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Peace prospects in Sudan (III)


Peace prospects in Sudan (III)

Chronology of events

NAIROBI, Feb 25, 2004 (IRIN) —

1955 - Disorder breaks out in the south on the eve of independence.

1956 - Sudan becomes independent.

1958 - Gen Ibrahim Abbud leads military coup against the civilian government elected earlier in the year.

1962 - Anya Nya movement assumes control of southern revolt.

1964 - The "October Revolution" overthrows Abbud and a national government is established.

1969 - Ja’far Numayri leads the "May Revolution" military coup.

1972 - Under the Addis Ababa peace agreement between the government and the Anya Nya the south becomes a self-governing region.

1978 - Oil discovered in Bentiu in southern Sudan.

1983 - Numayri divides the south into three regions. Islamic shari’ah imposed in the north. Civil war breaks out again in the south involving government forces and the newly formed Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), led by John Garang.

1985 - Numayri is deposed in a bloodless military coup by a group of military officers and a Transitional Military Council set up to rule the country.

1986 - Coalition government formed after general elections, with Sadiq al-Mahdi as prime minister.

1988 - Coalition partner the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) reaches ceasefire agreement with the SPLM/A, but it is not implemented.

1989 - Operation Lifeline Sudan established. Sadiq al-Mahdi accepts DUP-SPLM/A agreement. Sadiq al-Mahdi is deposed in a bloodless military coup led by Brig (later Lt-Gen) Umar Hasan al-Bashir, who rules through Revolution Command Council (RCC).

1991 - SPLM/A splits into two factions with John Garang supporting a united Sudan and Riek Machar, Lam Akol, and Gordon Kong Chuol, who support southern succession, breaking away to form SPLM/A-Nasir faction.

1992 - Nigerian peace conferences (Abuja I and II) held, but little progress made.

1993 - RCC dissolved after Umar Hasan al-Bashir is appointed president.

1994 - Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) starts peace process and establishes a Declaration of Principles (DoP).

1995 - Egyptian President Husni Mubarak accuses Sudan of being involved in an attempt to assassinate him in Addis Ababa.

1995 - Asmara Declaration of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) acknowledges right of southern Sudan to self-determination and calls for separation of state and religion and armed struggle to overthrow the ruling National Islamic Front regime.

1997 - Sudanese government accepts IGAD DoP and agrees to discuss self-determination for the south. Khartoum Peace Agreement signed between the government, the South Sudan Independence Movement of Riek Machar and other rebel factions.

1998 - Ethiopian-Eritrean war breaks out, reducing conflict with Sudan. USA launches cruise missile attack on a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, alleging that it was making materials for chemical weapons.

1999 - Bashir dissolves the National Assembly and declares a state of emergency following a power struggle with parliamentary Speaker Hasan al-Turabi.

1999 - Sudan begins to export oil.

2000 October - IGAD Lake Bogoria, Kenya, talks.

2001 February - Islamist leader Hasan al-Turabi arrested and placed under house arrest a day after his party, the Popular National Congress, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the SPLM/A.

2001 July - Joint Libyan-Egyptian Initiative establishes a DoP calling for an all-party transitional government, but does not deal with the issue of self-determination for the south. Sudanese government accepts DoP without reservation and SPLM/A accepts with conditions.

2001 September - UN Security Council lifts largely symbolic sanctions against Sudan which involved a ban on diplomatic travel. They were imposed in 1996 over accusations that Sudan harboured suspects in an attempt on the life of Egyptian President Husni Mubarak, but US continues its sanctions.

2001 October - US President George W. Bush names Senator John Danforth as special envoy to try help end Sudanese conflict.

2001 November - US extends unilateral sanctions against Sudan, citing its record on terrorism and rights violations.

2002 January - The government and the SPLM/A sign a landmark ceasefire agreement providing for a six-month renewable ceasefire in the Nuba Mountains region of south-central Sudan.

2002 January - Riek Machar realigns part of his Sudan People’s Democratic Forces with SPLM/A.

2002 July - After weeks of talks in Kenya, the government and the SPLM/A sign the Machakos protocol covering self-determination for the south, state and religion and ending the 19-year civil war. Under the agreement, southern Sudan will be able to hold an independence referendum after a six-and-a-half-year power-sharing transition period, while the north is allowed to keep shari’ah law.

2002 July - President al-Bashir and SPLM/A leader Garang meet face to face for the first time, through the mediation of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

2002 September - Government breaks off talks, saying the SPLM/A’s seizure of the southern town of Torit spoiled the atmosphere of talks, and that the SPLM/A had reopened the issue of the separation of state and religion by demanding that Khartoum be shari’ah free.

2002 October - The government and the SPLM/A sign an MoU, agreeing to resume talks, and to implement a cessation of hostilities for the duration of talks. Talks resume.

2002 November - Cessation of hostilities agreement extended. MoU signed on ’Aspects of Structures of Government’. Talks adjourned until January 2003.

2003 January - Talks resume in Nairobi suburb of Karen. Plans also made for a separate symposium to be held dealing with the issue of the disputed border territories of southern Blue Nile, Abyei, and the Nuba Mountains.

2003 January - UN negotiates separate bilateral agreements with the SPLM/A and the Sudanese government to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid into the disputed region of southern Blue Nile for the first time.

2003 February - Government, rebels sign addendum to MoU on cessation of hostilities.

2003 February - A new rebel group calling itself the Front for the Liberation of Darfur is launched. Justice and Equality Movement rebels also emerge. Government retaliates and Darfur crisis begins.

2003 March - Darfur rebels adopt new name: Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A).

2003 March - Talks held on the three disputed border regions of Abyei, Nuba Mountains, and southern Blue Nile.

2003 April - SPLM/A and government agree to the opening of corridor along River Nile to facilitate humanitarian access.

2003 May - Talks resume with the signing of partnership agreement on administrative arrangements for the transition period, which outlines specific measures necessary for building up the humanitarian, security and development needs of southern Sudan during the first six months of the transitional period.

2003 June - Crisis in Darfur begins to seriously deteriorate with widespread displacement, refugees fleeing into Chad, killing and burning down of villages by government-allied militias.

2003 August - The worst flooding in 70 years hits Kassala region, eastern Sudan.

2003 September - Government and SPLM/A sign security deal, clearing major stumbling block to peace talks. Government and the SLM/A sign cease fire agreement, brokered by Chad, to pave way for peace talks on Darfur.

2003 October - Government releases Islamist leader Hasan al-Turabi.

2003 October - Lam Akol merges SPLM/A-United faction with SPLM/A.

2003 October - Government and SLM/A agree to extend ceasefire while they pursue negotiations in neighbouring Chad.

2003 November - Concern mounts over worsening Darfur humanitarian crisis. UN says Sudanese government is hampering humanitarian intervention by reneging on a pledge to process aid workers’ travel permits speedily.

2003 December - Government and SPLM/A negotiators agree in principle on sharing oil revenues.

2003 December - Peace talks between government and SLA, brokered by Chad, break down indefinitely amid mutual recriminations. Security situation in Darfur deteriorates significantly as a result.

2003 December - SPLM/A sends the first-ever high-profile "goodwill delegation" to meet government officials in Khartoum.

2004 January - Government and SPLM/A sign accord on sharing the country’s wealth during the six-and-a-half-year transitional period to follow signing of a peace deal.

2004 January - Peace talks with SPLM/A adjourned for three weeks to allow government delegates to perform the Muslim pilgrimage, the hajj.

2004 January - Daily bombing raids on villages in Darfur killing hundreds of civilians and causing thousands more to flee across the border into neighbouring Chad. Sudanese bombs fall on the Chadian border town of Tine, killing three Chadian civilians.

2004 February - UNHCR announces it has begun moving Sudanese refugees on Chadian side of border to safer areas inside Chad.

2004 February - President Bashir formally declares victory over rebel groups in Darfur, announces an end to the main military operations there, offers amnesty to rebels and promises safe humanitarian passage to the region. Rebel SLM/A and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) dismiss government claims of victory and launch new offensive.

2004 February - UN Special Envoy Tom Eric Vraalsen arrives in Khartoum, to follow up on President Bashir’s promise to grant humanitarian access to millions of war-affected civilians in Darfur.

2004 Feb - A possible final round of Sudanese peace talks between the government and the SPLM/A resumes in Naivasha. Remaining issues are the three disputed areas of southern Blue Nile, Nuba mountains and Abyei and power-sharing arrangements during the interim period.

2004 February - The UN announces the arrival of experts in Sudan to assess the humanitarian needs in Darfur, while UN agencies say they have begun delivering and pre-positioning food and other supplies for internally displaced persons. Humanitarian access still largely denied.

2004 February - Arab League holds its investment forum for southern Sudan to promote unity of the country.

2004 February - JEM and SLM/A say they will not attend peace conference proposed by Sudanese government.

2004 February - UN announces plans to set up a new safety corridor for Sudanese refugees in Chad.

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