Senegal profile - Timeline

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A chronology of key events:

8th century - Present-day Senegal is part of the Kingdom of Ghana.

11th century - Tukulor people occupy lower Senegal valley.

12-14th centuries - Rise of the Jolof empire.

1440s - Portuguese traders reach Senegal river estuary.

1588 - Dutch establish slave port on island of Goree.

1659 - French found St-Louis at the mouth of the Senegal river; it becomes a key slave-trading port.

1677 - French take over island of Goree from the Dutch.

1756-63 - Seven Years' War: Britain takes over French posts in Senegal, forms colony of Senegambia. France regains its holdings during American Revolutionary War of 1775-83.

1816 - Britain returns French holdings captured during Napoleonic Wars.

Late 1800s - France extends its influence, gains control of all the territory of Senegal.

1895 - Senegal becomes part of French West Africa.

1914 - Blaise Diagne elected as Senegal's first African deputy to French parliament.

1946 - Senegal becomes part of the French Union.

1956 - National Assembly established.

1958 - Becomes an autonomous republic, as part of the French Community.


1960 June - Senegal becomes independent, as part of Mali Federation.

1960 August - Senegal pulls out of Mali Federation, becomes separate republic with Leopold Senghor as president.

1962 - Attempted coup led by Prime Minister Mamadou Dia.

1963 - First constitution drawn-up.

1966 - Senghor's Senegalese Progressive Union becomes country's sole political party.

1978 - Three-party political system introduced.

1981 - Leopold Senghor steps down; Abdou Diouf becomes president in 1981.

1982 - Senegambian Confederation formed; Senegal and neighbouring Gambia aim to combine military and security forces. Dissolved in 1989.

1982 - Separatists in southern province of Casamance form Casamance Movement of Democratic Forces.

Political change

2000 March - Opposition leader Abdoulaye Wade wins second round of presidential elections, ending 40 years of Socialist Party rule.

2001 January - Voters back new constitution which shortens presidential term, limits holder to two terms, and gives president power to dissolve parliament.

2001 March - Government signs peace accord with separatist rebels in Casamance. But there is little follow-up as separatists go through splits and leadership changes.

2001 April - Abdoulaye Wade's Senegalese Democratic Party wins an overwhelming majority in parliamentary elections.

2004 December - Casamance Movement of Democratic Forces and government sign pact aimed at ending secessionist struggle in province of Casamance.

Tariff row

2005 October - Dispute with neighbouring Gambia over ferry tariffs on the border leads to a transport blockade. The economies of both countries suffer. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo brokers talks to resolve the issue.

2006 August - The army launches an offensive against rebels from a holdout faction of the Casamance Movement of Democratic Forces.

2006 December - Spain and Senegal agree a series of measures to curb illegal migration to the Canary Islands. Spain is to give 4,000 Senegalese temporary work permits over the next two years.

2007 June - President Wade's ruling coalition increases its parliamentary majority in elections boycotted by the opposition.

Habre trial moves

2008 April - Senegal's national assembly amends the country's constitution to allow the trial of Chad's ex-leader Hissene Habre, who is accused of human rights abuses during his eight years in power.

2009 March - Opposition parties win control of several cities in local elections, including Dakar, formerly a stronghold of President Wade.

2009 April - Belgium starts proceedings at the International Court of Justice in The Hague to try to force Senegal to bring former Chadian President Hissene Habre to trial for alleged human rights abuses during his time in power.

2009 May - UN court accepts Senegal's pledge to keep in Hissene Habre in the country ahead of trial for rights abuses.

2009 September-October - Clashes between troops and rebels in the province of Casamance.

2010 April - France gives up its military bases in the country.

Change of leader

2012 March - Macky Sall wins presidential elections, and his coalition wins July parliamentary elections.

2012 September - MPs abolish the upper house, the Senate, and the post of vice president in an effort to save money for flood relief. Critics say the aim is to weaken the opposition.

2013 July - The Senegalese authorities arrest former Chadian President Hissene Habre in Dakar and put him on trial him for crimes against humanity committed in Chad under his rule.

2014 April - Rebel leader Salif Sadio, who had been fighting for the independence of the Casamance region, declares a unilateral ceasefire.

2015 January - Senegal expels leading Gambian opposition figure Cheikh Sidya Bayo to France, accusing him of being a threat to public order.

2015 March - Karim Wade, the son of former President Abdoulaye Wade, is jailed for six years for illicit enrichment while serving as a minister under his father, in what critics say is a politically motivated case. He is pardoned in June 2016 and leaves the country.

2016 March - Voters in a referendum approve a proposal to reduce the presidential term from seven years to five.

2016 May - Former leader of Chad Hissene Habre is found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life in prison by an African Union-backed court in Senegal.

2016 October - France drops long-standing warning against travel to Casamance region, in a move likely to boost the important tourism sector.

2017 January - Senegalese troops gather on Gambian border ready to enforce transfer of power under ECOWAS regional mandate after President Jammeh refuses to step down on losing presidential election.

2017 April - Thousands protest in the capital Dakar against the president, demanding the release of several of his political opponents.

2017 August - Parliamentary elections. President Sall's coalition wins more than two-thirds of the seats.

2018 March - Khalifa Sall, the mayor of Dakar and potential rival of the current president in next year's election, is convicted and jailed for corruption.