Important Dates in Mali's History:
September 22, 1960 - The Republic of Mali declares independence from France. President Modibo Keita declares a single-party state.
November 19, 1968 - A bloodless coup puts Lt. Moussa Traore into power. Under his rule, Mali approves a new constitution, but is still a single-party state.
June 1979 - Mr. Traore, now a general, wins 99% of the vote in a single-party election.
1980 - Student-led, anti-government protests are brutally put down and three coup attempts are foiled. General Traore stays in power.
March 22-26, 1991 - After four days of intense anti-government rioting, President Traore is overthrown in a military coup.
1991-1992 - General Amadou Toumani Toure leads a transition back to civilian rule. Mali's new constitution allows political parties to form freely.
1992-2002 - Alpha Oumar Konare is elected and serves two terms as president. He does not seek re-election to a third term.
2002-2012 - General Amadou Toumani Toure, now retired from the military, is elected president and also serves two terms. He says he will not seek a 3rd term.
March 21-22, 2012 - Soldiers protest against the government's handling of the Tuareg rebellion and declare a coup.