• 1960: Gains independence from France. • 1961: President Moktar Ould Daddah forms the nation’s first government. • 1965: Mauritanian People’s Party (PPM) instituted as the sole legal party. • 1974: Joins the League of Arab States. • 1976: Given joint administration of Western Sahara with Morocco. • 1976–1978: Fights in the Western Sahara War against the Polisario Front. • 1978: Colonel Mustapha Ould Salek is appointed commander of the army and leads a coup against the Daddah regime in July. • April 1979: Salek’s government is overthrown by the Military Committee for National Salvation, led by Colonel Ahmed Ould Bouceif and Colonel Mohamed Khouna Haidalla. • May 1979: Bouceif is killed in a plane crash. Haidalla becomes Prime Minister and Col. Mohamed Louly is named president. August 1979: Peace treaty is signed with Algeria and the Polisario. • 1980: Haidalla declares Mauritanian neutrality in Western Sahara and officially abolishes slavery. • 1980: Haidalla takes over the Presidency before forming a new civilian government with Ahmed Ould Bneijara following public and international pressure. • March 1981: The Alliance for a Democratic Mauritania leads a failed coup. • March 1981: Haidalla abandons civilian government and installs a military government under Colonel Maaouiya Ould Sid Ahmed Ould Taya. February 1982: Bneijara and Salek mount an unsuccessful coup. January 1983: A Libyan plot against Haidalla is discovered and a Moroccan gunboat attacks a Mauritanian garrison near La Guera. • 1984: Taya becomes president in a bloodless coup. • 1991: Opposition parties legalized. • 1999: Mauritania recognizes the state of Israel. • August 2005: The military executes a coup d’état against Taya’s government. • March 2007: Sidi Cheikh Ould Abdullahi is elected president. • August 2008: A new military coup removes Abdullahi from office. • July 2009: Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz is elected president.
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