A weekly geopolitical update
By Keating Smith, Contributor
Africa: (Ethiopia) Political leaders in Sudan and South Sudan have reached a tentative deal around having “soft borders” and demilitarized zones in certain geographical areas of both countries in order to resume production of much needed gas and oil revenue. South Sudan’s Petroleum Minister said “it would be three months before oil reached international markets,” as translated by the BBC.
Americas: (Uruguay) The Uruguayan Senate has passed a bill to legalize abortion in the predominately Roman Catholic country. Before, abortion was only allowed in the case of rape or serious health issues for women. Uruguay is the second Latin American country to legalize abortion, after Cuba.
Asia- Central & South: (Sri Lanka) Selvarasa Pathmanathan, considered to be the last leader of the Tamil Tigers, has been freed from military custody. He is wanted by Indian officials for his involvement in the assassination of India’s former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. According to a spokesperson for the Sri Lankan government, “He is running a non-government organization and doing work for the benefit of the people [where] he is free to do his work.
Asia- Pacific: (China) A military exercise conducted by China’s navy last week in the Eastern China Sea is creating more tension between China and Japan over a disputed group of islands. The waters surrounding the disputed islands are thought to be full of rich fishing grounds and potential oil resources.
Europe: (Netherlands) Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic has told the United Nations’ Yugoslav war crimes court he should “be rewarded for ‘reducing suffering’ and not accused of carrying out war crimes,” reports Aljazeera. Karadzic faces 10 charges of genocide from the conflict which took place in the Balkans during the early 1990’s.
Middle East: (Lebanon) Wissam al-Hassan, an intelligence officer for the Lebanese Internal Security Forces, was killed in a car bombing in Beirut which has also killed eight other people. Al-Hassan was a key figure in Lebanon who supported the armed opposition in Syria and was responsible for finding those responsible for the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005.