Key events in Ethiopia from the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie to President Mengistu Haile Mariam's flight into exile Tuesday:
* 1974: Marxist military officers depose Emperor Haile Selassie after a severe famine and declare Ethiopia a socialist state.
* 1977: Lt. Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam takes over the government. Mengistu consolidates his position by arresting and executing suspected government opponents. About 10,000 are killed.
* 1977: Somalia invades the Ogaden region in eastern Ethiopia. With Soviet and Cuban backing, Mengistu drives back Somali forces.
* 1984-85: An international emergency operation is mounted as famine kills up to 1 million people. Hundreds of thousands more are forcibly resettled.
* 1985: Israel airlifts about 15,000 black Jews from Ethiopia in a clandestine operation. Mengistu launches major offensive against the rebel Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) in the northern provinces.
* 1987: Mengistu signs a peace agreement with Somalia, but there are renewed rebel offensives. A new socialist constitution is adopted, and Mengistu is elected president of the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
* 1988: Mengistu declares a state of emergency in Eritrea and Tigre provinces.
* 1989: The military fails in an attempt to topple Mengistu.
* 1990: Mengistu wins some Western approval by relaxing Marxist policies. Ethiopia supports the allied coalition in the Persian Gulf crisis. Addis Ababa and the EPLF allow a U.N. relief program to ferry food to starvation victims.
* February, 1991: Peace talks with the rebels break down. Soon after, rebel groups begin to advance on Addis Ababa. By April, rebels control all of Tigre and Gojam provinces.
* April: Amid calls for a cease-fire, rebel leaders insist that Mengistu must go. Mengistu retires hard-liners from his Cabinet and appoints a new prime minister.
* Tuesday: Mengistu flees the country after 14 years in power, and Vice President Tesfaye Gebre-Kidan is appointed acting head of state.