1960: Mali gains full independence from France. Mali's first president, Modibo Keita, declares Mali a one-party, socialist state.

1968: President Keita is overthrown in a military coup: Lt. (later Gen.) Moussa Traore becomes military head of state.

1968-74: Drought hits Mali.

1969: Attempted military coup.

1977: Antigovernment demonstrations erupt over delay in promised return to civilian rule.

1979: In elections returning the government to civil rule, General Traore, the only candidate, is elected president.

1983-84: Government launches program of economic liberalization. Another drought hits country.

1988: Traore closes Taoudenni salt mines detention center in the north after reports of continued human rights abuses.

1989-90: Pressure grows for multiparty democracy: three opposition parties are formed.

Jan.-March 1991: Antigovernment demonstrations.

March 22-24, 1991: Violent pro-democracy demonstrations are followed by a harsh government response; 150 to 300 people, mostly civilians, are killed.

March 26, 1991: Traore is arrested by one of his own officers, Lt. Col. Amadou Toumani Toure, who becomes military head of state. Colonel Toure promises to step down when civilian president is elected.

Jan. 5, 1992: Malians vote for a multiparty constitution.

Jan. 19, 1992: Municipal elections are held amid some charges of voting irregularities.

Feb. 23, 1992: National Assembly elections are scheduled.

Spring 1992: Presidential elections are expected.

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