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April 9 marks the 25th anniversary of the 1989 tragic events, when Soviet troops dispersed a peaceful demonstration outside the parliament building in Tbilisi leaving 20 people dead.
The Week Ahead is a detailed listing of key events of the coming week affecting RFE/RL's broadcast region.

Now on Twitter! Daily updates at @The_Week_Ahead.

MONDAY, April 7:

Azerbaijan/Russia: Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov makes an official visit to Baku (to April 8).

Council of Europe: The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) plenary session opens in Strasbourg (to April 11).

U.S./South Caucasus: German Marshall Fund of the United States in Washington hosts a discussion titled "South Caucasus: The Dividing Lines Are Shifting."

WHO: World Health Day.

Ukraine: UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues Rita Izsak visits Ukraine to gather first-hand information from minority communities in the country (to April 13).

TUESDAY, April 8:

Armenia/CIS: Yerevan hosts a Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Air Defense Coordination Council meeting.

Azerbaijan/CIS: Baku hosts a Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Chiefs of Staff Committee meeting.

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Croatian President Ivo Josipovic visits Mostar and Sarajevo (to April 9).

Iran: Iran and world powers hold a new round of nuclear talks in Vienna (to April 9).

Moldova: UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansieri visits Chisinau and Tiraspol (to April 11).

World: International Roma Day.


: The 25th anniversary of the 1989 tragic events, when Soviet troops dispersed a peaceful demonstration outside the parliament building in Tbilisi leaving 20 people dead.

Russia/U.S.: Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov visits Washington (to April 11).

Ukraine/CoE: The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is scheduled to discuss the situation in Ukraine during its plenary session in Strasbourg.

THURSDAY, April 10:

Moldova: Next round of 5+2 talks on the Transdniester conflict settlement is scheduled to begin in Vienna (to April 11).

Russia/CoE: The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is scheduled to reconsider the already ratified credentials of the delegation of the Russian Federation during its plenary session in Strasbourg.

FRIDAY, April 11:

Czech Republic
: EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fuele participates in the conference in Prague titled "Ten years since the EU Enlargement to the East."

SATURDAY, April 12:

: International Day of Human Space Flight.

SUNDAY, April 13:

: Presidential election.
A still from Afghan election anthem contest winners Sami and Shaheed
Go to the voting stations without any fear,
Go and exercise your voting right.
We witnessed suicide attacks, bombings, and blasts,
We witnessed the leaves of the trees turning pale.
The women, men, and youth are voting for their county.

Those are lyrics from Afghan rap duo Sami and Shaheed.

Along with Sonita Alizadeh, they are the respective winners of the male and female categories of a competition that developed the first-ever election anthem in the country.

The winners were announced at a ceremony last month in Kabul that was attended by a jury made up of professional musicians and election officials.

We profiled the competition here.

Music promoters Argus and Sound Central awarded the three young artists a lucrative prize of $1,000 each. The three have since recorded their songs professionally and made their music videos ahead of the landmark April 5 presidential election.

Here's Sami and Shaheed's winning song:

Here's Sonita's prize-winning effort:

Sami and Shaheed are two brothers from Herat, in western Afghanistan.

The 18-year-old Sonita is also originally from Herat. Sonita, who lived as a refugee in Iran for years, raps about the tough life of Afghan immigrants in the Islamic republic and the challenges facing women and girls in Afghanistan, a deeply conservative and religious society.

The intention of the foreign-funded competition was to encourage young people in Afghanistan to vote. More than 70 percent of the Afghan population is below the age of 25.

Afghanistan's last presidential election, in 2009, was marked by a low turnout, with election officials saying only 30 to 35 percent of eligible voters cast ballots. And young voters are seen as a important demographic to win over to ensure a high turnout and credible election.

The leading front-runners in the election have all tried to woo young people. The 64-year-old Ashraf Ghani went so far as describing himself as the "embodiment of the aspirations of the young men and women of this country."

Afghan youth have enjoyed unprecedented opportunities and freedoms in the 13 years since the fall of the Taliban, and many are keen to protect them.

Significantly, young voters are likely to break the country's traditional electoral politics in which many vote for candidates based on their ethnic affiliation. Young Afghans, however, have shown during campaigning that they are interested in modernization and development and less with ethnic loyalties.

-- Frud Bezhan

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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