ceasefire Current Affairs - 2019
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Afghanistan on 29 April 2019 convened rare “Loya Jirga”, a four day long grand assembly or massive meeting for delegates from across country to discuss war and efforts of United States to forge a peace deal with Taliban. At the end of huge peace summit in Kabul, Afghan officials called for immediate and permanent ceasefire.
- It is a centuries-old tradition in Afghanistan which is usually convened at times of national crisis or to settle national issues.
- It means “grand council” in Pashto. It is a 4 day long grand assembly held at Kabul, Afghanistan.
- Participants include ethnic, religious and tribal leaders, politicians and representatives from all over the country.
- In past it has been used to approve new constitution, declare war, choose a new king, or to make social or political reforms.
- In Loya Jirga 2019, more than 3,000 participants gathered under tight security to discuss possibility of peace, cease-fire and women’s rights in keeping with tenets of Islam.
- Several committee leaders favored an immediate pause in violence, which still continues across Afghanistan even after various peace summits taking place.
The Taliban, who were earlier not at talks, are meeting separately with US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Doha in May 1st week. It is seen as an effort to make a deal with US that could see withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.
- The Taliban has frequently refused to talk to Afghan government, as it views government as a puppet regime. This means that even if US and Taliban agrees on deal to end war and set timetable for eventual withdrawal of troop, the insurgents may still forge some kind of an accord with Afghan politicians and tribal elders before an enduring ceasefire could start.
- Most people of Afghan society worry that if US does make a deal with Taliban, then militant Islamists would try to seize power and undo advances in women’s rights, media freedoms, and legal protections.
Note: Taliban is a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement and military organization in Afghanistan currently waging war within the country.
Yemenese President Abdurabu Hadi along with representative of the major political parties have signed a ceasefire agreement with the Houthi rebels. The ceasefire will peace to the disturbed region. The deal which was brokered by UN will put an end to the conflict and protests led by the Houthi faction which had brought life in Yemen to an absolute halt and standstill. “The document calls for an immediate ceasefire and ending all forms of violence,” the written statement said. “It also calls for the formation of a technocratic national government, which will work to enhance government transparency, implement economic reforms, in addition to continuing military and security reforms.”
The death toll in the month long unrest has claimed about 200 lives mostly of soldiers and civilians. There are hundreds of people who are injured. Prime Minister Basindwa has voluntarily stepped down meeting the demands of the militants for changes in the government. Zakaria Al Shami, a senior Houthi leader has reportedly said that they will continue to support Hadi to lead the nation.
The rebels who had camped around the capital Sanaa, had been rallying for almost a month, demanding oil subsidy reform be revoked and that the government should step down. They had refused to remove their tents from Sanaa and surrounding areas till their demands were met. Houthis who belonged to the Zaidi sect of Islam had actually gathered many of their supporters to fight for their cause.
Last week many Houthis had attacked the television headquarters by heavy artillery and by burning down two main buildings to capture the premises.