1958: Guinea gains independence from France.
1984: Lansana Conte takes power in a military coup after the death of his predecessor, Ahmed Sekou Toure.
1993: Conte forms a political party and wins the country's first multiparty presidential election.
1996: Soldiers angry over low pay bombard the presidential palace for several days while Conte is holed up inside. He emerges unscathed, offers raises to his attackers and later names a prime minister for the first time.
1998: Conte is re-elected in a vote the opposition rejects as flawed.
2003: Conte is re-elected in a vote boycotted by major opposition parties after they said the electoral process was flawed.
2007: The country's two strongest unions call for a general strike until Conte agrees to leave office. Conte instead declares martial law and warns that the country is in danger of erupting into civil war. Tanks roll into the capital and security forces open fire on protesters, killing dozens. Conte later appoints a prime minister, Lansana Kouyate, from a list approved by union leaders.
May 2008: Conte unexpectedly fires Kouyate and says he will be replaced by Ahmed Tidiane Souare. Junior troops disgruntled over back pay and demanding that Guinea's top generals resign begin firing into the air at several military bases on the outskirts of the capital, Conakry. They take the army's second-in-command hostage.
Dec. 22, 2008: : Conte dies following a lengthy illness.
Dec. 23, 2008: A group calling itself the National Council for Democracy says Guinea's government has been dissolved in a coup. Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare insists he remains in charge.