December 29, 2008 / 12:40 PM / 10 years ago

TIMELINE: African Union suspends Guinea following coup

(Reuters) - The African Union suspended Guinea on Monday following last week’s coup and called for a return to constitutional order in the West African country.

Here is a timeline since Guinea gained independence from France.

October 1958 - Guinea becomes independent, with Ahmed Sekou Toure as its first president.

1965 - Sekou Toure breaks off relations with France after accusing it of trying to oust him.

January 1979 - The country is renamed the People’s Revolutionary Republic of Guinea.

March 1984 - Sekou Toure dies. In April, the army seizes power and Col. Lansana Conte becomes president.

July 1985 - Former Prime Minister Diarra Traore fails to seize power in a coup attempt. He is later executed.

December 1990 - In a referendum, 99 per cent of Guinea’s voters endorse a new constitution to end one-party military rule.

December 1993 - Conte wins Guinea’s first multi-party election, but the opposition cries foul after some results are canceled.

February 1996 - Up to 40 people are killed in army pay mutiny that becomes a rebellion against Conte. Conte, captured by the mutineers is released and raises salaries for troops.

December 1998 - Conte is re-elected in a vote held after the arrest of his main challenger, Alpha Conde, for sedition.

November 2001 - A referendum changes the constitution to lift a limit on serving two presidential terms which would have forced Conte to retire in 2003. The opposition rejects the result.

December 2003 - Conte is re-elected.

January 2005 - Dissident soldiers attempt to assassinate Conte as he drives through Conakry, the country’s capital.

February 2007 - Conte appoints Lansana Kouyate as prime minister after a general strike and protests which kills over 180.

May 2007 - Army protests leave at least 10 civilians dead. Conte sacks some senior commanders.

May 2008 - Several people are killed in an army pay revolt following the dismissal of Kouyate. The government pays salary arrears.

December 23 - Government announces Conte’s death. A group of soldiers attempt a coup d’etat.

December 24 - Junta chief Captain Moussa Dadis Camara is chosen as de facto head of state by the military junta, but says he will not stand for president in elections promised in 2010.

December 25 - Deposed Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare endorses the coup, reversing his initial opposition.

December 27 - Senegal endorses Guinea’s military junta as it appealed for international backing.

December 29 - The African Union condemns the coup and suspends Guinea, calling for a return to constitutional order.

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