1) To make nations using nuclear energy more responsible.
            2) Additional safety measures for nuclear reactors and a ban on the construction of reactors in quake-prone zones.
            3) To give more powers to International watchdogs to enforce the safety rules to avoid any nuclear catastrophe in future.
Armed forces of Syria shot dead 49 anti-government protesters on 22 April 2011. The demonstrations against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad have escalated in the month of April.

A series of devastating tornadoes struck United States and at least 291 people died. As the storms wreaked havoc across a number of States including Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee, on 27 April, thousands were injured and left homeless and more than a million people were without power. The storms were said to be the worst in the U.S. since 1974, when tornadoes killed 315 people.
The inaugural session of the fourth South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN-IV) was held in Colombo. Over 100 delegates from Sri Lanka and 30 from the other countries in the region will be attending the four-day conference. The SAARC sanitation summit has decided to establish a national body in each country to “coordinate sanitation and hygiene, involving all stakeholders” to enable access to sanitation to the 45 per cent of south Asians who still defecate in the open. The total number of people uncovered by sanitation initiatives remains unacceptably high in the region, at over 700 million. A majority of these people are in India. The Colombo Declaration, signed at the end of the fourth South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN IV) to tackle the biggest sanitation challenge in the world, decided to “develop time-bound plans and to allocate and mobilise resources for delivering on all the previous SACOSAN commitments.”
Kazakhstan`s President of two-decades Nursultan Nazarbayev was re-elected for another five-year term winning an astonishing 95 per cent of the vote in April 3rd poll that saw a record 90-per cent turnout. Mr. Nazarbayev`s three rivals received less than two per cent of the votes each. Mr. Nazarbayev is the most ardent and consistent supporter of closer economic ties with Russia in the former Soviet Union and was a driving force behind a customs union formed last year between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

Singer Michel Martelly elected as president for Haiti republic. Local media sources said His popularity escalated him to a political victory. Martelly won by a landslide with 67.6% of the vote, soundly defeating his challenger, former first lady Mirlande Manigat, who received 31.5%. `