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1926: New state of Angola replaces Portuguese republic. 1956: Popular Liberation Movement of Angola (MPLA) is founded.

1964: Jonas Savimbi founds National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).

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1975: Civil war breaks out between MPLA, UNITA, and the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA). UNITA and South African troops fight side-by-side. About 12,000 Cuban mercenaries arrive. People's Republic of Angola declared independent under President Agostinho Neto on Nov. 11.

1976: FNLA troops defeated. South African troops withdraw.

1977: Attempted far-left coup is aborted. MPLA is purged and adopts Marxist-Leninist program.

1979: Neto succeeded by Jos'e Eduardo dos Santos.

1984: Lusaka accord, which links Namibian independence with Cuban withdrawal, is signed, but Pretoria reneges and it collapses.

1986/7: Cubans number 50,000. Battle of Cuito Cuanavale marks turning point in the war. Both sides pursue a negotiated settlement.

1988: US-brokered talks (Cuba, South Africa, Angola) begin with approval of Soviets. Accord signed in New York on Dec 22. All Cubans must withdraw by June 1991.

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June 22, 1989: Mr. Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi shake hands for the first time at signing of cease-fire at Gbadolite, Zaire. Accord soon collapses.

1990: First direct talks between MPLA and UNITA begin in Lisbon. Followed by four further sessions. In December, Third MPLA Congress endorses creation of free-market economy and multiparty system.

1991: January: Next round of peace talks. Possible cease-fire by March. Special party congress in April.