1863 to 1953- French colony
1953 - Kingdom of Cambodia with Prince Sihanouk as monarch - established as an independent state after WWII struggles with Khmer Rouge
1960 - US starts periodic air raids into border areas of Cambodia
1965 - Cambodia breaks diplomatic relations with US
1968 - US starts regular air raids on Cambodia Khmer Rouge positions
1970 - Prince Sihanouk is ousted as leader in a coup staged by the CIA and replaced by General Lon Nol, a Khmer Rouge leader who defected - Prince Sihanouk in exile in China - Lon Nol is in power till 1975 and received $1.6 billion in aid from the US -US sends troops into Cambodia in support of Lon Nol against the Khmer Rouge
1975 - Prince Sihanouk, from China, organizes the Khmer Rouge and they eventually overtakes the capital city, Phnom Pehn - Sihanouk returns from China to assume the leadership of Cambodia but is promptly put under house arrest by Pol Pot, a Khmer Rouge General, who now assumes the leadership of the Khmer Rouge and Cambodia - Pol Pot rules ruthlessly, seals the borders to the outside world, eliminates money, evacuates cities to workcamps in the countryside and carries out mass executions on those who do not follow the Khmer Rouge philosophies - Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge are supported militarily by China
1977 - Pol Pot sends Khmer Rouge troops to attack North Vietnam- slowly loses the war with N. Vietnam
1979 - North Vietnam wins war against Khmer Rouge troops and install a goverment which sets out a rebuilding program for the country - Pol Pot is tried and convicted in absentia for war crimes - remaining Khmer Rouge forces turn to guerrilla tactics - Khmer Rouge forces are now supported by China and the US and manage to obtain UN recognition as the country's legitimate government - North Vietnam announces it will withdraw its troops from Cambodia within the next five years - North Vietnamese offer Prince Sihanouk the title of Head of State as long as Khmer Rouge are not included in government
1982 - a coalition forms against the Vietnamese-installed government - included are the Khmer Rouge, former head of state Prince Norodom Sihanouk, his son Prince Norodom Ranariddh, and former premier Son Sam.
1987 to 1989 - Hun Sen is put in power over Cambodia by the North Vietnamese as Prime Minister - the Khmer Rouge are not included in the political system - Vietnamese troops withdraw from Cambodia, ending a decade-long occupation and clearing the way for peace talks in Paris
1990 to 1993- United Nations involved in peacekeeping and attempting to establish a working government
1991 - all Cambodian factions sign peace agreement
1992 - elections are held - Hun Sen loses but has enough votes to retain a minority position - Prince Sihanouk's son, Prince Norodom Ranariddh, wins but only minority win - this results in many difficulties and impasses - Prince Sihanouk decides to offer himself as Prime Minister with representatives of all opposition parties given positions within the government -> not acceptable to opposition parties
1993 - the Khmer Rouge boycott the U.N.-supervised general elections that bring Hun Sen and Ranariddh together in an uneasy coalition government - Khmer Rouge rebels return to the battlefield.
1993-96 - the euphoria of elections gives way to longstanding hostility between Hun Sen and Ranariddh - Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party takes the upper hand in the government.
1996-97 - the coalition deteriorates as Ranariddh accuses Hun Sen of reneging on a power-sharing arrangement - in August, top Khmer Rouge leader Ieng Sary defects and takes 10,000 rebels with him.
1997 - Hun Sen and Ranariddh compete for the loyalties of Khmer Rouge defectors
May 1997 - Hun Sen accuses Ranariddh of organizing an illegal arms shipment into Cambodia to bolster his forces.
June 1997 - tensions turn violent in a series of clashes in and around the capital - Hun Sen's forces try to disarm Ranariddh's security guards.
July 1-3, 1997 - Hun Sen pushes his advantage in greater numbers and arms, surrounding several Ranariddh military bases to disarm the troops.
July 4, 1997 - Ranariddh leaves Cambodia for France.
July 5, 1997: Hun Sen wrestles control of one base near Phnom Penh, and surrounds another - fighting erupts in the capital with rocket and mortar fire in several parts of the city.