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Fazzan (fäz-zänˈ) or Fezzan (fĕz–), historic region, SW Libya. Marzuq, Sabhha, Brak, and Zawilah, all situated in oases in the Sahara Desert, are the chief settlements. The population is largely Arab, with Berber and black African influence. Located on caravan routes connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Sudan, Fazzan was long important in the trans-Saharan trade. Herodotus, the 5th-century B.C. Greek historian, wrote that the region was part of the realm of the Garamantes, a people who have not been precisely identified. In 19 B.C., Rome conquered the region, calling it Phazania, and many of its inhabitants were later converted to Christianity. After the Vandal invasion of North Africa in the 5th cent. A.D., Fazzan regained its independence. In 666, the Arabs conquered the region, and the people were soon converted to Islam. The Arabs held the area until the 10th cent., when it regained its independence. During the following centuries, Fazzan was at times ruled by foreign powers and at times independent. From the early 16th to the early 19th cent., it was the center of the Bani Muhammad dynasty, which originated in Morocco. Fazzan was annexed by the Ottoman Empire in 1842 and fell under Italian control during the Turko-Italian War of 1911–12. For later history, see Libya.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a region of SW Libya, in the Sahara: a former province (until 1963)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The Islamic State's terrorist campaign against symbolic state institutions has, in the last year, been supplemented by a rural and desert-based jihadi guerilla insurgency in the interior parts of the Oil Crescent and in southwestern Libya (Fezzan).
He said their southern Fezzan region had suffered decades of neglect and demanded that the revenue of the oil produced from local fields be used to fund development projects.
During the second world war, the Italians were pushed out of Libya in 1943 and from 1943 to 1951, the British administered Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, while Fezzan was controlled by the French.
They were told that the goal of their operations was to divide Libya into three smaller states: Tripoli and western Libya, Fezzan and southern Libya and Burqa and eastern Libya, which would extend to the Egyptian city Marsa Matrouh, and that all fall under the rule of Abdel Aziz.
Haftar's LNA "wants to achieve a victory in the southern region of Fezzan to boost its position & GNA is mobilizing to prevent that," analyst Mohamed Eljarh of the Atlantic Council tweeted.
Within Fezzan (desertic area of 15,000 [km.sup.2] located in Libya), 19 Carabidae were recorded by Peyerimhoff (1948).
Haftar's forces and the Misrata Military Council, led by Ibrahim Bel-Rajab who is a supporter of Al-Sarraj, clashed near the northern Fezzan oasis of Zalla, with little or no coverage by international mass media."
The Abu Grein crossroads links two of the main roads in Libya, the Libyan Coastal Highway and the Fezzan Road.
In a related development, the armed militias of Ubari town in the Fezzan region of southwestern Libya issued a statement on Saturday urged the Sudanese and Chadian opposition groups to leave immediately the Libyan territory.
Ses membres representent trois regions libyennes, Barka, Fezzan et Tripoli.
Of course, in 1951, King Idriss came to power with a UK and US mandate to unite what were three distinct areas, Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan after the wreckage of fascism in Europe.