Cover image for Africa's Thirty Years War : Libya, Chad, and the Sudan, 1963-1993
Africa's Thirty Years War : Libya, Chad, and the Sudan, 1963-1993
Burr, Millard.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xvii, 300 pages : maps ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
1560 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DT546.48 .B87 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Africa's Thirty Years' War began in the early 1960s, when a civil war in Chad pitted the Muslim north and center against the political domination of African Christian politicians from southern Chad. During their insurgency, the Muslim revolutionaries found a safe haven in the Sudan, whose governments provided support hoping to overthrow the Tombalbaye government in Chad. Libya entered the fray in 1969 when Qadaffi claimed the Aozou strip of northern Chad that was reputably rich in uranium deposits.Throughout the 1970s and the 1980s the conflict among Chad, Libya, and the Sudan engaged the interests of France, the U.S., the Organization of African Unity, and the United Nations. It drained the resources of these African states and deflated their diminutive treasuries. Their efforts to project political and military power beyond existing boundaries created political confusion, fostered tribal warfare, and exacerbated mistrust on their volatile frontiers. In Africa's Thirty Years' War: Chad, Libya, and the Sudan , 1963-1993, Burr and Collins document this tragedy and analyze its numerous causes. They argue that Chad has been a pawn in regional and international politics. Drawing on a vast array of sources, from mainstream media to radio transcripts to obscure newspapers and fly sheets, the authors provide a vivid portrait of a modern tragedy unknown to most readers.

Author Notes

Robert O. Collins, emeritus professor of history at University of California, Santa Barbara, has written numerous books on the history of Africa, the Sudan, and the Nile. He has also worked as a professional river guide and has traversed most of the Nile.

Historian Robert O. Collins was born in Waukegan, Illinois on April 1, 1933. He received a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth in 1954 and went on to receive numerous other degrees in history including bachelor's and master's degrees from Oxford University in 1956 and 1960 and a master's degree and a doctorate from Yale University in 1958 and 1959. He became interested in Africa in the 1950's and spoke Arabic fluently. He taught at Williams College in Massachusetts and at Columbia University in New York before settling at UC Santa Barbara in 1965. Before his retirement in 1994, he served as dean of the graduate division for ten years. Afterwards, he continued to teach, write and mentor.

He wrote or co-wrote over 25 books and numerous articles throughout his lifetime. In 1984, Shadows in the Grass: Britain in the Southern Sudan, 1918-1956 won the John Ben Snow Foundation Prize for the best book in British studies. Because he was considered an expert on Africa's Upper Nile Valley, particularly Sudan, the United States government sought his insight on the conflict in Darfur and on Osama bin Laden and filmmakers asked his advice in depicting the region on screen. Controversy surrounded Alms for Jihad: Charity and Terrorism in the Islamic World, a book written by Collins and J. Millard Burr in 2006. In order to avoid a defamation lawsuit in the U. K., Cambridge University Press apologized to a wealthy Saudi mentioned in the book, paid a settlement, and destroyed all unsold copies of the book. Collins died from cancer on April 11, 2008.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Burr (formerly USAID) and Collins (emeritus, Univ. of California-Santa Barbara) collaborated in the excellent Requiem for the Sudan: War, Drought, and Disaster Relief on the Nile (CH, Apr'95). Now they have coauthored this illuminating study, which broadly treats the cycle of war, drought, and famine. In 1963, Chad's northern and central Muslims revolted against the southern, Christian-dominated government. The revolutionaries obtained haven in the Sudan, which supported them, hoping thereby to overthrow Chad's Tombalbaye regime. In 1969, Libya intervened because Qaddafi laid claim to Chad's Aozou wasteland strip, supposedly rich in uranium. Chad also became a pawn in international politics. France, formerly the colonial power in Chad, propped up successive regimes there. The Soviet Union sent Qaddafi weapons. The US supported Chad's government against rebels and Qaddafi. The Organization of African Unity and the UN engaged in fruitless mediation. Qaddafi interfered in the Sudan, whose successive rulers encountered perennial uprisings in southern Sudan. In 1993, the war ended when Qaddafi evacuated Chad. Splendid documentation, first-rate bibliography, good maps, fine index. For all interested in how historical memory, political hubris, commercial rivalry, ethnic hatred, and religious animosity wreak endless havoc. General readers; upper-division undergraduates and above. E. E. Beauregard; University of Dayton

Table of Contents

Acronymsp. xii
Prefacep. xv
1 Sahara, Sahel, and Sudanp. 1
Notesp. 21
2 Chad: an African Conundrump. 22
Notesp. 52
3 The Sudan and Tombalbaye: Muslims and Christiansp. 55
Notesp. 73
4 Libya and Tombalbaye: Muslim Arabs and Christian Africansp. 74
Notesp. 99
5 The Struggle for Chadp. 102
Notesp. 121
6 Libya Threatensp. 123
Notesp. 141
7 Habre Brings Orderp. 145
Notesp. 160
8 The Libyan Counterattackp. 163
Notesp. 186
9 Famine in the B.E.T.: Instability in Darfurp. 190
Notesp. 206
10 Habre Victoriousp. 209
Notesp. 229
11 Conflict in Darfurp. 232
Notesp. 251
12 Deby Victoriousp. 254
Notesp. 265
13 The End of an Epicp. 267
Notesp. 279
Bibliographyp. 281
Indexp. 287