Timeline: Chad

BBC News Online, Wednesday 9 May 2001, 10:49 GMT

A chronology of key events:

1883-93—Sudanese adventurer Rabih al-Zubayr conquers the kingdoms of Ouadai, Baguirmi and Kanem-Bornu, situated in what is now Chad.

1900—France defeats al-Zubayr's army.

1913—French conquest of Chad completed; Chad becomes a colony within French Equatorial Africa.

Armed rebellion

1946—Chad becomes a French overseas territory with its own territorial parliament and representation in the French National Assembly.

1960—Chad becomes independent with a southern Christian, Francois—later Ngarta—Tombalbaye, as president.

1963—The banning of political parties triggers violent opposition in the Muslim north, led by the Chadian National Liberation Front, or Frolinat.

1966—Northern revolt develops into a fully-fledged guerrilla war.

1973—French troops help put down the northern revolt, but Frolinat continues guerrilla operations throughout the 1970s and 1980s with the help of weapons supplied by Libya.

Libyan intervention

1975—Tombalbaye deposed and killed in coup led by another southern Christian, Felix Malloum.

1977—Libya annexes the northern Chadian Aouzou strip.

1979—Malloum forced to flee the country; a coalition government headed by a Muslim northerner, Goukouni Oueddei, assumes power.

[Hissen Habre]
Hissen Habre: Eventually toppled by Libyan-backed rebels

1980—Libya sends in troops to support Oueddei in his fight against the Army of the North, led by a former prime minister, Hissen Habre.

1981—Libyan troops withdraw at Oueddei's request.

1982—Habre's troops capture the capital, N'Djamena.

1983—The Organization of African Unity recognizes Habre's government, but Oueddei's forces continue resistance in the north with Libyan help.

1987—The combined troops of Frolinat and the Chadian Government, with French and US assistance, force Libya out of the entire northern region apart from the Aouzou strip and parts of Tibesti.

First democratic elections

1990—Habre toppled after his army is defeated by rebels of the Sudan-based and Libyan-backed Patriotic Salvation Movement, led by a former Habre ally, Idriss Deby.

1993—National democracy conference sets up a transitional government with Deby as interim president and calls for free elections within a year.

1994—International Court of Justice rejects Libyan claims on Aouzou and rules that Chad had sovereignty over the strip.

1996—Deby wins Chad's first multiparty presidential election.

1997—Deby's Patriotic Salvation Movement triumphs on legislative elections.

1998—The Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad, led by Deby's former Defence Minister, Youssouf Togoimi, begins armed rebellion against the government.

2000 July—Rebels of the Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad (MDJC) say they have captured the key government garrison town of Bardai in the north.

2001 January—President Deby urges MDJC rebels to end their revolt, amid continuing heavy fighting with government troops which has claimed, among others, the deputy commander of the presidential security guards.

2001 20 March—Court of appeal in Senegal upholds ruling that former Chadian President Habre should not be made to stand trial in Senegal, where he is in exile. It decided that Senegal's courts do not have the jurisdiction to try Habre on torture charges during his eight years in power in Chad.