Racial discrimination and Corona kept news headlines crowded in the entire year 2020. However, many other events changed the world dramatically.
Following is the list of these important events.
Qasem Soleimani’s assassination
General Qasem Soleimani was an Iranian major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Soleimani was assassinated on 3 January 2020 by a U.S. drone strike near Baghdad International Airport.
Iraqi prime minister Mahdi said Soleimani was bringing Iran’s response to a letter that Iraq had sent out on behalf of Saudi Arabia to ease tensions between the two countries in the region.
According to the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killing, “the killings of Qassem Suleimani violates international human rights law”
On 7 January 2020, the Supreme National Security Council of Iran announced that it had drafted a 13 revenge scenarios document.
The next day, the Iranian military responded to Soleimani’s death by launching ballistic missiles at two U.S. bases in Iraq
Haftar’s Military Coup Attempt
On 27 April 2020, Haftar made a televised address where he declared that the Libyan National Army would accept a popular mandate to govern Eastern Libya, making Haftar the de facto leader. Haftar’s announcement raised the question of the outcome of the Libyan House of Representatives, who up until Haftar’s announcement was the governing civilian government for areas controlled by the LNA.
on 29 September 2020, during the Alexandria US District Court hearing, a plea of Khalifa Haftar’s side was rejected to drop the charges that accused him of war atrocities. The lawsuit was filed by the families of victims who were killed during Haftar’s military coup attempt, which was backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Russia.
The Abraham Accords are a joint statement between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, Morocco, and the United States, starting from August 13, 2020.
The statement marked the first normalization of relations between an Arab country and Israel since that of Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. The normalization deal sparked anti-Arab sentiments in the Muslim world.
As of 31 December 2020, more than 83 million people have been infected with the deadly virus.
59 million have recovered.
8 million people have succumbed to it.
Armenia – Azerbaijan Conflict
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is an ethnic and territorial conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, inhabited mostly by ethnic Armenians, and seven surrounding districts, inhabited mostly by Azerbaijanis.
The conflict has its origins in the early 20th century, though the present conflict began in 1988 when the Karabakh Armenians demanded that Karabakh be transferred from Soviet Azerbaijan to Soviet Armenia. The conflict escalated into a full-scale war in the early 1990s.
The 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, code-named Operation Iron Fist by Azerbaijan, was an armed conflict between Azerbaijan, supported by Turkey, and the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh together with Armenia, in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding territories. It was the latest escalation of an unresolved conflict over the region, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but partially governed by Artsakh, a breakaway state with an Armenian ethnic majority.
On 9 November 2020, in the aftermath of the capture of Shusha, a ceasefire agreement was signed by the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, the Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, and the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, ending all hostilities in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Some 2,000 people, including combatants and civilians, are estimated to have been killed in the war. Armenian leader Nikol Pashinyan has described the decision to accept truce as “painful”, while Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, backed by Turkey, has claimed victory.
US – Taliban Peace Deal
Signed on February 29, 2020, the agreement addresses four issues: reducing violence, withdrawing foreign troops, starting intra-Afghan negotiations, and guaranteeing Afghanistan won’t again become a refuge for terrorists.
OIC meeting and Sushma Swaraj Invitation
In a major diplomatic victory for India and a setback for Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates invited foreign minister Sushma Swaraj to attend the foreign ministers’ meet of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) States, that took place in Abu Dhabi on 1-2 March — the first such invite in five decades.
Pakistan boycotted the conference due to the Indian invitation.