TIMELINE-Events in Sudan since start of civil war

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Jan 8 (Reuters) - Southern Sudanese vote in a referendum on secession from the north in January next year.

Following is a timeline of events in Sudan's civil war and since:

1983 - National army officer John Garang, a ssoustherner, is sent to quell a mutiny of southern soldiers but defects to lead the insurgency and forms the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM).

September 1983 - The government in Khartoum adopts aspects of Islamic sharia law and, later, martial law. Southerners following Christianity or traditional beliefs protest.

June 30, 1989 - Lieutenant-General Omar Hassan al-Bashir allied with Islamist leaders takes power in bloodless coup.

1992 - A government offensive seizes southern territory, including the SPLA headquarters at Torit.

1997 - Khartoum signs deal with SPLA splinter groups, isolating the rebels. Peace talks open in Nairobi in October and continue sporadically until 2002.

2002 - Five weeks of talks in Machakos, Kenya, bring a government and SPLM deal on key issues of religion and self-determination. They sign the "Machakos protocol".

-- July 27 - Bashir meets rebel chief Garang for first time.

-- Oct. 15 - Government and SPLM sign ceasefire for duration of latest round of peace talks, the first such truce.

Jan. 9, 2005 - Garang and chief government negotiator Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha sign a comprehensive peace agreement ending the civil war.

-- The agreement shares oil revenues between the north and south, sets up a coalition government and promises elections. Also the south and the oil-rich Abyei region are granted a 2011 referendum on possible secession.

-- July 9 - Garang is sworn in as first vice-president. Three weeks later he is killed in a helicopter crash; days of riots follow killing 100 people.

-- Aug. 11 - Salva Kiir, last surviving founding member of the SPLM, is sworn in as first vice-president. Sudan's new power-sharing government is announced in Khartoum in September.

Oct. 11, 2007 - The SPLM rebels withdraw their members from the coalition government, to pressure their northern partners to implement the peace deal. The crippling political crisis formally ends on Dec. 27 when 16 SPLM ministers take the oath of office and rejoin the national government.

Aug. 8, 2008 - Former north-south foes reach agreement on an administration for the disputed oil-producing Abyei region, where clashes have threatened to derail the peace deal.

July 22, 2009 - The Permanent Court of Arbitration redefines the boundaries of the oil-producing Abyei area claimed by both north and south Sudan.

Dec. 29, 2009 - The NCP and the SPLM pass the referendum law outlining a referendum on southern independence, ending months of wrangling. The next day the Abyei referendum law is also passed.

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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