Aozou Strip (ouˈzō) [key], 114,000 sq mi (295,000 sq km) strip of land in N Chad on the Libyan border. The region, which is believed to have significant uranium and oil deposits, has been bitterly contested since Chad became independent in 1960. French troops remained there until 1965, but revolts continued against François Tombalbye's oppressive rule. In 1972 Libya occupied the strip, but in 1986 and 1987 Chadian forces drove the Libyans back northward and a cease-fire (1987) was declared. In 1990 both countries agreed to submit the dispute to binding arbitration by the International Court of Justice, which in 1994 ruled that the strip belongs to Chad. Later that year Libya officially returned the area to Chad.
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