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In August 1987, the armed forces of Chad swept across vast stretches of desert in a series of lightning strikes that shattered an occupying Libyan army and drove it from the northern third of Chad. This operation briefly captured the Aouzou Strip, an obscure piece of territory in the northernmost part of the area, but Libyan forces recaptured it shortly afterward in a campaign marked by unusually heavy and intense fighting. Although the two states agreed to a cease-fire the following month, they have continued to dispute title to the territory, and in September 1990, they brought the matter to the International Court of Justice (I.C.J. or Court).

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