Mozambique profile - Timeline

A chronology of key events:

3rd century - Iron Age Bantu-speaking tribes move into area from west-central Africa.

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Image caption Eduardo Mondlane led the Frelimo independence movement which eventually took over from the Portuguese colonists

11th century - Shona empire develops between Limpopo and Zambezi rivers.

1498 - Portuguese expedition led by explorer Vasco da Gama drops anchor off Mozambican coast.

16-17th centuries - Portuguese venture into interior. Following military campaigns, colonists set up trading posts and mining enterprises and parcel-out land to European settlers.

18th-19th centuries - Mozambique becomes major slave-trading centre.

Slave trade banned

1842 - Portugal outlaws slave trade from Mozambique, but clandestine trade continues for decades.

1878 - Portugal leases large tracts of territory to trading companies, who use conscript African labour to further their interests and build infrastructure.

1891 - Portugal and Britain define Mozambique's western and southern borders.

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Image caption The Portuguese military battled against a relatively small guerrilla force fighting for independence

1902 - Lourenco Marques becomes colonial capital.

1932 - Portugal breaks up trading companies and imposes direct rule over colony.

1950s-60s - Colonial economy thrives, attracting thousands of new Portuguese settlers to Mozambique.

1962 - Exiled activists opposed to Portuguese colonial power meet in Tanzania to form Mozambique Liberation Front - Frelimo - headed by Eduardo Mondlane.

1964 - Frelimo forces begin war of independence. Guerrilla tactics frustrate Portuguese and Frelimo take control of much of north.

1974 - Military coup in Portugal. New government supports autonomy for colonies; start of departure of 250,000 Portuguese inhabitants.

1974 - Portugal and Frelimo sign Lusaka Accord; transitional government is established.


1975 - Mozambique becomes independent. Frelimo rules under single-party system with leader Samora Machel as president.

1976 - Lourenco Marques is renamed Maputo.

1976 - Renamo - an anti-Frelimo resistance group - is set up by white Rhodesian officers as clashes with Frelimo forces escalate and Mozambique imposes economic sanctions against Rhodesia.

1977 - Frelimo adopts Marxist-Leninist doctrine.

1980 - Renamo is supported by South Africa after collapse of Rhodesian regime.

1984 - Under Nkomati Accord, Mozambique drops support for African National Congress (ANC) in return for South African withdrawal of backing for Renamo. Short-lived ceasefire fails and Renamo continues its offensives.

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Image caption Samora Machel was killed in an unexplained air crash in South Africa in 1986. The wreckage is pictured in a museum

1986 - President Machel is killed in an air crash. Joaquim Chissano becomes president.

1989 - Frelimo renounces Marxist-Leninist doctrine.

Multi-party politics

1990 - Government amends the constitution to allow a multi-party political system. Initial talks take place between government and Renamo.

1992 - President Chissano and Renamo leader Afonso Dhaklama sign peace deal in Rome.

1994 - Chissano is reelected.

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Image caption Civil war and drought in the 1990s forced some people to forage for roots to eat

1995 - Mozambique becomes Commonwealth member.

1999 December - Chissano defeats Renamo's Dhlakama in presidential elections.

2000 February - Devastating floods sweep through south of country, forcing tens of thousands to flee and leaving trail of destruction.

2000 November - More then 40 people killed in rioting at Renamo protests against 1999 elections. Renamo claims poll was rigged; international observers say election was free and fair.

2000 November - 82 inmates die at prison in north, many of them Renamo supporters rounded up after election riots. Preliminary report suggests asphyxiation owing to overcrowding as cause.

2001 March - Flooding in Zambezi Valley displaces around 70,000 people. Two upstream dams forced to open flood gates, releasing huge volumes of water into river.

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Image caption Joaquim Chissano served as president for two terms

2002 June - Frelimo chooses independence struggle veteran Armando Guebuza as candidate for 2004 presidential elections; Chissano had declined to run for third term.

2002 November - Two defendants in murder trial allege that son of President Chissano is linked to 2000 killing of journalist Carlos Cardoso. Nymphine Chissano denies knowledge of murder.

2003 November - Brazil promises to build plant in Mozambique to produce anti-retroviral drugs for HIV-Aids sufferers.

Guebuza as president

2005 February - Frelimo's Armando Guebuza inaugurated as president after defeating his main rival, Afonso Dhlakama of Renamo, in November's presidential poll.

2005 October - Work starts on a long-planned "Unity Bridge" over the Ruvuma river, intended to link Mozambique and neighbouring Tanzania.

2006 July - The World Bank cancels most of Mozambique's debt under a plan promoted by the G8 nations.

2007 February - Chinese President Hu Jintao visits, promises interest-free loans for agriculture, health and education.

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Image caption Afonso Dhaklama led the rebel group Renamo whose campaign destabilised the country for decades

2007 March - Three days of mourning are declared after nearly 100 people are killed in an explosion at an arms depot in the capital.

2008 January - More than 50,000 people displaced by flooding along the Zambezi valley.

2008 May - Government begins voluntary repatriation of citizens in the wake of xenophobic violence in South Africa targeting African migrants. Thousands of Mozambican legal workers in South Africa are said to have fled the country.

2009 January - UN says 350,000 people in Mozambique are in need of food aid as a result of poor harvests caused by poor rainfall.

2009 October - The government announces a $500m loan from the European Union and Danish and Dutch governments to build a railway line to link the coal-rich northern Moatize mines to the port of Nacala by 2015.

President Guebuza wins re-election with more than 75% of the vote. Main opposition Renamo party alleges widespread fraud, while monitors accuse election commission of lacking independence.

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Image caption Mozambique has suffered flooding several times, including in 2000

2010 February - Former minister Antonio Munguambe sentenced to 20 years in prison for embezzling $1.7m in state funds, in the highest-level corruption conviction since 1975.

2010 September - Food price protests. Several people killed when police open fire.

2010 October - Diplomatic row with Malawi over new waterway connecting land-locked Malawi with Mozambican coast. Mozambique impounds first barge to use new route.

2010 December - Mozambique has become a leading drug trafficking centre, with senior figures turning a blind eye, according to classified US documents released on WikiLeaks.

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Image caption Former Mozambican first lady Graca Machel went on to become South Africa's first lady when she married President Nelson Mandela

2011 October - Italian energy company Eni says it's made a giant gas discovery off the coast.

2012 February - South Africa deploys troops along the border to combat rhino poaching.

2012 March - Police raid a camp housing 300 supporters of the opposition Renamo movement who had allegedly been waiting for orders to stage anti-government protests.

2012 April - Portugal agrees to give up its remaining stake in the Cahora Bassa hydro-electric scheme, ending a long-running dispute.

2013 June - Tension flares between authorities and opposition Renamo, prompting fears of a return to civil war.

2013 February - Campaign group Environmental Investigation Agency says half of Mozambican timber exports to China come from illegal logging.

2013 June - Mining giant Rio Tinto suspends coal exports after former Renamo guerrillas threaten to disrupt rail traffic.

2013 October - Renamo says it is pulling out of the 1992 peace deal after the army seizes a base belonging to the opposition movement's leader, Afonso Dhlakama.

2013 November - Protesters in Maputo, Beira and Quelimane demonstrate against kidnappings, and against clashes involving government troops and members of Renamo.

2014 January - Hundreds flee fighting between government forces and Renamo rebels in the south district of Homoine.

2014 April - South Africa and Mozambique sign an agreement aimed at saving the endangered rhino.

2014 May - A judge investigating a wave of kidnappings is shot dead.

2014 September - Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama emerges from hiding to sign a peace agreement with President Guebuza, ending a two-year insurgency. Mr Dhlakama says he is running for president.

2014 October - The ruling Frelimo party and its candidate Filipe Nyusi win presidential and legislative elections.

2014 January - Renamo boycotts opening of parliament in protest at last October's election results and threatens to form a parallel government.

2016 April - IMF as well as several donors suspend funding after it was discovered the government had failed to disclose debts of more than a billion dollars.

2017 January-August - Stop-start peace talks with Renamo continue, amid reports of attacks by suspected Renamo militants. President Nyusi and Renamo leader Dhlakama meet and agree to complete a peace process by year's end.

Northern insurgency

2017 November - Several mosques in the north are ordered shut following attacks by Islamist extremists.

2018 May - Rebel leader Afonso Dhlakama dies. He is given a state funeral.

2018 June - Several people die in ongoing beheadings and kidnappings by Islamists in northern Cabo Delgado province.

2019 March - Cyclone Idai causes extensive flooding and loss of life in Sofala Province.