Republic in N central Africa, S of Libya and N of the Central African Republic, with its capital at N’Djamena. The region, originally inhabited by cave dwellers, was penetrated in the seventh century a.d. by Arab traders. The state of Kanem was established by nomads from North Africa and reached its zenith in the 13th century. The Wadai and Bagirmi empires arose in the 16th century but had fallen under Sudanese dominations by the 1890s. French sovereignty over the area was recognized in the late 19th century when they defeated the Sudanese leader, Rabih. Chad became a colony of French Equatorial Africa and became a republic within the French community in 1958. Full independence was granted on August 11, 1960. The Muslims of the N waged a guerrilla war during the period 1966–73 against the southern controlled government with frequent intervention and support from France and Libya. In 2002 a peace agreement was signed with the northern rebel group following mediation from Libya. The conflict in Darfur, has spilled over the border into Chad with rebel groups in Chad and the Sudan raiding over the borders.