Key events in Sierra Leone, the West African nation that won independence from Britain April 27, 1961:
April 29, 1992: Capt. Valentine Strasser ousts President Joseph Momoh, in power since 1985 under a single-party system. Coup sparked by frustration with conduct of a bush war begun in 1991 against Foday Sankoh's Revolutionary United Front rebels.
Jan. 16, 1996: Captain Strasser's deputy, Julius Maada Bio, ousts him, promising multiparty elections.
March 15: Lawyer Ahmad Tejan Kabbah wins runoff with 59.5 percent of the vote, takes office weeks later.
May 25, 1997: Disgruntled soldiers topple Mr. Kabbah. Sankoh's rebels install Maj. Johnny Paul Koroma.
June 3: US Marines evacuate foreign civilians from Freetown after clashes between junta loyalists and Nigerian-led West African forces there under a defense pact.
Aug. 30: Sierra Leone's West African neighbors impose economic sanctions on the junta to compel it to restore Kabbah to power.
Oct. 24: Junta envoys and foreign ministers from the Economic Community of West African States agree to peace deal under which Kabbah is to be restored to power by April.
Jan. 27, 1998: Junta loyalists and soldiers in West African force ECOMOG clash.
Feb. 12: Nigerian soldiers from ECOMOG eject junta.
March 10: Kabbah returns to Freetown.
May 7: Junta loyalists launch attacks in the north.
July 13: UN Security Council votes unanimously to send a small military observer force to Sierra Leone.
Oct. 19: Firing squad executes 24 Sierra Leone soldiers in public for taking part in 1997 coup.
Oct. 23: High Court sentences rebel leader Sankoh to death for treason.
Nov. 5: High Court sentences former President Joseph Momoh to 10 years in prison on charges of conspiracy.
Dec. 24: US suspends operations at its embassy.
Dec. 28: West African foreign ministers end an emergency meeting with an appeal to rebels to lay down their arms.
Dec. 29: Nigeria flies in extra troops to fight rebels.
Jan. 4, 1999: Artillery fire shakes Freetown. Peacekeepers say they have repelled rebel attack on airport.
Jan. 6: Rebels attacking Freetown seize control of presidential State House, witnesses say. UN personnel pull out en masse from Freetown.