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Consider the following pairs

CountryImportant reason for being in the news recently
1. ChadSetting up of permanent military base by Chine
2. GuineaSuspension of Constitution and Government by military
3. LebanonSevere and prolonged economic depression
4. TunisiaSuspension of Parliament by President

How many pairs given above are correctly matched?

(a) Only one pair

(b) Only two pairs

(c) Only three pairs

(d) All four Pairs

This topic of “Consider the following pairs” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

Explanation

  • Pair 1 (Chad – Setting up of permanent military base by China) is incorrectly matched. Classified American intelligence reports suggest China intends to establish its first permanent military presence on the Atlantic Ocean in Equatorial Guinea, not Chad. China’s only current permanent military base in Africa is in Djibouti, established in 2017.
  • Pair 2 (Guinea – Suspension of Constitution and Government by military) is correctly matched. In September 2021, Guinean special forces staged a coup, capturing President Alpha Conde and suspending the constitution and government.
  • Pair 3 (Lebanon – Severe and prolonged economic depression) is correctly matched. Lebanon has been facing its worst economic crisis in decades since late 2019, with GDP plummeting, high inflation, currency devaluation, rising poverty and unemployment.
  • Pair 4 (Tunisia – Suspension of Parliament by President) is correctly matched. In March 2022, Tunisia’s President Kais Saied announced the dissolution of parliament, which he had suspended in July 2021.

So in total, three pairs are correctly matched.

Learn more

Political instability in West Africa

  • There has been a rise in coups and military takeovers in West Africa in recent years, including in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Chad.
  • Key factors include dissatisfaction with civilian governments, economic stagnation, corruption, and the weakness of democratic institutions.
  • Regional bodies like ECOWAS have tried to pressure juntas to restore civilian rule quickly through sanctions and suspensions.

Lebanon’s economic depression

  • Lebanon has faced an economic meltdown since late 2019, with currency collapse, hyperinflation, rising poverty, crumbling services.
  • Key factors include unsustainable public debt, extensive corruption, the impact of the Port of Beirut explosion, COVID-19.
  • Reforms are urgently needed but political deadlock has prevented this. International aid is tied to reforms.

Democratic backsliding in Tunisia

  • Tunisia was seen as the sole democratic success story from the Arab Spring.
  • However, President Kais Saied has taken increasing authoritarian measures including suspending parliament.
  • Critics see this as reversing democratic gains made since the 2011 revolution.

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