April 2012 Current Events: World News
Here are the key events in world news for the month of April 2012.
Aung San Suu Kyi Wins Seat in Myanmar Parliament (April 1): In Myanmar's 2012 elections, Aung San Suu Kyi, who in October 2010 was released after spending nearly 20 years under house arrest, wins a seat in the parliament. Overall, the opposition dominates the parliamentary election. The National League of Democracy prevails in 43 out of 45 districts that held races, including the capital, Naypyidaw. It is a stunning victory for the opposition-and an equally symbolic defeat for the military. Observers speculate that the opposition's victory will either prompt military rulers to respond to the will of the people and enact change or view the victory as a threat to its power.
North Korea Prepares to Launch Missile despite International Disapproval (April 11): North Korea prepares to launch a ballistic missile, insisting that the launch is only for the purpose of sending a satellite into orbit. However, the missile launch is seen by the international community as a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, which insist that North Korea does not use ballistic missile technology. The launch also comes just weeks after North Korea signed an accord with the United States to limit its nuclear activities. (Apr. 12): The country attempts to launch the rocket carrying a satellite into orbit, but the rocket blows up seconds after the launch. The failure is an embarrassment to Kim Jong-un, who had days earlier been elevated to the position as leader of the national defense commission-the nation's most powerful government agency. The launch coincides with the celebration of the 100th birthday of North Korea's founder and Kim Jong-un's grandfather, Kim Il-sung. In response to the attempt, the U.S. suspends 240,000 tons of food aid to North Korea.
Uncertain Cease-Fire Begins in Syria (April 12): A United Nations backed cease-fire begins in Syria. No attacks by government forces are reported. (Apr. 13): Thousands of Syrians protest across the country. The demonstrations are seen as a test for the day-old cease-fire. (Apr. 18): While United Nations representatives attempt to reach an agreement with the Syria on how to monitor the cease-fire, government forces attack the city of Homs. (Apr. 19): Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, writes in a letter to the Security Council that Syria has not implemented all the steps of the cease-fire.
Blind Dissident Seeks Refuge at American Embassy (April 22): Chen Guangcheng, a blind lawyer and one of China's most well-known dissidents, escapes from his rural home where he had been under house arrest since 2010. Chen goes to the American Embassy in Beijing where he asks U.S. officials for help.