Habré's hostility for Libya's influence in Chad united itself with his ambition and ruthlessness: observers concluded that the warlord would never be content with anything short of the highest office. It was thought that sooner or later an armed confrontation between Habré and the pro-Libyan factions would take place, and more importantly, between Habré and Goukouni.
Clashes in the capital between Habré's FAN and pro-Libyan groups became progressively more serious. On 22 March 1980, a minor incident, as in 1979, triggered the second battle of N'Djamena. In ten days, the clashes between the FAN and Goukouni's FAP, which both had 1,000–1,500 troops in the city, caused thousands of casualties and the flight of about half the capital's population. The few remaining French troops, who left on 4 May, proclaimed themselves neutral, as did the Zairean peace force.
While the FAN was supplied economically and militarily by Sudan and Egypt, Goukouni received the armed support of Kamougué's FAT and Acyl's CDR shortly after the beginning of the battle, and was provided with Libyan artillery. On 6 June, the FAN assumed control of the city of Faya. This alarmed Goukouni, and he signed, on 15 June, a Treaty of Friendship with Libya. The treaty gave Libya a free hand in Chad, legitimising its presence in that country; the treaty's first article committed the two countries to mutual defence, and a threat against one constituted a threat against the other.
Beginning in October, Libyan troops, led by Khalifa Haftar and Ahmed Oun, airlifted to the Aouzou Strip operated in conjunction with Goukouni's forces to reoccupy Faya. The city was then used as an assembly point for tanks, artillery and armored vehicles that moved south against the capital of N'Djamena.
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