It was seized and occupied by Libya in the 1980-1981
Chadian-Libya conflict, and was nearly destroyed during this
period with its population fleeing the city, mainly to Cameroon.
Even as recently as 2008 N'Djamena was assaulted by rebel forces
opposed to the president.
The rebels initially marched through
the city however within two days government troops forced the
rebels to retreat. An estimated seven hundred died in the brief
N'Djamena is located on the Chari River facing the town of
Kousseri in Cameroon, to which it is connected by a bridge and
has seen rapid growth since the end of the second world war when
its population was just 18,435.
Much of this rapid growth, which has caused
its own difficulties not least in terms of planning, housing and
water issues, has been as a result of thousands fleeing to the
city to escape conflicts, particularly in the north of the
This video shows life in N'Djamena
today. Make a virtual landing at N'Djamena airport below or explore N'Djamena using our interactive map below.