March 4th, 2008 13:32 EST
World Chronicle: March 4
KAMPALA, Uganda. The ceasefire, signed between the Ugandan government and the Lord's Resistance Army in August 2006, will be in effect until the end of March, when the both sides are expected to complete the final peace agreement. The ceasefire expired last Friday but, after two-day long and often heated discussions, it was extended for the sixth time in almost two years. The Lord Resistance Army, a rebel group that is as violent as religion-driven, operates in northern parts of Uganda and its neighbors and is responsible for the death of some12,000 people.
CARACAS, Venezuela. Venezuela has sent 10 battalions, or hundreds of troops, to its western border with Columbia. A similar move is expected from another of Columbia's neighbors, Ecuador. The tense situation in the region originated with the Saturday killing of Raul Reyes, a notorious leader of a leftist rebel group fighting the Columbian government. Reyes was ambushed and killed by Columbian special forces while in Ecuador, which sparked protests from its president, Rafael Correa. According to Columbian authorities, among documents found by Reyes were papers suggesting that the rebels were supported by Ecuador and could have been in possession of uranium.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan. On Tuesday, two suicide bombings killed at least five people and injured around 20 more at Pakistan's prestigious naval college. The elitist school attracted young, trained military officers, most of whom were Muslim, from all over the region. It was the fourth time in only five days that Pakistan was attacked by what President Musharraf calls the forces of “extremism and terrorism.” Since Friday, when over 44 people were killed in a roadside explosion, the death toll has risen to almost 100. The intensification of the rebel attacks is connected with the formation of a new government that is expected to be comprised of both secular and democratic politicians.
KIEV, Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities threatened Tuesday that they might be forced to reduce the supplies of Russian gas to Western Europe. Ukraine, which is a transit country for almost all of Russia's gas and crude oil deliveries to the European Union, faces an energetic crisis as it appears unable to finance its own gas. Russia has already reduced its supplies to Ukraine by 50 percent and warns it will go further if Ukraine does not pay its $1.5 billion debt. Although only one-fourth of Ukraine's gas is imported directly from Russia, other used pipelines, which transport gas from Caucasus republics, are controlled by a Russian company.
RAMALLAH, West Bank. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asked Israel to “spare innocent life” but fell short of criticizing the recent Israeli military operation which resulted in the death of over 100 Palestinians. The secretary was visiting West Bank where she held talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who said yesterday he would suspend any peace efforts with Israel until the latter stopped bombing the Palestinian territory. Although after the meeting with Rice, Abbas seemed more inclined to return to the negotiation table, he linked his decision to the Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.
WASHINGTON, DC. Russia should be expelled from the Group of Eight (G8), argued Republican Sen. John McCain on Tuesday. The Arizona senator criticized Russia for the Sunday presidential election that foreign observes called undemocratic. The G8 consists of the seven most industrialized countries in the world; Russia is considered a member although its economy is well below the average. The Bush Administration refrained from commenting on the Russian election, saying that it would wait for an official report.
U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
HOUSTON, TX. Tuesday is judgment day for Sen. Hillary Clinton. She must win primaries in Texas and Ohio to catch up with Sen. Barack Obama, who now leads with the largest number of delegates for the national convention. According to the latest opinion polls, both candidates stand an equal chance of scoring 228 delegates in Texas and 164 in Ohio. Also on Tuesday, Democrats will hold primaries in Rhode Island and Vermont, but the probable gains are relatively low: 21 and 15 delegates, respectively.