Political map of Sub-Saharan Africa 12 February 1906 (Conquest of the Sahara): The first French military expeditions crossed the Sahara in 1900, defeating the Ahaggar Tuareg in 1902 (Battle of Tit). However, it was not until 1906 that the French sent a permanent occupation force to Agadez (Sultanate of Agadez) and thereby secured their control of trans-Saharan trade to the west of the Tibesti Mountains.