Nauru – Historic Timeline

A chronology of key events of the republic of nauru:

  • The history of human activity in Nauru began roughly 3,000 years ago when clans settled the island.
  • 1798 – British navigator Captain John Fearn discovered Nauru  naming it Pleasant Island.
  • 1888 – Germany incorporated Nauru into its Marshall Islands protectorate in late 1888.
  • 1900 – British company discovers phosphate on the island.
  • 1905 – The Pacific Phosphate Company negotiated a deal with the German administration to begin the mining of Nauru’s phosphate deposits.
  • 1914 – Nauru seized by Australian troops, force occupied Nauru and removed most German nationals.
  • 1919 – League of Nations grants joint mandate to Australia, Great Britain and New Zealand. In 1920 Nauru became a mandated territory within the framework of the League of Nations.
  • 1942-45 – Nauru occupied by the Japanese.  Japanese forces arrived in August 1942. Around 1,200 Nauruans, almost 2/3rd of the population, were taken to Truk (now Chuuk) to serve as forced labourers on Japanese military bases.
  • 1946 – On January 31, 1946 737 Nauruans were returned home. Approx. 500 nauruans died from starvation or bombing.
  • 1947 – In November 1947 Nauru was made UN trust territory under Australian administration.
  • 1966 – Legislative Council elected.
  • 1967 – Nauruans gain control of phosphate mining
  • 1968 – Independence. First president is Hammer DeRoburt.
  • 1969 – Nauru becomes associate member of Commonwealth.
  • 1989 – UN report on greenhouse effect warns Nauru might disappear beneath the sea in the 21st Century. Nauru sues Australia for additional phosphate royalties and compensation for environmental mining damage.
  • 1993 – Australia paying out-of-court settlement of 73 mio $ over 20 years. New Zealand and the United Kingdom agree to pay a one-time settlement of 8 mio $ each.
  • 1999 – Nauru joins the United Nations.
  • 2001 August – Australia pays Nauru to hold asylum seekers on the island.
  • 2002 June – Nauru gets paid by Australia to hold 1200 asylum seekers captured on the island.
  • 2003  –  The US demands to change Nauru’s offshore banking industry to prevent money-laundering.
  • 2003 May – Ludwig Scotty elected as president but ousted in vote of no-confidence.
  • 2003 August – Rene Harris re-elected as president.
  • 2004 – Country defaults on loan payments, its assets are placed in receivership in Australia.
  • 2004 October – General elections: Ludwig Scotty re-elected unopposed.
  • 2005 – Nauru agrees to restore diplomatic ties with Taiwan after a break of nearly three years. The move angers China, which accuses Nauru of being interested only in “material gains”.
  • October – Financial Action Task Force, set up to fight money laundering, removes Nauru from its list of uncooperative countries.
  • 2005 December – Air Nauru’s only aircraft is repossessed by a US bank after the country fails to make debt repayments.
  • 2006 September – Australia sends Burmese asylum seekers to Nauru.
  • 2007 March – Australia sends Sri Lankan asylum seekers to Nauru.
  • 2007 December – President Scotty ousted in a no-confidence vote. Marcus Stephen chosen as replacement.
  • 2008 February – Australia ends its policy of sending asylum seekers into detention on small Pacific islands, with the last refugees leaving Nauru.
  • 2008 April – Government of President Stephen returned to office in snap elections, ending months of parliamentary deadlock over the budget.
  • 2008 November – Finance Minister Kieran Keke announces plans to set up private bank to fill gap left by collapse of state Bank of Nauru in 1998. Australian banks have declined an invitation to provide banking services to the country.
  • 2010 March – Voters reject raft of constitutional changes aimed at stabilising government and strengthen human rights in referendum.
  • 2010 April – Early parliamentary elections fail to produce outright winner. Mr Stephen’s administration continues in caretaker role while negotiations continue.
  • 2010 June – Parliamentary elections again fail to produce a clear winner.
  • 2010 November – Parliament re-elects President Stephen for second three-year term under a coalition deal aimed at ending an eight-month political impasse.
  • 2011 November – President Stephen resigns amid corruption allegations. MPs elect Freddy Pitcher to succeed him.
    A week later, Mr Pitcher is ousted by a no-confidence vote, and Sprent Dabwido is elected president.
  • 2012 June – President Dabwido sacks his cabinet, citing a legislative impasse.
  • 2012 September – Australia opens a new detention camp for asylum-seekers on Nauru under its new offshore immigration policy.
  • 2012 November – Rights group Amnesty describes Australia’s camp for asylum-seekers on Nauru as appalling.
  • 2012 November – Commonwealth Secretariat promises to help Nauru with funding to tackle climate change and rising sea levels.
  • 2013 July – Police and security guards restore order after a full-scale riot breaks out at an Australian-run immigration detention camp on the island.
  • 2015 January – Australian and Cambodian officials visit Nauru after signing a controversial refugees resettlement deal.
  • 2016 August – The Guardian newspaper in London says leaked incident reports paint a picture of routine cruelty towards young asylum seekers on Nauru.
  • 2016 October – The Nauru government labels the Australian Broadcasting Corporation “an embarrassment to journalism” following a damning report on the island’s regional processing system.
  • 2016 August – A senior UN official who visits Nauru describes Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers in offshore detention centres as inhuman and degrading.

Sources: Wikipedia, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-15433901