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Angola History Timeline

200s BC - 1600 AD
  • (200sBC) Bantu-speaking people migrated into the region
  • (1483 AD) Portugal developed small trading post at port of Mpinda, in Soyo
  • (1575) Portuguese explorer Paulo Dias de Novais founded Luanda
  • (1580 - 1680) Angola became major Portuguese trading center for slaves - over one million were shipped to Brazil
  • (1641 - 1648) During Portuguese Restoration War, Dutch occupied Luanda
  • (1648) Portuguese retook Luanda
  • (1671) Portuguese took control of Kingdom of Ndongo
  • (1836) Portuguese abolished slave trade
  • (1844) Angola opened ports to foreign shipping
  • (1885 - 1930) Portuguese extended control into the interior
  • (1891) Angola's borders fixed by Berlin Congress
  • (1891) Forced labor introduced by the Portuguese
  • (1921) Angola's present day borders established
  • (1945) Emigration from Portugal to Angola increased following end of World War II
  • (1951) Angola's status changed from colony to overseas province
  • (1956) Guerrilla independence movement began to end colonial rule
  • (1961) Fighting broke out as three anti-colonial guerrilla movements battled for independence
  • (1961) Revolts on coffee plantations left 50,000 dead; forced labor abolished
  • (1974) Military coup in Portugal opened way to independence in Angola in 1975
  • (1975) Transitional government formed by the three nationalist movements: MPLA, FNLA, UNITA
  • (1975) Conflict and civil war broke out between three nationalist movements; MPLA received support from Cuba; UNITA received support from South Africa
  • (1975) MPLA proclaimed People's Republic of Angola; named Agostinho Neto president
  • (1975 - 1988) During Civil War, over 350,000 Angolans died
  • (1976) MPLA crushed FNLA, repelled UNITA
  • (1979) MPLA leader, Agostinho Neto died, Jose Eduardo dos Santos took over
  • (1981) South African forces supported UNITA
  • (1984) USA supplied UNITA with military aid
  • (1988) South Africa, Cuba signed agreement stopping aid to UNITA and MPLA
  • (1989) MPLA and UNITA agreed to ceasefire
  • (1989) Ceasefire agreement crumbled, guerrilla war began again
  • (1991) MPLA dropped Marxism-Leninism, adopted a social democracy
  • (1991) Peace deal signed resulting in new multi-party constitution
  • (1991) Cuban forces left Angola
  • (1992) In elections, MPLA leader Dos Santo, won most votes; UNITA rejected results
  • (1992) Guerrilla war began again
  • (1993) UN held peace talks in Zambia as fighting continued
  • (1994) Lusaka Protocol peace accord signed by UNITA and government; UNITA to disband army, hand control of nearly half the country to the government; UNITA's Svimbi given key post in military and Cabinet
  • (1995) Dos Santos and Savimbi met, confirmed commitment to peace
  • (1995) UN sent 7,000 peacekeepers
  • (1996) Dos Santos and Savimbi agreed to form unity government and combine forces into national army
  • (1997) Government of National Unity inaugurated; Savimbi declined posts, failed to attend ceremony
  • (1998) Civil war started again, thousands killed in fighting during next four years
  • (1999) UN ended peacekeeping mission
  • (2001) Train carrying hundreds of refugees and soldiers in northwestern Angola, hit mine, derailed; refugees were machined-gunned, over 250 were killed
  • (2002) UNITA leader, Jonas Savimbi, killed in battle by government troops; UNITA Vice President Antonio Dembo took over
  • (2002) Antonio Dembo died 12 days in office; Paulo Lukamba became UNITA leader
  • (2002) UNITA and government signed ceasefire agreement
  • (2002) UNITA declared itself a political party; officially demobilized its armed forces
  • (2003) Isaias Samakuva elected head of UNITA
  • (2004) Angola became major oil-producer, extracting over one million barrels a day
  • (2004) Government expelled over 300,000 illegal diamond miners, dealers
  • (2005) Marburg virus killed over 300
  • (2005) Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited, offered more then $2 billion in new credit
  • (2006) Government signed peace agreement with separatist group in province of Cabinda
  • (2006) UN refugee agency began the final repatriation for Angolans who had fled to DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) during civil war
  • (2006) Cholera outbreak killed more than 1,600
  • (2008) First parliamentary elections in 16 years held
  • (2008) UNITA party suffered major defeat in elections, MPLA, in power for over three decades, won nearly 82% of votes
  • (2008) Angola and Nigeria tied as biggest oil producers in Africa
  • (2008) Luanda became one of the most expensive cities in the world
  • (2009) Rabies outbreak killed 83 children in Luanda
  • (2009) Angola expelled illegal Congolese diamond miners; DRC retaliated by expelling over 20,000 Angolans
  • (2009) Presidential elections delayed for three years
  • (2010) African Nations Cup held in Angola, bus carrying Togo team attacked by Cabinda separatists, bus driver killed, seven injured
  • (2010) New constitution adopted; presidential elections will no longer be held, president and vice-president will be determined by political party winning parliamentary elections
  • (2012) Separatists in Cabinda attacked convoy carrying Chinese mine workers
  • (2012) In elections, President dos Santos' party won 72% of national vote
  • (2012) 37 Chinese nationals were extradited on charges of extortion, kidnappings, armed robberies, prostitution rings
  • (2013) Ten people were killed, 120 injured at New Year's Eve vigil at overcrowded stadium in Luanda

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.