A chronology of key events in Somalia

Somalia gains independence

British and Italian parts of Somalia become independent, merge and form the United Republic of Somalia; Aden Abdullah Osman Daar elected president.

Abdirashid Ali Shermarke is elected

Abdi Rashid Ali Shermarke beats Aden Abdullah Osman Daar in elections for president.

President Sharmarke assisination followed by Coup

Muhammad Siad Barre assumes power in coup after Shermarke is assassinated.In the following year, Barre declares Somalia a socialist state and nationalises most of the economy.

Somalia joins the Arab League
Ogaden War

Somalia invades the Somali-inhabited Ogaden region of Ethiopia. In the following year, Somali forces pushed out of Ogaden with the help of Soviet advisers and Cuban troops. Barre expels Soviet advisers and gains support of United States.

Peace accord with Ethiopia
SNM, USC and SPM form alliance

Opposition groups form alliance to oust Siad Barre

Civil war

following the removal of Siad Bare,Somalia descended into a deadly civil war. Various armed factions began competing for influence in the power vacuum and turmoil that followed.

US Invasion

US Marines land near Mogadishu ahead of a UN peacekeeping force sent to restore order and safeguard relief supplies.

Black Hawk Down

US Army Rangers are killed when Somali militias shoot down two US helicopters in Mogadishu and a battle ensues. Hundreds of Somalis die.

UN Peacekeepers Withdrawal

UN peacekeepers leave after the end of the US mission having failed to achieve their mission.

Death of Aideed

Warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed dies of wounds and is succeeded by his son – Hussein

Cairo Peace Conference / Cairo Declaration

A reconciliation meeting in Cairo, Egypt in December 1997 led to the signing of the ‘Cairo Declaration’.

Puntland Autunomy

Puntland region declares autonomy.

Somali Peace Conference in Arta

Arta conference, also referred to us Somali National Peace Conference, was held in Djibouti from 20th April to 5th May 2000 and included intellectuals, clan and religious leaders and members of the business community. The conference led to the election of Abdulkassim Salat Hassan as a president of Somalia.

Interim government

An interim government is inaugurated in Kenya. Col. Abdullahi Yusuf is elected interim president by the new governing body. The government functions in exile in neighboring Kenya.

Transitional government returns

The transitional government begins to return to Somalia. Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and Prime Minister Gedi arrive in Jowhar accompanied by a large delegation of the Kenya-based interim Somali government. It is the first time they have stepped on Somali soil since Yusuf’s election in October 2004 and his appointment of Gedi two months later.