News Timeline: July 2005


July 5 – Africa: MAURITIUS

The first non-Hindu prime minister of Mauritius, Paul Berenger, resigns after his coalition government, the Mauritian Socialist Movement—Mauritian Militant Movement, loses parliamentary elections. Navin Ramgoolam, leader of the opposition Social Alliance, replaces him as prime minister, having previously served in that post from 1995 to 2000.

July 5 – South Asia: INDIA

Six gunmen attack a disputed religious site in the Indian city of Ayodhya, sparking protests by Hindu nationalists. In 1992 the nationalists destroyed a mosque standing on the site, igniting one of India’s worst waves of religious violence. Currently, a temporary Hindu temple occupies the site.

July 5 – North America: UNITED STATES

The United States gets rid of cotton subsidies that have been ruled unfair by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Other countries argue that the subsidies supported the U.S.’s position as the world’s largest cotton exporter by distorting prices and harming competition.

July 7 – Europe: UNITED KINGDOM

More than 50 people are killed and 700 injured when four bombs explode in London. Muslim suicide bombers detonate the bombs in three subway stations and one double-decker bus. All four bombers—three Pakistani and one Jamaican-born—had grown up in Britain.

July 8 – International Organization/Africa: G8/AFRICA

The eight major industrial nations conclude their G8 summit with an agreement to increase aid to Africa by $50 billion. The G8 leaders also agree to cancel the debt of the 18 poorest African nations, as well as achieve universal access to HIV treatment drugs in Africa by 2010. The nations of the G8 include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

July 8 – Middle East/International Organizations: PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES/ISRAEL/G8

Leaders of the G8 pledge $3 billion in aid for the Palestinian Authority in preparation for Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. The aid money will be spent on housing and infrastructure and is meant to help Palestine and Israel coexist in peace.

July 10 – Former Soviet Republics: KYRGYZSTAN

Kurmanbek Bakiev wins the Kyrgyzstan presidential election with 89 percent of the vote. Bakiev has served as interim president since ousted President Askar Akayev fled into exile in March. An election monitoring team from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe reports that Kyrgyzstan is making real progress in democratic standards.


In the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, Bosnian Muslims bury more than 600 newly identified dead, marking the 10th anniversary of the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces in 1995. For the first time, Serbian officials, including President Boris Tadic, attend the ceremonies. The anniversary takes place shortly after the discovery of a video showing the executions of Muslim men. It has shocked many Serbs who did not believe the massacre took place.

July 13 – East Asia: PHILIPPINES

About 30,000 protesters march through the Philippines capital, Manila, demanding the resignation of President Gloria Arroyo, who is accused of rigging the 2004 elections. She also faces allegations that the members of her family profited from illegal gambling. Arroyo denies all accusations and says she will not step down.

July 14 – North America: UNITED STATES

A U.S. military report released at a Senate committee hearing finds evidence of degrading and abusive treatment of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba. The report states that the Pentagon authorized most of the techniques. However, it also states that no cases of torture or inhumane treatment were found. Human rights groups have heavily criticized the treatment of prisoners at the prison camp.

July 16 – Middle East: IRAQ/IRAN

More than 10 Iraqi ministers, including Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari, travel to Iran as a part of the highest-level delegation for the first time since the Iran-Iraq war. Relations between the two countries have improved significantly since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. The growing relationship creates unease in the United States, where officials are wary of an Iranian influence in Iraq.

July 16 – Middle East: IRAQ

A string of deadly bombings takes place in Iraq after the U.S. military claims of success in reducing the number of car bombs and suicide attacks. One such suicide bomb in the town of Musayyib, south of Baghdad, kills 90 people and injures 156.

July 17 – East Asia: CHINA/TAIWAN

The nationalist party in Taiwan, Kuomintang (KMT), elects as its new leader Ma Ying-jeou, who is also the mayor of Taipei. Ma won the election that was the KMT’s first since the party formed over a century ago. The KMT, which is Taiwan’s largest opposition party, favors better relations with China.

July 17 – Middle East: IRAQ

The Iraqi special tribunal makes its first formal charge against ousted former President Saddam Hussein. The charges stem from the torture and execution of hundreds of Shia Muslims in Dujail in 1982 after a failed assassination attempt against the former ruler. U.S.-led forces overthrew Hussein in 2003 and arrested him in December of that year.

July 20 – East Asia: CHINA

The United States Pentagon reports to Congress that China has built up a supply of up to 730 short-range missiles on the coast across from Taiwan. The Pentagon estimates that China’s military budget is near $90 billion, the largest budget in Asia and the third largest in the world after the U.S. and Russia.

July 22 – International Organizations/Africa: UNITED NATIONS/ZIMBABWE

A UN report declares the Zimbabwe government’s Operation Drive Out Rubbish, a slum clearance program, to be in violation of international law. Zimbabwe has demolished hundreds of thousands of homes and evicted the residents in a move that the government claims is a crackdown on black market trading and criminal activity. The UN report criticizes the demolition for being haphazard and inhumane.

July 22 – Africa: NIGER

Food and money begins to arrive in Niger, where millions of people face severe food shortages. Aid agencies have criticized the international community for responding too slowly to the food crisis, brought on by a drought and a locust invasion that destroyed last year’s harvest and led to the deaths of thousands of children. Niger, a desert country, is one of the poorest nations in the world.

July 22 – Latin America: PERU

Armed robbers steal more than $1 million in gold and silver bars from the Tucari mine in the Puno province, one of Peru’s poorest regions. Such a coordinated attack is extremely rare in Peru. Gold mining comprised 55 percent of Peru’s exports in 2004, and the country’s economy relies on the rising price of gold. Analysts fear the incident could affect foreign investment in Peru.

July 22 – Middle East: YEMEN

Protesters clash with police across the country over the dramatic price increase of fuel. At least 36 people die in the violence that results after the government lifts fuel subsidies, doubling the cost of petrol overnight. The measure is a part of economic reforms in Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world.

July 22 – International Organizations/Africa: UNITED NATIONS/ZIMBABWE

A UN report declares the Zimbabwe government’s Operation Drive Out Rubbish, a slum clearance program, to be in violation of international law. Zimbabwe has demolished hundreds of thousands of homes and evicted the residents in a move that the government claims is a crackdown on black market trading and criminal activity. The UN report criticizes the demolition for being haphazard and inhumane.

July 23 – Africa: EGYPT

At least 64 people are killed and 200 injured when terrorists detonate bombs in a hotel, a market, and a parking lot in Sharm al-Sheikh. The bombings in this resort town are the worst terrorist attack in Egypt in over two decades. The attacks coincide both with the high tourist season and with anniversary celebrations of the 1952 Egyptian revolution.

July 25 – International Organizations: INTERNATIONAL AIDS SOCIETY

At the International AIDS Society conference, scientists report that countries in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, such as Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova, face a threat of epidemic explosion of HIV/AIDS, as the disease follows the route of heroin traffic from Afghanistan. Prevention methods are scarce in the region, and some, such as safe needle exchange programs, are illegal.

July 26 – East Asia/International Organizations: MYANMAR/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH EAST ASIAN NATIONS

At a meeting of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Laos, Burma agrees not to chair the ASEAN in 2006. ASEAN members want Burma to introduce democratic reform before chairing the organization, so as not to harm its reputation. This is a new assertiveness on the part of ASEAN members, who have previously maintained a policy of noninterference in other states’ domestic affairs.

July 28 – Africa: GUINEA-BISSAU

The former military dictator of Guinea-Bissau, Joao Bernardo Vieira, also known as Nino, wins a run-off presidential election, defeating Malam Bacai Sanha. Guinea-Bissau has experienced several coups and dictatorships since gaining its independence from Portugal in 1974. Sanha’s African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC) ruled the nation until Vieira seized power in 1980. Vieira ruled for 18 years until he was overthrown in 1999.

July 28 – Europe: UNITED KINGDOM

In Northern Ireland, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) declares that it will pursue its goals through peaceful means. After an embarrassing bank robbery in 2004 and an IRA gang’s brutal murder of an innocent pub-goer, the organization gives in to pressure and tells its members to disarm. The IRA had been fighting violently for the end of the British presence in Northern Ireland.

July 28 – Europe/Former Soviet Republics: POLAND/BELARUS

Tensions grow between Belarus and Poland, as the two nations expel each others diplomats. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko accuses Poland of interfering in the country’s domestic affairs, and the Polish minority in Belarus of plotting his overthrow. Poland claims that Belarus is persecuting the Polish community. There are approximately 400,000 ethnic Poles living in Belarus.

July 29 – Africa: RWANDA

Rwanda releases the first of 36,000 prisoners detained for their role in the 1994 genocide against Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Many have been held without trial for 10 years. The freed prisoners are not accused of the most serious crimes and include the elderly and the sick. Before returning home, the prisoners must spend six weeks at a solidarity camp to help them reintegrate into society.

July 29 – Middle East/Europe: TURKEY/EUROPEAN UNION

Turkey signs a European Union protocol extending custom union to the 10 new EU members, including Cyprus. Because Turkey does not recognize Cyprus, it issues a statement after the signing, which reinforces that position.

July 30 – Europe: ITALY

The Italian parliament enacts tough new laws to battle terrorism in the aftermath of the London subway bombings. The laws range from more flexible Internet and phone surveillance to greater powers to detain suspects. They also ban hiding one’s features in public, such as underneath an Islamic burqa.

July 30 – Former Soviet Republics/Russia: GEORGIA/RUSSIA

Russia begins its troop withdrawal from Georgia, marking the end of a 200-year military presence in the country. Troops leave the Russian base in Batumi, one of two sites Russia has agreed to shut down. Despite recent tensions between Georgia and Russia, local Georgians see the soldiers off with glad tidings, champagne, and flowers.