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Key events in Somalia's violent history

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Thu, 14 Jul 2011 13:21 GMT
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LONDON (AlertNet) - Following is a chronology of some key events in Somalia’s history since independence.


July 1, 1960 - Independence sees unification of Somali peoples ruled since late 19th century by Britain and Italy.


Oct 21, 1969 - Army seizes power in bloodless coup. Major-General Mohamed Siad Barre takes control.


July 1977 - Somalia invades Ethiopia's Ogaden region and captures major towns. Ethiopian troops, backed by the Soviet Union and a Cuban contingent sent by Fidel Castro, force a Somali retreat in March 1978.


April 9, 1978 - Coup attempted by officers angered by handling of Ogaden war savagely crushed by Siad Barre.


Aug 7, 1990 - Rebel Somali National Movement, United Somali Congress (USC) and Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM) form alliance to topple Siad Barre.


Jan 27, 1991 - Siad Barre flees as rebels seize capital.

Nov 17, 1991 - Power struggle between rival clan warlords Mohamed Farah Aideed and Ali Mahdi Mohamed erupts into violence. Thousands of civilians are killed and wounded.


December 1992 - The United States sends 28,000 troops to Somalia at head of "Operation Restore Hope", a U.N. military effort to quell Somalia's wartime famine.


October 1993 - 18 U.S. Army Rangers are killed when Somali militias shoot down two military helicopters. The United States later suspects the Somalis were trained by al Qaeda, and the event is dramatized in the movie "Black Hawk Down."


March 1994 - The United States ends its mission in Somalia.


December 2002 - The United States sends 1,300 military personnel to establish a counterterrorism unit near Somalia. Based in Djibouti, the task force is designed to hunt for militant groups in six Horn of Africa countries, including Somalia. Commanders discuss sharing security technology with regional forces and training them in counterterrorism techniques.


Early 2006 - Somali warlords form an "Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counterterrorism" in Mogadishu. Experts on Somalia say the CIA is funding the group, whose members have been battling Islamic militias for control of the country.

June 2006 - Galvanising popular support with anti-U.S. rallying cries, Islamic militants take over Mogadishu and rout warlords. The Somalia Islamic Courts Council (SICC) takes control of parts of southern Somalia.

Dec. 2006 - Islamists flee Mogadishu ahead of a joint Ethiopian and Somali government force, which captures the capital. Diplomats say Washington gave tacit support -- plus surveillance and intelligence help -- to its ally Ethiopia.


Jan. 8, 2007 - President Abdullahi Yusuf arrives in Mogadishu for the first time since he became president in 2004.

Feb. 20, 2007 - U.N. Security Council authorises African Union peacekeeping mission for Somalia for 6 months. A Ugandan vanguard flies into Baidoa on March 1.


Nov. 14, 2008 - President Yusuf admits Islamist insurgents control most of the country, raising the prospect his government could completely collapse.

Dec. 29, 2008 - Yusuf resigns and says that parliament speaker Sheikh Aden Madobe will take over as interim President.


Jan. 2, 2009 - Ethiopia says it has started pulling its troops out of Somalia.

Jan. 26, 2009 - Last Ethiopian soldiers leave. Fighters from al Shabaab move into Baidoa, capturing an old granary serving as Somalia's parliament.

Jan. 31, 2009 - Moderate Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Ahmed wins the presidency in a parliamentary vote in Djibouti under a U.N.-brokered plan to broker a unity government.


July 11, 2010 - Somali Islamists carry out two bomb attacks that kill 79 people in Kampala, Uganda as soccer fans watch the World Cup final. Al Shabaab militants claim responsibility in revenge for Uganda's contribution to a peacekeeping force in Somalia.

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