Fezzan-Ghadames (French Administration)

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Military Territory of Fezzan-Ghadames
Territorie Militaire du Fezzan-Ghadamès (French)
إقليم العسكرية من فزان-غدامس (Arabic)
Military Administration

1943–1951


Flag

Map of Libya during World War II, showing Fezzan
Capital Sabha
Languages French, Arabic
Political structure Military Administration
History
 -  Established January 1943
 -  Joined Tripolitania and Cyrenaica to form the Kingdom of Libya 24 December 1951
Currency French franc
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History of Libya
Leptis Magna Theatre, Libya
Prehistory
Ancient history pre-146 BC
Roman era to 640 AD
Arab rule 640–1510
Spanish rule 1510–1530
Order of Saint John 1530–1551
Ottoman rule 1551–1911
Italian colonization 1911–1934
Italian Libya 1934–1943
Allied occupation 1943–1951
Kingdom of Libya 1951–1969
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Military Territory of Fezzan-Ghadames was the control of the southern part of the former Italian colony of Libya by the French from 1943 until the Libyan independence in 1951. It was part of the allied administration of Libya.

Free French forces from Chad occupied the area that was the former Italian Territorio Sahara Libico and made several requests to annex administratively their Fezzan to the French colonial Empire. The administrative personnel remained the former Italian bureaucrats.

The British administration began the training of a badly needed Libyan civil service. Italian administrators continued to be employed in Tripoli, however. The Italian legal code remained in effect for the duration of the war. In the lightly populated Fezzan region, a French military administration formed a counterpart to the British operation. With British approval, Free French forces moved north from Chad to take control of the territory in January 1943. French administration was directed by a staff stationed in Sabha, but it was largely exercised through Fezzan notables of the family of Sayf an Nasr. At the lower echelons, French troop commanders acted in both military and civil capacities according to customary French practice in the Algerian Sahara. In the west, Ghat was attached to the French military region of southern Algeria and Ghadamis to the French command of southern Tunisia--giving rise to Libyan nationalist fears that French intentions might include the ultimate detachment of Fezzan from Libya. [1]

Fezzan joined Tripolitania and Cyrenaica to form the Kingdom of Libya on 24 December 1951. It was the first country to achieve independence through the United Nations and one of the first former European possessions in Africa to gain independence.

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