International Current Affairs - 2019

Latest International Current Affairs 2019 with news summaries and current events in International developments, geopolitical, organizations, groupings and fora related updates for India and world with all important national news updates and events for the year 2019.

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New Zealand Announces Ban on Military-Style Semi-automatics and Assault Rifles

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a ban on all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. New Zealand has decided to overhaul gun laws in the country in the backdrop of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

It is estimated that there are about 1.2-1.5 million guns in New Zealand which has a population of about 5million people. There were no official data about the number of assault rifles in circulation and there are roughly 13,500 military-style semi-automatic weapons in New Zealand.

Christchurch Mosque Shootings

Christchurch mosque shootings refer to two consecutive terrorist attacks at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, during Friday Prayer on 15 March 2019. The first attack was at the Al Noor Mosque in the suburb of Riccarton at 1:40 pm and the second one was at the Linwood Islamic Centre at about 1:55 pm. The attacks were linked to white supremacism and alt-right extremism movements.

New Zealand police are investigating a manifesto, the 28-year-old suspect allegedly wrote and posted on social media shortly before the shooting began. This manifesto espouses far-right and white nationalistic views, specifically targeting Muslims and immigrants and praises mass murderers Dylann Roof, who attacked a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, and Anders Breivik, who killed dozens of young people at a summer camp for Norway’s left-leaning political party.

Month: Categories: International

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US to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights

US President Trump has announced that the US will recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. This is a departure from the earlier stand of US where it treated Golan Heights as occupied Syrian territory, in line with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

What is the dispute over Golan Heights?

Until 1967 Golan Heights was part of Syria. Israel occupied the Golan Heights during the Six Day war (Third Arab Israeli war) held in 1967. Israel annexed the region unilaterally in 1981. This unilateral annexation was not recognised by the international community and the Golan Heights was seen as Occupied Syrian Territory.

Why Israel is ken on Golan Heights?

  • Israel argues that civil war in Syria demonstrates the need to keep the plateau as a buffer zone between Israeli towns and the instability of its neighbour.
  • Israel also fears that  Iran is seeking to establish itself permanently on the Syrian side of the border in order to launch attacks on Israel.
  • Golan’s water resources and naturally fertile soil.

Current Situation

United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) is stationed in camps and observation posts along the Golan. There is a 400-square-km (155-square-mile) “Area of Separation” called a demilitarized zone between the Israeli and Syrian armies.

Further Separation of Forces Agreement of May 31, 1974, created an Alpha Line to the west of the area of separation, behind which Israeli military forces must remain, and a Bravo Line to the east behind which Syrian military forces must remain.

25 km beyond the “Area of Separation” on both sides is an “Area of Limitation” in which there are restrictions on the number of troops and number and kinds of weapons that both sides can have there.

Month: Categories: InternationalUPSC

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