March 6, 2007 / 3:36 PM / in 12 years

Chronology of Somalia's collapse, conflict

(Reuters) - Insurgents attacked the airport in Mogadishu on Tuesday and fought a heavy battle with government and Ethiopian troops as Ugandan peacekeepers arrived in Somalia’s lawless capital.

Here is a chronology of recent events in Somalia:

October 2004 - In 14th attempt since 1991 to restore central government, lawmakers elect Ethiopian-backed warlord Abdullahi Yusuf as president. In December, new Prime Minister Mohamed Ali Gedi swears in 27 ministers in Kenya.

February 2006 - Lawmakers arrive in the southern city of Baidoa for the first meeting of the country’s parliament on home soil.

June 2006 - The Somalia Islamic Courts Council (SICC) seizes the capital Mogadishu from U.S.-backed warlords and takes control of parts of southern Somalia. The interim government and the SICC recognize each other in their first direct talks.

September 25 - President Yusuf escapes a bomb attack that kills five outside parliament in Baidoa.

— Islamist fighters take over the southern port of Kismayo, Somalia’s third largest city.

October 9 - Islamists declare holy war against Ethiopia, which they accuse of invading Somalia to help the government.

November 30 - Ethiopia’s parliament votes to let its government take necessary steps to rebuff any invasion by the Islamists.

December 12 - Islamists tell Ethiopia to leave Somalia within seven days or face war.

December 19 - Fighting starts following the end of the deadline.

December 24 - Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi says he is waging war against the Islamists to protect his country’s sovereignty, in Ethiopia’s first public admission of military involvement in Somalia.

December 28 - Islamists flee Mogadishu ahead of a joint Ethiopian and Somali government force which captures the city.

December 31 - Somali Prime Minister Gedi enters Mogadishu.

January 1, 2007 - Islamists abandon defenses at Kismayu.

January 8 - President Yusuf arrives in Mogadishu for the first time since he became president in 2004.

— U.S. aircraft strike the southern village of Hayo, after it was believed that at least one al Qaeda suspect was sheltering there. Ethiopian and Somali troops had chased the Islamists’ last remnants to the area.

January 13 - Parliament declares a three-month state of emergency amid fears of a return to clan violence.

January 17 - Parliament ousts powerful speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan, who split with the president and prime minister late last year over his peace overtures to rival Islamists.

January 23 - Ethiopian forces begin leaving Mogadishu.

February 20 - U.N. Security Council authorizes an African Union peacekeeping mission for Somalia for six months.

March 1 - A Ugandan vanguard of an African Union peace force to help the interim government flies into Baidoa.

March 6 - Some 350 Ugandan troops land at Mogadishu airport amidst pitch battles between insurgents and government and Ethiopian troops.

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