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Somalia's 2 decades of chaos

07 May 2013, 12:06

Mogadishu - An international conference is being held in London on Tuesday aimed at boosting political stability in Somalia and preventing the troubled Horn of Africa nation from slipping back into abject lawlessness.

Following is a timeline of developments over the past two decades in the civil-war ravaged country:

1991: President Mohamed Siad Barre, in power since 1969, is deposed by rebels and flees the country. Civil war breaks out later that year.

- 1992-1995: The international community intervenes in a bid to end a major famine and restore peace but the United Nations' mission ends in failure.

- 2002: Amid US fears that Somalia may be becoming a haven for al-Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks, Washington reaches a deal to base forces in neighbouring Djibouti.

- 2005: The new government formed the previous year after protracted talks in Kenya enters the country but is still unable to go to Mogadishu, which is controlled by warlords. It sets up shop in the town of Baidoa.

- 2006: The Islamic Courts movement, accused by the US of harbouring al-Qaeda extremists, takes over Mogadishu after heavy fighting.

- December 2006: Ethiopia invades with Washington's blessing. The Shabaab, the Islamic Courts' armed wing, emerges and starts a bloody insurgency.

- 2007: An African Union force arrives in Mogadishu to protect Somalia's transitional federal government, which returns to the capital.

- 2009: Ethiopia completes a withdrawal. Days later, the Shabaab seize Baidoa as the UN holds talks in Djibouti with the entire Somali parliament to rally former Islamic Courts leaders.

Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed becomes president of the transitional administration.

- 2010: The Shabaab proclaim their allegiance to al-Qaeda. They claim a double attack in Kampala, in retaliation for Uganda's participation in the African Union force.

- 2011: In August the Shabaab are driven out of Mogadishu after an offensive by the AU force.

In July, famine is formally declared in parts of southern Somalia, which lasts until February 2012. The UN later said almost 260 000 people were killed, have of them children under five.

In October, a suicide bombing carried out by the Shabaab kills 82 in Mogadishu. The Kenyan army invades in the south of the country, followed by an intervention by Ethiopian troops in November.

- 2012: In February, Ethiopian troops and forces of the transitional government take the central town of Baidoa from the Shabaab.

- August 20: A new parliament for Somalia is sworn in, after the adoption of a new provisional constitution.

- September 10: Members of the new parliament elect Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as president.

- September 29: Shabaab rebels say they have abandoned the southern Somali port city of Kismayo, their last major bastion in the country, after an assault by Kenyan African Union troops.

- 2013: On January 17 the United States recognises Somalia's government for the first time since 1991.

- April 14: Around 30 are killed when gunmen storm Mogadishu's main court complex in an attack claimed by the Shabaab.

- April 25: Britain opens a new embassy in Mogadishu, 22 years after London pulled its diplomats from Somalia, and making it the first EU nation to return.

- May 2: A UN report reveals that almost 260 000 people died of hunger during the 2010-12 famine in Somalia.



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