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Chad History Timeline

900 - 1800s

  • (800s) Kanembu people established empire northeast of Lake Chad
  • (1000s) Sayfawa rulers extended south into Kanem; built first capital, Njimi
  • (1300s) Kanem Empire torn apart by internal struggles and external attacks
  • (1396) Bulala invaders forced Sayfawa rulers to abandon Njimi; Kanembu people were moved to Bornu on west of Lake Chad
  • (1400 - 1800) New group, the Kanuri, created by intermarriages of Kanembu and Bornu peoples; founded new capital of Ngazargamu
  • (1571 - 1603) Idris Aluma led the Kanem-Bornu people, brought about many administrative reforms and expanded military prowess
  • (1808) Fulani warriors conquered Ngazargamu
  • (1846) Sayfawa dynasty ended
  • (1883 - 1893) Sudanese explorer, Rabih al-Zubayr conquered kingdoms in present day Chad
  • (1891) The French arrived, conducted military expeditions against Muslim kingdoms
  • (1893) Sayfawa Empire fell
1900s
  • (1900) The Battle of Kousseri between French and Sudanese forces resulted in deaths of both leaders, with France winning control of Chad
  • (1905) Administration of Chad was placed under governor-general in Brazzaville, capital of (then) French Equatorial Africa
  • (1913) Chad became colony within French Equatorial Africa
  • (1934) French Equatorial Africa became unified territory of France
  • (1940) Chad was first French colony to rejoin Allies during World War II
  • (1946) Chad became French overseas territory, had its own parliament and representation in French National Assembly
  • (1947) Chadian Progressive party (PPT) established, led by Gabriel Lisette
  • (1947) Conservative Chadian Democratic Union (UDT) party founded
  • (1957) PPT party won pre-independence elections, territory was led by Lisette
  • (1958) Chad, Gabon, Middle Congo became autonomous republics
  • (1959) Gabriel Lisette lost vote of confidence
  • (1960) Chad became independent from France with Francois Tombalbaye as the first president
  • (1962) President Tombalbaye banned all political parties except PPT
  • (1963) 500 killed in tax revolt in Guera Prefecture, southern Chad
  • (1963) Violent opposition in the Muslim north was triggered due to the banning of the political parties; Frolinat led revolt
  • (1966) Northern revolt developed into guerrilla war
  • (1973) French troops assisted with putting down the northern revolt
  • (1974) Oil was discovered
  • (1976) President Tombalbaye deposed, killed in coup led by Felix Malloum
  • (1976) Development Bank of Central American States established, Chad was one of six founding African members
  • (1977) Libya annexed the Aouzou strip in northern Chad
  • (1979) Felix Malloum forced to leave the country, coalition government established, Goukouni Oueddei, a Muslim, assumed power
  • (1980 - 1982) Goukouni Oueddei served as president
  • (1980) Libya sent troops to support Oueddei in battle against Army of the North, led by former Prime Minister, Hissene Habre
  • (1981) Oueddei requested Libya to withdraw their troops
  • (1982) Hissene Habre seized power, became dictator
  • (1982) Capital city of N'Djamena captured by Habre's troops
  • (1983) Habre's government recognized by Organization of African Unity
  • (1983) Libya continued to assist Oueddei's forces in the north
  • (1987) France and U.S. assisted Chadian government in driving Libya out of the northern region other than the Aouzou strip and part of Tibesti
1900s continued
  • (1990) Guerilla chief, Idriss Deby, seized power, deposed Hissene Habre
  • (1992) Commission established in Chad accused Habre and his regime of 40,000 political killings, 200,000 torture cases
  • (1992) Hissene Habre fled to Senegal with $11 million
  • (1992) Agreement signed to share water from Nubian sandstone aquifer system, located under Chad, Egypt, Libya, Sudan
  • (1992) Transitional government set up with Idriss Deby as interim president with free elections to be held within a year
  • (1994) Libyan claims on Aouzou rejected by International Court of Appeals; court ruled Chad had sovereignty over the strip
  • (1996) Idriss Deby elected president with 70% of the votes in first multi-party election
  • (Mid-1990s) President Deby restored basic functions of government, entered into agreements with World Bank and IMF for assistance in substantial economic reforms
  • (1997) Locusts (as many as 200 locusts per square yard) spread across southwest Chad
  • (1998) Former Defense Minister, Youssouf Togoimi, led Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad in armed rebellion against government
  • (1998) Troops from Chad sent to Congo to support President Kabila
  • (1998) Parliament passed law for strict auditing of oil income
2000s
  • (2000) Complaint filed in Senegal against former dictator, Hissene Hebre, outlined allegations of political killings, tortures, disappearances
  • (2000) Hissene Habre indicted by Senegalese court
  • (2000) Chad received $25 million bonus from Chevron and Petronas for new pipeline deal
  • (2000) World Bank approved $3.7 billion oil well and pipeline project to link oil fields in southern Chad to Atlantic port in Cameroon
  • (2001) Courts in Senegal said Hissene Habre should not be made to stand trial in Senegal, as they did not have jurisdiction to try him
  • (2001) Trailer-truck with 100 passengers plunged into Chari River off Chagoua Bridge, most people were missing and feared dead
  • (2001) In presidential election, President Deby reelected
  • (2001) Fossils were found in Djurab desert of a human ancestor "Toumai, hope of life" by scientists
  • (2002) Government and Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad (MDJT) signed peace deal to end three-year civil war
  • (2002) Four months after peace deal was signed, MDJT rebels and government forces clashed in the north, 64 killed
  • (2002) Rebel leader of MDJT, Youssouf Togoimi, died from wounds after vehicle struck a land mine
  • (2003) National Resistance Army (ANR) and government signed peace agreement
  • (2003) Chad began pumping oil to a port in Cameroon
  • (2003) Government and rebels signed ceasefire agreement at talks in Burkina Faso


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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.