July 22, 2009 / 11:34 AM / 10 years ago

TIMELINE: Events in Sudan since start of civil war

(Reuters) - An international court redefined on Wednesday the eastern and western boundaries of the disputed oil-producing Abyei area claimed by both north and south Sudan, but left the northern border mostly intact.

Following is a timeline of events in Sudan’s civil war and since:

1983 - The government, dominated by northern Arabs, adopts aspects of Islamic sharia law and, later, martial law. Relations with mostly animist and Christian south deteriorate.

1983-84 - Rebels organize Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

April/May 1986 - Sadiq al-Mahdi becomes prime minister and starts three years of chaotic coalition government.

June 30, 1989 - Lieutenant-General Omar Hassan al-Bashir takes power in bloodless coup.

1992 - A government offensive seizes southern territory, including the SPLA headquarters at Torit.

March 1996 - Elections keep Bashir in power.

April 1997 - Khartoum signs deal with South Sudan Independence Movement and other rebel groups, isolating SPLA. Peace talks open in Nairobi in October.

February 2000 - Talks resume but end after five days when rebels accuse Sudan of indiscriminate attacks on civilians.

July 20, 2002 - Five weeks of talks in Machakos, Kenya, bring a government and SPLM deal on key issues of religion and self-determination. They sign the “Machakos protocol.”

— July 27 - Bashir meets rebel chief John Garang for first time, but negotiations collapse in September 2002 after rebels seize strategic garrison town of Torit.

— October 15 - Government and SPLM sign ceasefire for duration of latest round of peace talks, the first such truce.

September 4, 2003 - Peace effort is boosted when Garang meets First Vice-President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, saving the talks.

— September 25 - Government and SPLA sign security deal, clearing a major stumbling block in peace talks.

January 7, 2004 - Government and rebels sign accord on how to share the country’s wealth when war ends.

— May 26 - Government and SPLA sign three protocols settling outstanding issues, clearing path for full peace deal.

— November 19 - Government and SPLA sign pledge before U.N. Security Council members meeting in Kenya to end war by Dec 31.

— December 31 - Officials of the government and SPLM sign the final two chapters of a peace accord.

January 9, 2005 - Garang and chief government negotiator Taha sign a comprehensive peace accord ending the civil war.

— The agreement shares oil revenues between the north and south, sets up a coalition government and promises elections, scheduled for 2010. Also the south and the oil-rich Abyei region will be able to vote in a 2011 referendum on possible secession.

— July 9 - Former rebel leader John Garang is sworn in as first vice-president. Eleven days later Garang is killed in a helicopter crash; days of riots follow killing 100 people.

— August 11 - Salva Kiir, last surviving founding member of the SPLM, is sworn in as first vice-president. Sudan’s new power-sharing government is announced in Khartoum in September.

October 11, 2007 - The SPLM rebels withdraw their members from the coalition government, to pressure their northern partners to reignite a stalled peace process. Five days later President Bashir meets former southern rebels for talks.

— December 27 - Sixteen ministers from the SPLM take the oath of office, rejoining the national government and formally ending a crippling political crisis.

May 2008 - Clashes in the oil-rich Abyei region - close to oil fields claimed by both the north and the south - kill at least 90, driving 50,000 from their homes and burning down Abyei town. A joint north-south force is due to be deployed.

— June 21 - Former north-south foes agree that an international court should decide on the boundaries of the disputed Abyei region.

— July 12 - South Sudan’s army says it has finished pulling out of Abyei but accuses the northern army of foot-dragging on its own pullout.

— August 8 - Former north-south foes reach agreement on an administration for the Abyei region, where clashes have threatened to derail the peace deal.

June 23, 2009 - North-south leaders meet in Washington to try and hammer out their remaining differences and try and maintain calm in Abyei following the international court ruling on its boundaries, expected on July 22.

July 22 - The Permanent Court of Arbitration redefines the eastern and western boundaries of the disputed oil-producing Abyei area claimed by both north and south Sudan.

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