An Cosantóir

April 2012

An Cosantóir the official magazine of the Irish Defence Forces and Reserve Defence Forces.

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Page 9 of 35

10 | world strategic picture EUROPE After a summit of foreign ministers, Serbia became an official candi- date for membership of the European Union. There were last minute concerns from Romania. It sought assurances over the status of an ethnic minority group in Serbia who are considered Romanian. In Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said it would expel Polish and EU envoys. In response the EU withdrew all its ambassadors from the country. Aleksandr Ankyab, Ab- khazia's president survived a sixth attempt on his life. He survived but one of his bodyguards was killed. Former Prime Minister of Iceland, Geir Haarde, went on trial charged with gross negligence during his time in office during the financial crash in 2008. THE AMERICA'S MIDDLE EAST Egypt lifted a travel Florindo Flores Hala, the leader of the ruminants of the Shining Path guerrillas, was captured by Peruvian security forces. In Colombia FARC guerrillas said they would end their prac- tice of kidnapping civilians for ransom and holding members of the security forces to swap for their own jailed members. Five computer hackers ar- rested in Britain, Ireland and the US, with a sixth pleading guilty. The men are accused by the FBI of cyber-attacks aimed at company and government websites. The hackers claim to be part the group LulzSec, who claim to have taken down the CIA website. AFRICA The UN Security Council On March 4 as expected Vladimir Putin won Rus- sia's presidential election. Some 15,000 people took to the streets of Moscow in an anti-Putin rally the following day. Two men were arrested in Ukraine. It is claimed that they were planning to kill the then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. agreed to pass a resolution in- creasing the amount of African Union troops in Somalia. A con- ference of 40 foreign ministers was held in London to discuss ways to co-ordinate the help given to Somalia in security and development matters. Fighting between govern- ment forces and Tuarag rebels in Mali, forced tens of thousands to flee the country. In the Republic of Congo a fire in an arms depot in Brazzaville killed at least 200 people. Rescue efforts were hampered by am- munition exploding at the site. An Cosantóir April 2012 ban on pro-democracy activists, including 16 Americans. The country brought forward its presidential elections. The first round will be held on 23/24 May. Ahead of a forthcom- ing ban by the EU, Iran halted oil sales to British and French companies. Shia neighbourhoods in Baghdad and other cities were the primary target of a wave of bombings in Iraq. ASIA Only two months after Kim Jong Un's ascent to power in North Korea, he agreed to suspend both uranium-enrichment at its Yongbyon plant and further testing of long-range mis- siles. In return America will provide at least 240,000 tonnes of food aid to the im- poverished state. America's secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said, it was, 'first step in right direction'. After the burning of It is speculated that Syrian forces delib- erately targeted and bombarded the media centre in the city of Homs, were a western war correspondent and photojournalist were killed. Syria's deputy oil minister resigned and joined the rebel opposi- tion. Government forces secured the northern city of Idlib. The UN estimates over 8,000 have died since the start of the unrest. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu went to Washington for talks with Barack Obama. Top of the agenda was Iran's nuclear weapons programme. Koran's by American soldiers in Afghanistan the county saw severe protests across the country. Adding to the government's problems a manhunt was launched for a police intelligence officer in connection with the killing of two senior NATO officers. An American soldier went on an unprovoked shooting rampage in two villages in the south of the country. He killed 16 people including nine children. The incident provoked a series of revenge attacks. Continued tensions in China's western region of Xinijang over Uighur and Han Chinese ended in riot- ing. Some 20 people were killed. In Shanghai a century old bridge was stolen. Two men were arrested. They intended to sell it as building blocks.

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