Somalia has had no functioning government since January 1991, when former President Siad Barre was ousted. Since that time, fighting between Somali warlords, government forces and various alliances of Islamist insurgents has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Somalis and the displacement of hundreds of thousands.
One of the boldest attempts to turn a new page in Somalia and end a famine was the US Restore Hope intervention in 1992, which however, ended in failure in October 1993.
In the north, the former British protectorate of Somaliland declared its independence from the rest of Somalia in May 1991, and in 1998 the northeastern region of Puntland declared itself an autonomous state. Both regions have remained largely peaceful.
2 May 2000: Djibouti initiative in Arta sets up Somali National Peace Conference, attended by at least 2,000.
26 August 2000: A 245-strong Transitional National Assembly, based on clan representation, elects Abdiqasim Salad Hasan as new president of Somalia.
27 August 2000: President Hassan sworn in at inauguration ceremony in Djibouti.
April 2001: The Somali Restoration and Reconciliation Council (SRRC), a grouping of southern factions opposed to the interim government, is formed in Ethiopia and announces its intention to form a rival national government within six months.
November-December 2001: Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi brings together the TNG and some members of the SRRC and other faction leaders who sign the Nakuru agreement to end conflict.
November 2001: USA freezes the funds of the main remittance bank – and the largest employer – al Barakaat, for suspected links with al-Qaeda.
May 2002: Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, president of the self-declared republic of Somaliland, dies in a South African hospital and is replaced by his vice-president, Dahir Riyale Kahin.
October 2002: Another reconciliation meeting, sponsored by the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), opens in the Kenyan town of Eldoret.
January 2004: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, chairman of IGAD, brokers a deal, apparently resolves contentious issues.
22 August 2004: A 275-member transitional parliament is inaugurated.
15 September 2004: Shariff Hassan Sheikh Adan, a businessman, is elected Assembly speaker.
10 October 2004: Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, 71, elected interim president by the transitional parliament.
14 October 2004: Yusuf Ahmed is sworn in at a ceremony attended by several African heads of state in Nairobi.
3 November 2004: Yusuf appoints Ali Muhammad Gedi prime minister.
13 January 2005: Parliament approves Gedi’s reconstituted, 90-member cabinet.
6 February 2005: Parliament speaker, leading some 60 legislators, returns to Mogadishu and is welcomed by cheering crowds.
9 February 2005: Gedi announces plans to start relocating from Nairobi to Mogadishu on 21 February.
24 February 2005: President Yusuf and Prime Minister Gedi begin a week-long tour of Somalia – the first time they have stepped on Somali soil since Yusuf’s election in October 2004.
29 April 2005: Gedi flies to Mogadishu to meet MPs and ministers who insist the transitional government should be based in Mogadishu, and not Baidoa or Jowhar as proposed by the TFG.
18 February 2006 – A group of Mogadishu-based warlords, led by Mohamed Qanyare, form the Alliance for Peace and Fight Against International Terrorism and confront the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC); several days of bloody clashes ensue.
19-22 February 2006: Fighting forces thousands to flee Mogadishu, particularly the northern and southern suburbs.
February 2006: Transitional parliament meets on Somali soil for the first time – in the northwestern town of Baidoa.
March-May 2006: Hundreds killed and many more injured in Mogadishu during fierce fighting between UIC and warlords. It is the worst violence in almost a decade.
June 2006 – Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed is named UIC chairman.
July 2006: UIC defeats warlords, who flee from Mogadishu; UIC quickly moves to other parts of south-central Somalia.
August 2006: Mogadishu airport re-opens for first time since 1995. UIC also re-opens Mogadishu port.
July-December 2006: A semblance of peace and stability returns to Mogadishu for the first in over 15 years.
December 2006: Ethiopian troops and TFG forces oust the UIC from Mogadishu and much of the south, capturing Mogadishu on 28 December. TFG President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and his government enter Mogadishu for the first time since his election in 2004.
March 2007: The UIC and others opposed to the Ethiopian presence regroup and launch attacks on Ethiopian and government positions.
March 2007: First African Union peacekeeping troops (AMISOM: Ugandans and Burundians) arrive in Mogadishu.
April 2007: The fighting intensifies, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee Mogadishu – the biggest exodus the city has seen in 15 years. Hundreds are reported killed after several days of fierce clashes.
September 2007: UIC remnants and other opposition groups meet in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, and form a new alliance, to fight the Ethiopians. The Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia (ARS), led by Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, is formed.
October 2007: Prime Minster Gedi resigns, after falling out with President Yusuf.
November 2007: President Yusuf appoints Nur Hassan Hussein, also known as Nur Adde, as the new prime minister and immediately embarks on a process of reconciliation with the opposition.
November 2007: The number of Somali refugees hits one million, with nearly 200,000 fleeing Mogadishu in two weeks (UN).
June 2008: Government signs a three-month ceasefire with opposition ARS to halt fighting in Mogadishu. Part of the deal envisages Ethiopian troops leaving Somalia within 120 days, but the ceasefire is rejected by an ARS faction led by Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who vows to continue fighting until all foreign forces, including AMISOM leave Somalia.
December 2008 – President Abdullahi Yusuf tries to sack Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein over his attempts to draw the opposition into the government. Parliament declares the dismissal unconstitutional and passes a vote of confidence in Nur.
December 2008: Yusuf resigns and Speaker Sheikh Aden Madobe becomes acting-president.
January 2009: Ethiopian withdrawal completed. Al-Shabab militias take control of the southwestern town of Baidao, the former seat of the TFG, and capture senior government officials but later release them unharmed.
January 2009: ARS faction led by Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed reaches power-sharing deal with TFG in Djibouti. However, the deal is rejected by another faction led by Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys. A new expanded parliament, including 275 MPs from the opposition ARS, is inaugurated in Djibouti.
January 2009: Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed is elected by parliament to replace Yusuf and the transitional period is extended for two more years.
13 February 2009: President Ahmed appoints Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, son of the former president, as the new prime minister.
February 2009: Sheikh Sharif returns to Mogadishu to a warm welcome.
May 2009 – Al-Shabab and Hisbul Islami Islamist insurgents launch a major attack on the government and quickly gain the upper hand as they attempt to overthrow the government.
June 2009: Nearly 170,000 displaced from Mogadishu by end June and, according to local human rights groups, 397 killed, and 1,738 injured since 7 May.