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Chronology of Somalia's collapse, conflict

(Reuters) - Defeated Somali Islamists fled their defenses near a southern port town and headed toward the Kenyan border in what appears to be the end to two weeks of war with the Ethiopian-backed government.

Here is a chronology of Somalia since 1991.

Dec 28 (Reuters) - Ethiopian and Somali government troops appear to be on the brink of capturing Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Thursday after Islamist rivals fled the city.

Here is a chronology of Somalia since 1991.

November 1991 - Power struggle after the overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre between clan warlords Mohamed Farah Aideed and Ali Mahdi Mohamed kills and wounds thousands of civilians.

December 1992 - U.N. Security Council endorses full-scale U.S.-led military operation. A week later U.S. Marines arrive on Mogadishu’s beaches in “Operation Restore Hope”.

October 1993 - Eighteen U.S. Army Rangers and one Malaysian are killed when Somali militias shoot down two U.S. helicopters in Mogadishu and a battle ensues. Hundreds of Somalis die in the fighting. Battle depicted in book and film “Black Hawk Down”. U.S. mission formally ends in March 1994.

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 2005 - Somali president and prime minister arrive in Somalia in the central town of Jowhar for the first time.

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

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

-- Islamist fighters take over the southern port of Kismayu, Somalia’s third-largest city, effectively flanking the Baidoa-based government on three sides.

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 7 - The U.N. Security Council passes a resolution endorsing African peacekeepers for Somalia.

December 12 - Islamists tell Ethiopia to leave Somalia within seven days or face war. Fighting starts on December 19 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 25 - Ethiopian jets strike the Islamist-controlled Somali airports of Baledogle, Somalia’s biggest military airfield, and Mogadishu.

December 28 - Islamists flee Mogadishu as a joint Ethiopian and Somali government force is poised to retake the capital.

-- Islamists say they have retreated to the port of Kismayu.