March 2009 Current Events: World News
Here are the key events in world news for the month of March, 2009.
- President of Guinea-Bissau Killed (March 2): President João Bernardo Vieira of the small African country of Guinea-Bissau is shot to death by army troops. The assassination is said to be retaliation for a bomb attack that killed the army chief of staff, Gen. Batista Tagme Na Wai, on March 1, which they blame on the President. The military denies that a coup is under way, stating that the president's killers are an isolated group of soldiers.
- Attack on Sri Lankan Cricket Team Kills 8 in Pakistan (March 3): A group of 12 gunmen in Pakistan attack the national cricket team of Sri Lanka and their police escorts. Six policemen are killed in the attack, as well as two bystanders. Six cricketers are wounded. Cricket is the national sport of Pakistan, and its players have never been attacked while in that country, until now. Several countries' teams have refused to travel to Pakistan for games, citing their team members' safety. The Sri Lankan team is the first to travel to the country in over a year.
- Arrest Warrent Issued for Sudan's President Bashir (March 4): The ICC issue an arrest warrant for the president of Sudan, Omar Hassan Ahmad al Bashir, charging him with war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region. An indictment for genocide is rejected by the court. (March 6): Bashir responds to his arrest order by threatening to shut down the 13 aid agencies that operate relief camps in Sudan and assist millions of people in Darfur. The UN says that if Bashir carries out his plan, 1.1 million people would be left without food, 1.1 million without health care, and another 1 million without water.
- Two British Soldiers Dead After Shooting in Northern Ireland (March 7): Two British soldiers are gunned down and killed by the members of the Real IRA—a dissident organization of the Irish Republican Army—in Northern Ireland. Four others are seriously wounded. This is the first deadly attack on the British military in Northern Ireland since 1997. Both the Catholic and Protestant communities have condemned the attack
- Suicide Bomber Kills 28 in Baghdad (March 8): A suicide bomber kills 28 people and injurs 57 when his motorcycle, laden with explosives, blows up near a Police Academy in Baghdad, Iraq. Five of the dead are police officers. (March 10): Another 33 people are killed by a suicide bomber in Baghdad, this time aimed at a group of Iraqi Army officers. The blast injurs 46 others.
- Suicide Bomber Kills 14 in Sri Lanka (March 10): A suicide bomber in southern Sri Lanka kills 14 people and injured 46. The bomber struck a ceremony at a local mosque. The group responsible for the blast is reportedly the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
- German Gunmn Kills 15 in Shooting Rampage (March 11): Nine students and three teachers are killed when a 17-year-old gunman opens fire at a technical high school in Winnenden, Germany, near Stuttgart. The shooter flees the school, hijacks a car, and drives to the nearby town of Wendlingen. Once there, a shootout with police leaves the gunman and two bystanders dead.
- Pakistan's President Agrees to Reinstate Chief Justice (March 16): Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, will be reinstated by President Asif Ali Zardari. The decision is a concession to opposition leader Nawaz Sharif.
- Madagascar President Ravalomanana Resigns; Rajoelina New Leader (March 17): After a bitter, three-month-long power struggle with opposition leader Andry Rajoelina, the former mayor of the capital of Madagascar, Antananariv, Marc Ravalomanana resigns as president. In an apparent coup, he hands power over to the military, which in turn transfers control to Andry Rajoelina.
- Indonesian Dam Breaks, Killing at Least 60 (March 27): At least 60 people are reported dead after a dam in Jakarta, Indonesia breaks due to heavy rains. Dozens are still missing, and many more are expected to be found dead as rescue efforts continue. The breach occurrs at approximately 2 A.M., while most residents of the city were asleep.
- U.S. Pledge $40 Million for Afghanistan Elections (March 30): The U.S. will give the government of Afghanistan $40 million to facilitate elections in August, announces Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The money provided by the U.S. government will help supply the country with ballot boxes and pay ballot counters.
- African Migrant Boat Sinks, Killing 200 (March 31): At least 200 illegal migrants are killed when a boat traveling from North Africa to Europe sinks off the coast of Libya, carrying 257 people. Officials from the International Organization for Migration are as yet unsure of the total number of lives lost, and attribute the capsizing to high winds and possible overcrowding on the boat.