A republic in central Africa. A former dependency of Ubangi-Shari, Chad was occupied by the French during 1897-1914, after defeating fierce native resistance. In 1920, Chad became a separate colony, joining in French Equatorial Africa in 1934. In 1958, the Chad Republic became an independent state in the French Union, and in 1960, it became fully independent. Following independence, Chad retained close ties with France, which provided economic aid and support in the government's civil war with Libyan-backed Arab guerrillas after 1966. In 1981, Libyan forces occupied Chad at the request of a coalition government. Libya's efforts to merge the two nations, however, alarmed even the pro-Libyan elements of the regime, and international pressure brought a rapid Libyan withdrawal. Libyan forces remained in the northern part of the country until 1987, and Libya continued to claim the mineral-rich Aozou strip until 1994. After years of civil war, of foreign invasions, and of coups and counter-coups, Chad adopted a new constitution and held its first multiparty elections in 1996.
For period 1934-1958 see Gabon, French Equatorial Africa