2020s in political history 2020s political history
refers to significant political and societal historical events of the 2020s, presented as a historical overview in narrative format.
Global events and issues
The COVID-19 pandemic
, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, caused by coronavirus disease 2019
(COVID-19) was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan
, China. The World Health Organisation
declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern
in January 2020 and a pandemic in March 2020. By December 2020 the virus had extended to virtually every corner of the planet including ships at sea
but excluding Antarctica
and a handful of small islands. As of 17 May 2021
, there were 163,161,728
confirmed cases, 
active cases, and 3,381,269
deaths. The United States
, and Brazil
reported the most infections, deaths, and recoveries; the highest death rates were reported in Belgium
, and Spain
. The United States leads in new cases, new deaths, active cases, and recoveries.
Countries with at least one election date altered
The pandemic impacted international relations and affected the political systems of multiple countries, causing suspensions of legislative activities, isolation or deaths of multiple politicians and reschedulings of elections due to fears of spreading the virus. The pandemic also triggered broader debates about political issues such as the relative advantages of democracy and autocracy,
how states respond to crises,
politicization of beliefs about the virus,
and the adequacy of existing frameworks of international cooperation.
Conflict and peace
Afghan peace process
On February 29, 2020, the United States and the Taliban signed a peace agreement in Doha, Qatar, officially titled the Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan
The provisions of the deal include the withdrawal of all American and NATO troops from Afghanistan, a Taliban pledge to prevent al-Qaeda from operating in areas under Taliban control, and talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
The United States
agreed to an initial reduction of its force level from 13,000 to 8,600 by July 2020, followed by a full withdrawal within 14 months if the Taliban keeps its commitments.
The United States also committed to closing five military bases
within 135 days,
and expressed its intent to end economic sanctions
on the Taliban by August 27, 2020.
The deal was supported by China, Russia and Pakistan, although it did not involve the government of Afghanistan.
Talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban began in Doha
on September 12, 2020. The negotiations were set for March but have been delayed over a prisoner exchange dispute. Mawlavi Abdul Hakim will lead negotiations for the Taliban, he is the group's chief justice and a close confidant of Haibatullah Akhundzada
. Abdullah Abdullah
will be one of the leading figures for the Afghan government negotiating team. The Afghan government team also comprises women's rights
Indian border skirmishes
neutrality was called into question when it was in revealed in February 2020 that German and U.S. intelligence services had been using coding devices manufactured by Crypto AG
to spy on other countries.
The recession has seen unusually high and rapid increases in unemployment
in many countries, and the inability in the United States for state-funded unemployment insurance
computer systems and processes to keep up with applications.
By October, more than 10 million unemployment cases had been filed in the United States.
The United Nations
(UN) predicted in April 2020 that global unemployment will wipe out 6.7% of working hours globally in the second quarter of 2020—equivalent to 195 million full-time workers.
In some countries, unemployment is expected to be at around 10%, with more severely affected nations from the COVID-19 pandemic having higher unemployment rates. Developing countries
were also being affected by a drop in remittances
exacerbating COVID-19 pandemic-related famines
President Trump's trade disputes
appear to be neutralizing as the President completed a phase 1 agreement with China
and renegotiated NAFTA with the ratification of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement
an improved, bipartisan trade agreement. Tomasz Brodzicki of IHS Markit
predicts that world merchandise trade volume will increase by 2.7% to 14.175 billion tons (US$18.870 trillion) in 2020 and by 5% to 14.881 billion tons (US$19.795 trillion) in 2021. He forecasts the highest growth rates in 2020 for South and North America and the lowest for Africa. He predicts low trade growth for the U.S. and Canada and continuing conflicts with China, which should benefit Taiwan
, and other parts of the ASEAN Free Trade Area
. He also says the paralysis of the multilateral dispute settlement system in the World Trade Organization (WTO)
will probably last.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA)
will go fully into effect on July 1, 2020, abolishing 90% of tariffs between member states and bringing a 50% increase in trade in the next few years.
In June 2019 the Mercosur
(Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) reached a tentative agreement.pdf
with the European Union
. They are also looking forward to similar agreements with the United States, Canada, and the EFTA bloc—made up of Iceland
, and Switzerland
History by region
The Afghan peace process
comprises the proposals and negotiations in a bid to end the ongoing war in Afghanistan
. Besides the United States, regional powers such as Pakistan
, as well as NATO
play a part in facilitating the peace process.
On February 29, 2020, the U.S. signed a conditional peace agreement with the Taliban, which calls for the withdrawal of foreign troops in 14 months if the Taliban uphold the terms of the agreement.
Work began on drafting a new constitution, which was debated in the Supreme Council
in February 2021. The draft new constitution replaces the parliamentary system with a presidential one, with presidents limited to two five years terms instead of a single six-year term. It also reduces the number of seats in the Supreme Council from 120 to 90 and establishes a constitutional court.
In March 2021 members of the Supreme Council passed a bill, scheduling a referendum on the new constitution for 11 April, the same day as local elections
The result was 79.31% in favour.
In early 2020, officials from the Malaysia's Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said that Malaysia has recovered US$322 million stolen from the sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal
, a fraction of the more than US$4.5 billion US prosecutors say was looted.
In April, the US Department of Justice returned US$300 million in funds stolen during the 1MDB scandal to Malaysia.
Former Prime Minister Najib Razak
was found guilty of one count of abuse of power, three counts of criminal breach of trust, three counts of money laundering, a total of seven charges for the SRC International trial.
were held in Myanmar
on 8 November 2020, in which the National League for Democracy
won 396 out of 476 seats in parliament, while the military's proxy party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party
, won only 33 seats.
In the 2021 Myanmar coup d'état
, democratically elected members of the ruling National League for Democracy
were detained and/or deposed from their offices by the Tatmadaw
; Myanmar's military. The Tatmadaw declared a year-long state of emergency
and declared power had been vested in the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Min Aung Hlaing
. The coup d'état occurred the day before the Parliament of Myanmar
was due to swear in the members elected at the November 2020 general election, preventing this from occurring. President Win Myint
and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi
were detained, along with ministers and their deputies
and members of Parliament
Domestic civil resistance efforts in Myanmar
, known locally as the Spring Revolution
began in opposition to the coup d'état on 1 February.
As of 2 April 2021, at least 550 civilians, including children, have been killed by military or police forces and at least 2,574 people detained
The Citizenship Amendment Act protests
occurred after the enactment of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act
(CAA) by the Indian government on 12 December 2019, which triggered widespread ongoing protests across India and abroad against the act and the associated proposals to enact a National Register of Citizens
The Amendment created a pathway to Indian citizenship for illegal migrants belonging to Hindu
, and Christian
communities from Pakistan
, who had entered India before 2014 fleeing religious persecution.
The Amendment does not provide the same pathway to Muslims and others from these countries, nor to refugee Sri Lankan Tamils in India
, or Buddhists from Tibet
The proposed National Register of Citizens
(NRC) will be an official record of all legal citizens of India; individuals would need to provide a prescribed set of documents issued before a specified cutoff date to be included in it.
The amendment has been widely criticised as discriminating on the basis of religion
, in particular for excluding Muslims.
Protestors against the amendment demand that it be scrapped and that the nationwide NRC not be implemented.
Protesters in Assam
and other northeastern states
do not want Indian citizenship
to be granted to any refugee or immigrant, regardless of their religion, as they fear it would alter the region's demographic balance.
, protests began in early 2020. Beginning first as demonstrations against the government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha
, it later included the unprecedented demands for reform of the Thai monarchy
. The protests were initially triggered by the dissolution of the Future Forward Party
(FFP) in late February 2020 which was critical of Prayut, the changes to the Thai constitution
in 2017 and the country's political landscape that it gave rise to.
Government responses included filing criminal charges using the Emergency Decree; arbitrary detention and police intimidation; delaying tactics; the deployment of military information warfare units
; media censorship; the mobilisation of pro-government and royalist groups who have accused the protesters of receiving support from foreign governments or non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) as part of a global conspiracy against Thailand; and the deployment of thousands of police at protests. The government ordered university chancellors to prevent students from demanding reforms to the monarchy and to identify student protest leaders. Protests since October, when the King had returned to the country from Germany,
resulted in the deployment of the military, riot police, and mass arrests
The European Union
reduced in member states from 28 to 27 with the exit of the United Kingdom
on January 31, 2020. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic caused a rift between Northern and Southern European member states over spending, with the former demanding more stringent measures to curb overspending, while the latter argued for more financial support in order to overcome the crisis.
A key issue of contention was the issuing of so-called corona bonds
. After a historic debt-sharing deal for economic stimulus was agreed to by the remaining countries, Hungary
threatened to veto both it and the EU's budget unless a clause demanding the upholding of the rule of law
by member states was dropped.
A compromise was reached to pass the deal, which involved delaying the implementation of the clause.
The 2020 Belarusian presidential election
was held on Sunday, 9 August 2020. Early voting began on 4 August and ran until 8 August.
Incumbent Alexander Lukashenko
was reelected to the sixth term in office, with official results crediting him with 80% of the vote. Lukashenko has won every presidential election since 1994,
with all but the first being labelled by international monitors as neither free nor fair.
Opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya
claimed to have won a decisive first-round victory with at least 60% of the vote, and called on Lukashenko to start negotiations. Her campaign subsequently formed the Coordination Council
to facilitate a transfer of power and stated that it was ready to organize "long-term protests" against the official results.
All seven members of the Coordination Council Presidium were subsequently arrested or went into exile
. Numerous countries refused to accept the result of the election
, as did the European Union
, which imposed sanctions on Belarusian officials deemed to be responsible for "violence, repression and election fraud".
The largest anti-government protests
in the history of Belarus began in the lead-up to and during the election. Initially moderate, the protests intensified nationwide after official election results were announced on the night of 10 August, in which Lukashenko was declared the winner.
In July 2020 protests erupted
through the country as a result of long-lasting corruption, state capture, lack of media freedom, particularly associated with prime minister Boyko Borisov
's governments, in power since 2009.
The murder of Samuel Paty
reignited the controversy surrounding depictions of Muhammad
, and was followed by the 2020 Nice stabbing
committed by another jihadist, as well as a far-right attack in Avignon on the same day.
Before the attacks, the Charlie Hebdo
depiction had been republished on September 1, and the trial over the Charlie Hebdo shooting
in 2015 had begun on September 2.
There had also been a second attack on Charlie Hebdo's former headquarters in Paris
on September 25, and on October 2, President Emmanuel Macron
had called Islam
a 'religion in crisis'.
Following Macron's remarks, the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
suggested he needed "mental treatment", leading France to withdraw its ambassador. Saudi Arabia
condemned France, while tens of thousands marched against in protest in Bangladesh
The French government demanded that the representative body for the religion in the country accept a 'charter of republican values', rejecting political Islam
and foreign interference, as well as establishing a system of official licenses for imams
Overseas, the French military intervention in the Sahel
continued fighting against the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara
Following a surge of migrant arrivals from Turkey, Greece
suspended all asylum applications in March 2020.
The freeze was lifted a month later.
The 2021 Greek protests
broke out in response to a proposed government bill that would allow police presence on university campuses for the first time in decades.
On 7 August 2020, a protest
against the arrest of LGBT activist Margot
led to a confrontation with police in central Warsaw
and resulted in the arrest of 47 others, some of whom were peacefully protesting and others who were bystanders to the event, dubbed "Polish Stonewall" in an analogy to the 1969 Stonewall riots
On 7 July 2020, a series of protests
and riots began over the government announcement of the reimplementation of the curfew and the government's allegedly poor handling of the COVID-19
situation, as well as being a partial continuation of the "One of Five Million" movement
. The initial demand of the protesters had been to cancel the planned reintroduction of curfew
in Serbia during July, which was successfully achieved in less than 48 hours of the protest.
Among other causes, the protests were driven by the crisis of democratic institutions under Aleksandar Vučić
's rule and the growing concern that the President
is concentrating all powers in his hands at the expense of the parliament.
Janez Janša has been accused of eroding freedom of media since assuming office. According to a report by International Press Institute
Slovenia has experienced a swift downturn in media and press freedom. IPI accused Janša of creating a hostile environment for journalists by his tweets, which IPI described as "vitriolic attacks".
He has also been accused of usurping power and corruption and is often compared to Viktor Orbán
Under Boris Johnson
's government, the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020; trade deal negotiations continued to within days of the scheduled end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 CET
. The effects of Brexit
will in part be determined by the EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement
which was agreed on 24 December 2020 and ratified by the UK Parliament
on 30 December 2020 and was "provisionally" applied by the EU from 31 December 2020.
Middle East and North Africa
Shortly after the news about the signing the ceasefire agreement broke in the early hours of 10 November, violent protests
erupted in Armenia
against Nikol Pashinyan
, claiming he was a "traitor" for having accepted the peace deal.
Protesters also seized the parliament building by breaking a metal door, and pulled the President of the National Assembly of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan
from a car and beat him.
Throughout November, numerous Armenian officials resigned from their posts, including the Armenian minister of foreign affairs, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan
the minister of defence, David Tonoyan
head of the same ministry's military control service, Movses Hakobyan
and the spokesman of Armenia's Defense Ministry, Artsrun Hovhannisyan
were held in Azerbaijan
on 9 February 2020.
They were originally scheduled to take place in November 2020,
but were brought forward after parliament was dissolved in December 2019.
Opposition parties accused President Ilham Aliyev
of limiting their ability to campaign, and called for a boycott of the election. The ruling New Azerbaijan Party
retained its majority, winning 72 of the 125 seats, although this was later reduced to 70 when results in two constituencies were annulled. The second largest party (the Civic Solidarity Party
) won only three seats.
Israel was suspected of being behind at least five explosions and fires
at Iranian nuclear sites in the summer of 2020.
The leading nuclear scientist of the country, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh
, was assassinated on 27 November 2020, with Iran blaming Israel for the attack.
In 2020–21, demonstrations
took place in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, over popular discontent with government corruption, unemployment, poor government services, and foreign interference within Iraq. Reports said that 450 protesters had been fatally shot by security forces.
Major protests were based in Nasiriyah
in Dhi Qar
province, with hundreds of protesters arriving there from other cities.
New clashes erupted in Baghdad between protesters and security forces, with security forces using gunfire against protesters.
One march included more than 1,000 students.
In March 2020, Mohammed Allawi
sent a letter to the President of Iraq
, stating that he had to decline to take office as Prime Minister since the Iraqi Parliament had declined to approve his cabinet.
Reports indicated that the crowds of protesters in Baghdad had expressed widespread opposition to Allawi.
was named by President Barham Salih
as prime minister-designate
, the third person tapped to lead the country in just 10 weeks as it struggled to replace a government that fell last year after months of protests
Kadhimi was nominated by President Barham Salih, state television reported, shortly after the previous designated prime minister, Adnan al-Zurfi
, announced he was withdrawing having failed to secure enough support to pass a government
After nearly six months of political negotiations, Iraq's parliament
confirmed al-Kadhimi as Prime Minister of Iraq
on 6 May 2020.
Before entering office, al-Kadhimi said his government would be a government that finds solutions to Iraq's many problems and not a crisis ridden government. He promised early elections and vowed Iraq would not be used as a battleground by other countries.
He assumed office on the heels of major upheavals in Iraq - protests
, falling oil prices, and the COVID-19 pandemic
The 2021 Palestinian legislative election
for the Palestinian Legislative Council
, originally scheduled for 22 May 2021, according to a decree by President Mahmoud Abbas
on 15 January 2021, was postponed.
President Abbas announced the postponement on 29 April 2021, "Facing this difficult situation, we decided to postpone the date of holding legislative elections until the participation of Jerusalem and its people is guaranteed," Abbas said in a speech on Palestinian TV.
was elected President
of the Palestinian National Authority
on 9 January 2005 for a four-year term that ended on 9 January 2009.
The last elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council were held on 25 January 2006.
There have not been any elections either for president or for the legislature since these two elections
The 2021 Israel–Palestine crisis
started on 6 May 2021, with Palestinians
protesting in Jerusalem
over a forthcoming decision of the Israeli Supreme Court
regarding the eviction of four Palestinian families
from Sheikh Jarrah
, a neighbourhood of East Jerusalem
The protests quickly escalated into violent confrontations between Jewish and Palestinian protesters. The following day, the major Islamic holy site
and the holiest to Judaism
, known as al-Aqsa Mosque
compound or Temple Mount
, was stormed
by the Israeli police
using tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades against firecrackers and stone-throwing Palestinians.
On 10 May, two Palestinian militant groups, Hamas
and Palestinian Islamic Jihad
, began firing rockets
from the Gaza Strip
, hitting multiple residences and a school.
Israel launched airstrikes
against Gaza, including airstrikes targeting multiple apartment buildings, a refugee camp, and a news office building.
In early 2020, there was some evidence of new positive ties between the Syrian government and the Kurdish leaders in the autonomous region of Rojava
, as the Kurds asked the Syrian government for help and protection against Turkish forces who invaded that region of Syria.
In June 2020, the Syrian pound underwent a dramatic collapse. The US Government stated via US Envoy James Jeffrey
that the collapse would be exacerbated due to sanctions
, and offered to help Assad if he agreed to meet certain conditions for political reform.
On 10 June, hundreds of protesters returned to the streets of Sweida for the fourth consecutive day, rallying against the collapse of the country's economy
, as the Syrian pound plummeted to 3,000 to the dollar within the past week.
On 11 June, Prime Minister Imad Khamis
was dismissed by President Bashar al-Assad, amid anti-government protests over deteriorating economic conditions.
The new lows for the Syrian currency, and the dramatic increase in sanctions, began to appear to raise new threats to the survival of the Assad government.
Analysts noted that a resolution to the current banking crisis in Lebanon
might be crucial to restoring stability in Syria.
The Yemeni Civil War is an ongoing conflict that began in 2015 between two factions: the Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi
led Yemeni government and the Houthi
armed movement, along with their supporters and allies. Both claim to constitute the official government of Yemen
In 2021, a military court
indicted (in absentia
) ex-President Blaise Compaoré
with the 1987 murder of his immediate predecessor Thomas Sankara
. Compaoré ruled the nation for 27 years following Sankara's assassination before resigning in the face of protests in 2014 and fleeing into exile in Ivory Coast
. The court also indicted thirteen other Burkinabé ex-officials accused of various crimes including murder.
were held in Burundi
on 20 May 2020 to elect both the president
and the National Assembly
. Évariste Ndayishimiye
of the ruling CNDD–FDD
was elected president with 71% of the vote. In the National Assembly elections, the CNDD–FDD won 72 of the 100 elected seats. The Conference of Bishops of Burundi
issued a statement criticizing the transparency and freedom of the election process. The church deployed around 2,716 observers across Burundi's 119 municipalities. The conference's observers witnessed intimidation and expulsion of opposition observers from the polling and vote counting stations. The church condemned the ruling party for engaging in national election fraud.
The East African Community
issued a statement saying that "The 2020 Burundi elections hold an iconic place in the history of the nation, marking this the first peaceful and democratic transfer of power. More significantly, the process was domestically driven through own funding. The peaceful conclusion of the electoral process will not only be a big win for the people of Burundi, but for the East African Community as a region."
were held in Chad
on 11 April 2021. Incumbent Idriss Déby
, who served five consecutive terms since seizing power in the 1990 coup d'état
, was running for a sixth. Déby was described as an authoritarian
by several international media sources, and as "strongly entrenched". During previous elections, he forbade the citizens of Chad from making posts online
, and while Chad's total ban on social media use was lifted in 2019, restrictions continue to exist.
Following president Déby's death, a body called the Transitional Military Council
– led by his son Mahamat Déby Itno
, dissolved the government and the legislature, and proclaimed that it would be assuming power for a period of 18 months. Thereafter, a new presidential election would be held.
Some political actors within Chad have labeled the installing of the transitional military government a "coup", as the constitutional provisions regarding the filling of a presidential vacancy were not followed.
Namely, according to the constitution, the President of the National Assembly, Haroun Kabadi
, should have been named Acting President after Déby
's death, and an early election called within a period of no less than 45 and no more than 90 days from the time of the vacancy.
Tensions began to rise again between Ethiopia and Eritrea, after several years of efforts to negotiate peace, due to possible border disputes.
After having won the Nobel Peace Prize
in 2019, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's
government adopted some policies which raised some concerns about political developments in Ethiopia. Abiy dissolved the governing coalition and formed a new party, the Prosperity Party
; some said the imposition of a brand-new political party was detrimental to political stability. Also, the government enacted some restrictions on some forms of expression which raised concern about standards of free speech
Abiy's response to rebel groups has raised some concerns about undue harshness, although some others allege that he was originally too lenient.
Amnesty International raised concerns about the status of one opposition leader.
Abiy encouraged Ethiopian refugees to return home, due to improving conditions.
A constitutional referendum
was held in Liberia
on 8 December 2020 alongside Senate elections
and two by-elections to the House of Representatives. It had been planned for 13 October, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Voters were asked whether they approved of eight amendments to the constitution, voting separately on each one. The government had planned to bundle the eight amendments into three questions, with one question on amending article 28 (citizenship), one on amending articles 45, 47, 48, 49 and 50 on the terms of office of the President, Senate and House of Representatives, and one on amending article 83 to change the date of general elections and decrease the time the Elections Commission has to investigate complaints.
However, this was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, as article 92 requires amendments to be voted on separately.
were held in Mali
on 29 March 2020
, with a second round on 19 April.
They were initially scheduled to be held on 25 November and 16 December 2018,
but were moved to April 2019 and then to June 2019,
before being postponed until 2020 by the Council of Ministers.
The elections were marred by violence in the north and center of the country.
Incidents on April 19 prevented some people from casting votes, and on 30 April the Constitutional Court overturned the results in 31 districts, giving Rally for Mali
, which is led by President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta
, ten more seats than originally expected.
Oppostion parties led by Iman Mahmoud Dicko
established the Mouvement du 5 juin - Rassemblement des forces patriotiques
(in French) (June 5 Movement - Rally of Patriotic Forces) on 30 May, and thousands took to the streets in protest on 5 June.
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and Imam Mahmoud Dicko met on 5 July,
but the opposition continued to call for civil disobedience to force Keïta's resignation and the dissolution of Parliament.
Protests turned violent on 10 July.
For the next three days, protesters in Bamako clashed with security forces,
and security forces reportedly fired live rounds at the protesters, killing at least 11 and injuring 124.
On 18 August 2020
, elements of the Malian Armed Forces
began a coup
Soldiers on pick-up trucks stormed the Soundiata military base
in the town of Kati
, where gunfire was exchanged before weapons were distributed from the armory and senior officers arrested.
Tanks and armoured vehicles were seen on the town's streets,
as well as military trucks heading for the capital, Bamako
The soldiers detained several government officials including the President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta
who resigned and dissolved the government.
The 2021 Nigerien coup attempt
occurred on 31 March 2021 at around 3:00 am WAT
(2:00 am UTC
) after gunfire erupted in the streets of Niamey
, the capital of Niger
, two days before the inauguration of president-elect Mohamed Bazoum
. The coup was staged by elements within the military
. After it was foiled, the perpetrators were arrested.
In January 2020, progress was made in peace negotiations, in the areas of land, transitional justice and system of government issues via the Darfur
track of negotiations. SRF and Sovereignty Council representatives agreed on the creation of a Special Court for Darfur
to conduct investigations and trials for war crimes
and crimes against humanity
carried out during the War in Darfur
by the al-Bashir presidency and by warlords. Two Areas
negotiations with SPLM-N (al-Hilu) had progressed on six framework agreement points, after a two-week pause, but disagreement remained on SPLM-N (al-Hilu)'s requirement of a secular state in South Kordofan and Nuba Mountains
and Blue Nile
self-determination. On 24 January on the Two Areas
track, political and security agreements, constituting a framework
agreement, were signed by Hemetti on behalf of the Sovereignty Council and Ahmed El Omda Badi on behalf of SPLM-N (Agar). The agreements give legislative autonomy to South Kordofan and Blue Nile; propose solutions for the sharing of land and other resources, and aim to unify all militias and government soldiers into a single unified Sudanese military body.
On 26 January, a "final" peace agreement for the northern track, including issues of studies for new dams, compensation for people displaced by existing dams, road construction and burial of electronic and nuclear waste, was signed by Shamseldin Kabashi of the Sovereignty Council and Dahab Ibrahim of the Kush Movement
In February 2020, a new unity government was announced, to govern the entire country, with the support of all sides of the conflict.
As one part of the agreement, the current cabinet was disbanded, in order to enable more opposition members to be appointed to cabinet roles.
In March 2020, negotiators and officials on both sides of the conflict attempted to work out arrangements to facilitate the appointment of civilian governors for various regions, in concert with ongoing peace efforts.
The EU announced its support for the peace efforts and pledged to provide financial support of 100 million Euros.
A criminal investigation was launched against the former president Jacob Zuma
after he refused co-operate with a corruption inquiry.
The South Sudanese Civil War
ended with a negotiated peace treaty. In January 2020, the Community of Sant'Egidio
mediated a Rome Peace Declaration between the SSOMA
and the South Sudanese government.
The most contentious issue delaying the formation of the unity government was whether South Sudan should keep 32 or return to 10 states
. On 14 February 2020, Kiir announced South Sudan would return to 10 states in addition to three administrative areas of Abyei
, and Ruweng
and on 22 February Riek Machar
was sworn in as first vice president for the creation of the unity government, ending the civil war.
Disarmament campaigns led by the government has led to resistance, with clashes killing more than 100 people in two days in north-central Tonj in August 2020.
were held in Tanzania
on 28 October 2020 to elect the President
and National Assembly
The presidential election was won by incumbent John Magufuli
of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi
On 24 October 2020 the opposition claimed that the government was interfering in the election by making it more difficult to accredit thousands of opposition electoral observers, whose job is to ensure that the election is fair.
The opposition has also claimed that the National Electoral Commission
, whose members are appointed by the president, have barred the challenger Lissu from campaigning while letting the incumbent Magufuli campaign.
From 27 October, the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) blocked several popular social media websites to restrict communication amid violence in the islands of Zanzibar, where dozens have been shot dead and tens have been injured by the police and other security forces.
Tanzania electoral watch panel,
USA State Department,
and European Union
were very critical about the elections.
After observing the elections, ECOWAS
determined that they were free and transparent, commending the population for its peaceful participation as an improvement from protests years prior against the long reign of the Gnassingbe family.
However, sporadic internet shutdowns were recorded across the capital and other major cities, prompting both international watchdogs and opposition parties to question the results.
On 25 February Kodjo filed a petition at the Constitutional Court asking it to overturn the results.
Three days later, he and Kpodzro called for public protests, resulting in the military surrounding their homes and the Ministry of Territorial Administration stating that protests would be illegal.
Members of the National Assembly
responded by accusing Kodjo of planning a coup.
faces sovereign default
as the first sub-Saharan African country since 2005 due to economic mismanagement by the government of Edgar Lungu
, who has grown public debt from 32% to 120% and has scared off investment by seizing mines. Debt servicing
takes up four times more money from the budget than healthcare.
Much of the money is believed to have been lost to corruption.
The main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema
has been arrested.
The electoral roll has been nulled and only 30 days have been given for re-registration.
Comparisons have been drawn to neighbouring Zimbabwe
In March 2020, massive protests occurred in the Dominican Republic, due to announced postponement of national elections.
On 7 April 2020, The Criminal Court of the National Court of Justice found the former president Rafael Correa
guilty of aggravated passive bribery in 2012–2016. He was sentenced to 8 years in prison in absentia
for leading the corruption network that between 2012 and 2016 received "undue contributions" at to finance his political movement in exchange for awarding state contracts to businessmen along with Alexis Mera, former Judiciary Secretary of the Presidency, former Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, María de los Angeles Duarte, former congresswoman Viviana Bonilla and former Constitutional Judge and his secretary Pamela Martínez.
As the Fourth Transformation
enters its second year, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO)
faces challenges involving social violence (particularly drug-related and other killings
corruption, major infrastructure development, universal health care,
and decentralization of the government.
At a news conference on January 15, 2020, journalist Jorge Ramos
pointed that during AMLO's first year as president, there were more homicides than under his predecessors; Ramos asked if a change in strategy and/or personal were required. The president assured him that we would see results by December.
George Floyd protests
The unrest began as local protests
in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul
metropolitan area of Minnesota
before quickly spreading across the entire nation
as well as George Floyd protests outside the United States
in support of Black Lives Matter
. While the majority of protests have been peaceful,
demonstrations in some cities descended into riots
and widespread looting
with some being marked by street skirmishes and strong police reaction, notably against some peaceful protesters and members of the media.
At least 200 cities imposed curfews
by 3 June, while at least 27 states and Washington, D.C, activated over 74,000 National Guard
personnel due to the mass unrest.
From the beginning of the protests to June 3, at least 11,000 people had been arrested,
including all four police officers involved in the arrest which led to Floyd's death.
All 130 congressmen corresponding to the 26 electoral districts will be elected to office for the remainder of the 2016–2021 congressional period. It was the seventh parliamentary election under the 1993 Constitution, which created the current Congress of the Republic of Peru.
During the COVID-19 pandemic in Peru
, Vizcarra instituted stay-at-home orders and issued relief funds, but existing inequality, overcrowding and a largely informal economy saw Peru being heavily affected by the pandemic. As a result, Peru's gross domestic product
declined thirty percent, increasing political pressure on Vizcarra's government. In September 2020, Congress opened impeachment proceedings against Vizcarra
on grounds of "moral incapacity", accusing him of influence peddling
after audio recordings were released by an opposition legislator, but the process did not receive enough votes to remove him from office.
On 26 March, the Department of State
declared a $15 million bounty on Nicolás Maduro
, as well as $10 million each on Diosdado Cabello
, Hugo Carvajal
, Clíver Alcalá Cordones
and Tareck El Aissami
, for charges of drug trafficking
Following this, Clíver Alcalá, a former general residing in Colombia, published a video claiming responsibility for a stockpile of weapons and military equipment seized in Colombia.
According to Alcalá, he had made a contract with Guaidó and "American advisers" in order to buy weapons to remove Maduro.
Alcalá did not present any evidence
and Guaidó rejected the allegations.
After wishing farewell to his family, Alcalá surrendered to US authorities on 27 March.
On 3 May, eight former Venezuelan soldiers were killed and seventeen rebels were captured
on 3 May, including two American security contractors, after approximately 60 men landed in Macuto
and tried to invade Venezuela. The members of the naval attack force were employed as private military contractors
by Silvercorp USA
and the operation aimed to depose Maduro from power.
The Morrison Government announced an economic stimulus package to combat the effects of coronavirus on the economy.
Timeline articles for current year
Specific issues and topics
Overviews and historical topics for this period
Country and regional entries and timelines
- 2020s decade overviews:
- Related decade overviews:
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