1996 was a leap year.
January 9 - Chechen separatists attack a Russian military base in Kizlyar, turning into a major hostage crisis involving thousands of civilians.
January 20 - Yasser Arafat is elected President of the Palestinian Authority.
January 31 - UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Human Rights Elizabeth Rehn says there are about 200 to 300 mass graves in Bosnia and that Bosnian Croats and Muslims are responsible for crimes during the war in BiH, in addition to Serbs.
February 1 - President Jacques Chirac announces that France has completed its nuclear tests forever.
February 17 - Exodus of Serbs from parts of Sarajevo that belonged to the Federation of BiH with the Dayton Peace Agreement.
March 2 - At the third SPS congress, Slobodan Milosevic is re-elected party leader.
April 9 - By a joint declaration, the European Union formally recognizes the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, almost four years after its formation.
April 22 - KLA attacks on Yugoslav security forces quietly start the Kosovo war.
May 18 - Radovan Karadzic resigns as President of Republika Srpska, and Vice President Biljana Plavsic takes over as president.
June 4 - The Ariana 5 rocket explodes 40 seconds after launch on its test flight due to a software error.
July 5 - Dolly the Sheep becomes the first mammal cloned from an adult cell.
July 17 - A US Boeing 747 passenger plane on the New York-Paris route explodes over the Atlantic Ocean after taking off from Kennedy Airport.
July 27 - A bomb blasts at an amusement park during the Atlanta Olympics, killing two people and injuring 110.
September 27 - Taliban forces occupy Kabul and establish the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
October 10 - October 23 - Chess tournament held in Tilburg, the Netherlands. Boris Gelfand won.
October 16 - At the stadium in the capital of Guatemala, 78 people were killed and more than 100 were injured in a stampede after fans without tickets tried to break into the stands to watch the qualifying match for the World Cup.
November 3 - Elections for the Council