The area is mostly inhibited by a nomadic or semi - nomadic population, which camps with their flocks of sheep and moves with the seasons to find pasture. The area is generally mountainous and main localities in the area are Kohlu, Fazal Chel, Maiwand, Kahan and Tadri. The district is divided in three Tehsils i.e, Kohlu, Maiwand and Kahan with eight union councils. The history of Kohlu District is primarily the history of Marri tribes. The land of brave and courageous people who stood firm against the British rule and never accepted their hegemony in the area. The rugged mountains preserve the romance of Mir Chakar Khan Rind, hero of Baloch tribes.
The district of Kohlu is administratively subdivided into the following tehsils:
In early sixteenth century, three main tribes i.e Bijarani, Ghazini and Loharani emerged in small groups. Bijar Khan found the Bijarani clan, the Loharani by blacksmith and Ghazini clan was founded by Buledi boy adopted by Ali Khan. The other tribe in Kohlu is Zarkoon. The British army occupied Kahan in May 1840 but were soon forced by the Marris to evacuate. Despite number of treaties signed by the British with the Marris, the law and order situation could not be improved, as the Marris thought of the British as illegal occupants of their territory. Thus everything related to the British men, allies or installation was supposed to be attacked.
In 1898, Sardar Khair Bakhsh Marri along with many of his tribesmen migrated to Kabul as a protest against the British occupation. However, came back after some time unconditionally. After independence, the area remained a political agency. The tribal leadership started voicing for unity of Baloch tribes and for an independent Balochistan. National sentiments grew rapidly stronger and after the arrest of Khan of Kalat in 1958, the tribesmen started a guerilla war, although on limited scale, against the government. The army was sent to control the movement but its presence further deteriorated the situation. Mir Sher Muhammad Bijarani, Marri (also known as General Sheroff) took the leadership of the movement which was called Farrari Movement. This movement ended in 1969.
After the dismissal of the first elected government of Balochistan in 1973, a serious conflict started between the government and the political leadership of the province. While responding to the situation, the tribesmen in Kohlu started a large scale insurgence in the area and after a strong military operation they migrated to Afghanistan along with their leaders. Coincidentally, the history repeated itself and Sardar Khair Bakhsh Khan Marri (Chief of Marris now-a-days) went into voluntary self–exile and reached Kabul in 1981.
Kohlu was given the status of district in 1974 and reshaped in July 1983 with three sub-divisions, Kohlu, Maiwand and Kahan. In 1990, a "Government Sponsored" Jirga was held in Children’s Park at Kohlu in which it was decided that Sardari System in District Kohlu be eliminated forthwith. It was also decided in the Jirga that Khair Bakhsh Marri was no more the Nawab of Marris. Instead a Council of elders was enacted to keep a contact with the Government. The attempt to weaken the Nawab however failed due to his stronghold for decades, and the tribe's loyalty towards him.