Namibia profile - Timeline

A chronology of key events:

1488 - Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias visits.

1886-90 - Present international boundaries established by German treaties with Portugal and Britain. Germany annexes the territory as South West Africa.

1892-1905 - Suppression of uprisings by Herero and Namas. Possibly 60,000, or 80% of the Herero population, are killed, leaving some 15,000 starving refugees.

South African occupation

1915 - South Africa takes over territory during First World War.

1920 - League of Nations grants South Africa mandate to govern South West Africa (SWA).

1946 - United Nations refuses to allow South Africa to annex South West Africa. South Africa refuses to place SWA under UN trusteeship.

1958 - Herman Toivo Ya Toivo and others create the opposition Ovamboland People's Congress, which becomes the South West Africa People's Organisation (Swapo) in 1960.

1961 - UN General Assembly demands South Africa terminate the mandate and sets SWA's independence as an objective.

1966 - Swapo launches armed struggle against South African occupation.

1968 - South West Africa officially renamed Namibia by UN General Assembly.

1973 - UN General Assembly recognises Swapo as "sole legitimate representative" of Namibia's people.

1988 - South Africa agrees to Namibian independence in exchange for removal of Cuban troops from Angola.

1989 - UN-supervised elections for a Namibian Constituent Assembly. Swapo wins.


Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Independence celebrations: Namibia's new president Sam Nujoma shakes hands with President FW de Klerk of South Africa, which gave up rule over the territory

1990 March - Namibia becomes independent, with Sam Nujoma as first president.

1994 - South African exclave of Walvis Bay turned over to Namibia.

1994 - Nujoma and Swapo re-elected.

1998 - Hundreds of residents of the Caprivi Strip flee to Botswana, alleging persecution by the Namibian government.

1998 August - Namibia, Angola and Zimbabwe send troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo to support President Laurent Kabila against rebels.

1999 August - Emergency declared in Caprivi Strip following series of attacks by separatists.

1999 December - Nujoma wins third presidential term.

1999 December - World Court rules in favour of Botswana in territorial dispute with Namibia over the tiny Chobe River island of Sedudu - known as Kasikili by Namibians.

2001 November - President Nujoma says he will not stand for a fourth term when his presidency expires in 2004.

2002 August - New prime minister, Theo-Ben Gurirab, says land reform is a priority. President Nujoma says white farmers must embrace the reform programme.

2003 November - Union representing black farmworkers calls off plans to invade 15 white-owned farms after reaching agreement with white farmers' group. Government says illegal land occupations will not be allowed.

2004 May - Road bridge across Zambezi river between Namibia, Zambia opens amid hopes for boost to regional trade.

2004 August - Germany offers formal apology for colonial-era killings of tens of thousands of ethnic Hereros, but rules out compensation for victims' descendants.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Herero women prepare to vote in the 2004 presidential elections

2004 November - Hifikepunye Pohamba, President Nujoma's nominee, wins presidential elections. He is inaugurated in March 2005.

2005 September - Government begins the expropriation of white-owned farms as part of a land-reform programme.

2005 November - Two mass graves are found near a former South African military base in the north. They are thought to date back to the apartheid-era independence struggle.

2006 June - National anti-polio vaccination campaign is launched following the death of at least 12 people from the disease.

2007 February - Chinese President Hu Jintao visits, signs aid and economic co-operation agreements.

2007 July - Controversy as a local rights group asks the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate ex-president Sam Nujoma over the death of thousands during the independence struggle.

2007 August - Ten men are found guilty of treason for leading a secessionist rebellion in the Caprivi region and are given long prison terms.

2009 November - Presidential and parliamentary polls. President Pohamba and his ruling Swapo party re-elected.

2011 February - High Court dismisses legal challenge by nine opposition parties claiming irregularities in the 2009 parliamentary election.

2011 July - Mines and Energy Minister Isak Katali says Nambia has found an estimated 11bn barrels of offshore oil reserves.

2011 October - Skulls of 20 Herero and Nama people repatriated from a museum in Germany to a welcome from hundreds of descendants.

2013 November - A Mozambican Airlines plane crashes in Namibia, killing 33 people on board. Investigators believe the pilot intentionally caused the crash.

2014 August - A protester is shot and killed by police during a rare occurrence of political violence.

2014 November - Hage Geingob is elected president, SWAPO wins parliamentary polls.

2015 March - Namibia's outgoing president, Hifikepunye Pohamba, is awarded the five million dollar Mo Ibrahim prize for African leadership. The award is given to an elected leader who governs well, raises living standards and then leaves office.

2018 February - Politicians and civil servants are banned from all foreign business travel to cut expenditure. The economy has been hard hit by a drop in uranium revenues.

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