1965 Prime Minister Ian Smith unilaterally declares Rhodesia independent from Britain. Black nationalist groups launch guerrilla activity. White regime declares state of emergency. 1980 Robert Mugabe elected prime minister in first free vote. Zimbabwe gains independence. Rival guerrilla groups compete for power. 1981-2 Armed conflict subsides, but state of emergency decrees are extended. 1983-4 Ethnic unrest flares; 2000 civilians killed in government effort to quell violence. 1985 Opposition leaders arrested, tortured. 1985-6 Ruling party and opposition begin negotiations for a merger. 1987 Negotiations suspended; opposition party offices closed, leaders detained. 1988 Parties agree to merge. Mugabe announces amnesty for armed `dissidents.' 1987-9 Zimbabwe's Central Intelligence Organization cited by Amnesty International for detention, torture, murder of opponents. Source: Amnesty International, CSM Research.