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a historic region in Libya. According to Herodotus, the Garamantes, Ummidians, and other ancient tribes lived in the Fezzan. The distant location of the tribes from the sea enabled them to repulse incursions by the Romans, Vandals, and other invaders. With the influx of the Arabs in the seventh century, Islam spread throughout the Fezzan. Although the various parts of the region were incorporated into several medieval Arab states, to a certain extent the Fezzan enjoyed de facto autonomy. After the Ottoman Empire seized the coastal regions of Libya in 1551, the population of the Fezzan continued to resist the Turks for more than 30 years. A major anti-Turkish uprising took place in the area between 1838 and 1842. In the second half of the 19th century, the Sanussis exercised great influence there. During and after the Italo-Turkish War of 1911–12, the population of the Fezzan offered stubborn resistance to Italian troops, and Italy did not succeed in taking possession of the area until 1930. The region was occupied by French troops from 1943 until their withdrawal in 1956.
From late 1951 to 1963 the Fezzan was one of the three provinces of independent Libya, the other two being Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. With the introduction of the new administrative division of Libya in 1963, the Fezzan was abolished as an independent administrative unit and was divided into the muhafazat (governorates) Ubari and Sebha.