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Key events in Sierra Leone's history
April 1961 -- Sierra Leone gains independence from Britain.
April 1992 -- President Joseph Momoh ousted in a military coup after seven years in power.
March 1996 -- Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of the Sierra Leone People's Party wins presidential election securing 60 percent of a run-off vote against John Karefa-Smart of the United National People's Party.
The military hands power to the civilian government.
April 1996 -- The new government and the Revolutionary United Front, led by Foday Sankoh, agree to a ceasefire. Within a month, the RUF accuses the government of violating the truce, saying the army had moved closer to rebel positions.
May 1997 -- Kabbah's government is overthrown in a military coup led by Major Johnny Paul Koroma. Kabbah flees to Guinea. The new ruling junta bans political parties.
June 1997 -- Street clashes in the capital Freetown lead US marines to evacuate foreign civilians.
October 1997 -- Economic sanctions imposed by other west African states prompt the military junta to agree to a peace deal which includes the later return of Kabbah to power.
January 1998 -- Clashes begin in Freetown between soldiers loyal to the military junta and a Nigerian-led force, ECOMOG.
February 1998 -- ECOMOG forces assume control of Freetown and eject the military junta.
March 1998 -- Kabbah triumphantly returns to Sierra Leone to resume presidency.
July 1998 -- The United Nations Security Council votes to send a military observer force to Sierra Leone following continuing clashes.
December 1998 -- West African countries hold emergency talks on the escalating conflict in Sierra Leone, pushing for dialogue between Kabbah and rebels who are threatening to attack Freetown. More Nigerian-led troops arrive to assist in fighting the rebels as the U.S. closes down its embassy.
January 1999 -- Rebels seize control of presidential State House and UN observers pull out of Freetown.
July 1999 -- A peace agreement is reached involving power sharing with the rebels and the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force.
November 1999 -- UN begins deployment of 6,000 peacekeepers amid criticism from rebels.
April 2000 -- Rebels attack UN troops and begin taking hostages. More than 200 UN soldiers are captured over several weeks.
May 2000 - Britain rushes 1,000 marines to Sierra Leone to prevent the fall of Freetown and to secure the city for UN peacekeepers.
June 2000 -- With Freetown stable, Britain withdraws most of its marines but leaves a 200-strong group to help train the Sierra Leonean military.
August 2000 -- A rebel group known as the West Side Boys takes hostage a group of 11 British soldiers and its local guide.
Hopes still high for release of British soldiers in Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone on the Web
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