The area around Lake Chad has been inhabited since at least 500 BC. In the 8th century AD, Berbers began migrating to the area. Islam arrived in 1085, and by the 16th century a trio of rival kingdoms flourished: the Kanem-Bornu, Baguirmi and Ouaddaï. During the years 1883-1893, all three kingdoms came under the rule of the Sudanese conqueror Rabah al-Zubayr.
In 1900, Rabah was killed by French troops, who absorbed these kingdoms into the colony of French Equatorial Africa as part of oubangui-Chari (now the Central Africa Republic) . In 1958 the territory now known as Chad became an autonomous republic within the French Community.
An independence movement led by the first premier and president, François (later Ngarta) Tombalbaye, achieved complete independence on August 11, 1960.
President Tombalbaye was killed in the 1975 military coup and was succeeded by General Félix Malloum head of the national army, who faced a Libyan-financed civil war throughout his tenure in office. In 1977, Libya seized a strip (Aouzou strip in the extreme North) of Chadian land and launched an invasion of the whole North two years later
On February 12, 1979 a civil war broke out in, N’Djamena, national’s capital.
In March 1979, nine rival groups agreed to form a provisional government headed by Goukouni Oueddei, a former rebel leader. Fighting broke out again in Chad in March 1980, when Defence Minister Hissein Habré challenged Goukouni and the city was in shambles. In January 1981, Libyan president Muammar al –Qaddafi proposed a merger of Chad with Libya. But Habré, and France, the former colonial power, refused that merger. Harbé then left under Libyan power of fire whith a large number of Libyan soldiers and thanks who controlled N’Djamena for months.
Hence the Libyan proposal was rejected and Libyan troops withdrew from Chad that year after Habré overthrew Goukouni in June 1982. Kaddafi poured back in 1983 into the northern part of the country in support of Gouloumi. France, in turn, sent troops into Southern Chad in support of Habré Government troops and launched an offensive in early 1987 that drove the Libyans out of most of the country.
In 1990, Idriss Déby a former head of army and head of the Patriotic Salvation Movement overthrew Habré, suspended the constitution and dissolved the legislature. He took control of the country and organized a national conference in January 1993 for a national reconciliation. In 1994, a new constitution was drafted and an amnesty for political prisoners was declared.
Then he organized a multiparty election in 1996 that he won and was re-elected in 2001.