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Jumhuriyat Tashad
République du Tchad
Republic of Chad
Flag of Chad Coat of arms of Chad
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: Unity - Work - Progress (French: Unité - Travail - Progrès)
Anthem: La Tchadienne
Location of Chad
Capital N'Djamena
12°06′ N 15°02′ E
Largest city N'Djamena
Official language(s) French
Prime Minister
Parliamentary democracy
Idriss Déby
Pascal Yoadimnadji
From France
August 11, 1960
March 31, 1996
• Total

• Water (%)

1,284,000 km² ( 21st)
{{{areami²}}} mi²

• 2005 est.
• [[As of |]] census

• Density

9,826,419 ( 82nd)

7/km² ( 180th)
• Total
• Per capita
2004 estimate
,835,000,000 ( 128th)
,555 ( 160th)
HDI ( 2003) 0.341 ( 173rd) – low
Currency CFA franc ( XAF)
Time zone
• Summer ( DST)
( UTC+1)
( UTC+2)
Internet TLD .td
Calling code +235
The Republic of Chad ( Arabic: تشاد , Tašād; French: Tchad) is a landlocked country in central Africa. It borders Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest and Niger to the west. Due to its distance from the sea and its largely desert climate, the country is sometimes referred to as the 'dead heart of Africa.' In the north, it contains the Tibesti Mountains, the largest mountain chain in the Sahara desert. Formerly part of the Federation of French Equatorial Africa, the country shares a relationship with Lake Chad.

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History - Contents

Libya claimed and occupied the Aozou Strip (blue) from 1976 to 1987
Libya claimed and occupied the Aozou Strip (blue) from 1976 to 1987
The area that today is Chad was once inhabited by a group of politically disconnected tribes. Humanoid skulls and cave paintings of great antiquity have been found there. Gradually relatively weak local kingdoms developed; these were later overtaken by the larger but still completely African Kanem-Bornu Empire.Later, foreigners came to have more influence in Chad. Beginning in the Middle Ages, Chad became a crossroads for Muslim traders and indigenous tribes. In 1891 Chad became a part of France's colonial system.In WWII, Chad was the first French colony to join the Free French and the Allies, under the leadership of its Governor, Félix Éboué. In 1960, Chad became an independent country, with François Tombalbaye as its first president.Chad's post-independence history has been marked by instability and violence stemming mostly from tensions between the mainly Arab-Muslim north and the predominantly Christian and animist south.In 1969 Muslim dissatisfaction with President Tombalbaye - a Christian southerner - developed into a guerrilla war. This, combined with a severe drought, undermined his rule and, in 1975, President Tombalbaye was killed in a coup led by another southerner, Félix Malloum. Mr Malloum, too, failed to end the war, and in 1979 he was replaced by a Libyan-backed northerner, Goukouni Oueddei.By this stage France and neighbouring Libya were intervening repeatedly to support one side against another. The leader of the French-supported Northern rebel group FAN Forces Armées du Nord, Hissène Habré, a former defence minister, became prime minister in 1978. In 1982 he deposed President Oueddei, and assumed overall control of the state, abolishing the post of prime minister. His eight year reign led to immense political turmoil, with human rights organisations accusing him of having ordered the execution of thousands of political opponents and members of tribes thought hostile to his regime.Libya invaded Chad in July 1975, theoretically to drive Habré from power. They occupied a narrow strip of land known as the Aouzou Strip. France and the United States responded by aiding Habré in an attempt to contain Libya's regional ambitions under Muammar al-Qaddafi. Civil war deepened. In December, 1980 Libya occupied all of northern Chad, but Habré defeated Libyan troops and drove them out in November, 1981. In 1983, Qaddafi's troops occupied all of the country north of Koro Toro. The United States used a clandestine base in Chad to train captured Libyan soldiers, whom it tried to organize into an anti-Qaddafi force. Habré's aid from the USA and France helped him to win the war against Libya. The Libyan occupation of the north of Koro Toro ended when Habré defeated Qaddafi in 1987.Despite this victory, Habré's government was weak and seemingly disliked by a majority of Chadians. He was deposed by Libyan-supported rebel leader Idriss Déby on December 1, 1990. Habré went into exile in Senegal. Déby installed himself as dictator. Soon after a constitution was written. Popular support for Déby was apparently shown in an election in May, 2001, where he defeated six other candidates with 67.3% of the vote. The election was described as being "reasonably fair", although there were some noted irregularities.In 1998 an armed insurgency began in the north, led by President Déby's former defence chief, Youssouf Togoimi. A Libyan-brokered peace deal in 2002 failed to put an end to the fighting.In 2003 and 2004, unrest in neighbouring Sudan's Darfur region spilled across the border, along with many thousands of refugees.On December 23, 2005, Chad announced that it was in a "state of war" with Sudan. [1] The Organisation of the Islamic Conference(OIC) has urged Sudan and Chad to exercise self-restraint to defuse growing tension between the two neighboring countries. [2]On February 8, 2006, Chad and Sudan signed the Tripoli Agreement, ending the Chad-Sudan conflict. This agreement prohibits either country from beginning media campaigns against one another, and also from interfering with the others internal affairs. [3]

Politics - Contents

Politics - Politics portal

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
  • President
    • Idriss Déby
  • Prime Minister
    • Pascal Yoadimnadji
  • Council of State
  • National Assembly
  • Political parties
  • Elections
  • Foreign relations
A strong executive branch headed by President Déby of the Patriotic Salvation Movement dominates the Chadian political system. Déby was elected constitutionally in 1996 and 2001, although international observers noted irregularities in the election process. The president of Chad was limited to two terms until Déby had that constitutional provision removed in 2005. The president is elected by universal suffrage for those over 18. The president has the power to appoint the prime minister (re-instated after the removal of Habré) and the Council of State (or cabinet), and exercises considerable influence over appointments of judges, generals, provincial officials and heads of Chad’s parastatal firms. Chad's legislative branch consists of a unicameral National Assembly. Its judicial branch consists of a Supreme Court, a Court of Appeal, criminal courts, and magistrate courts.

Subdivisions - Contents

Since 2002, Chad has been divided into 18 regions, each of which is made up of 2–4 departments, although, in 2004, another round of redistricting took place, creating several new regions and prefectures. Implementation of the new plan has been slow on the ground, however. The regions approximately correspond with 14 prefectures which existed up to 1999.Regions:
  • Batha
  • Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti
  • Chari-Baguirmi
  • Guéra
  • Hadjer-Lamis
  • Kanem
  • Lac
  • Logone Occidental
  • Logone Oriental
  • Mandoul
  • Mayo-Kebbi East (previously part of Mayo-Kebbi)
  • Mayo-Kebbi West (previously part of Mayo-Kebbi)
  • Moyen-Chari
  • Ouaddaï
  • Salamat
  • Tandjilé
  • Wadi Fira (previously Biltine)
  • Ndjamena

Geography - Contents

Map of Chad
Map of Chad
Chad is a landlocked country in north central Africa measuring 1,284,000 square kilometers (496,000 sq. mi.) south of Libya. Chad has 5,968 km of border against Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Niger, Nigeria, and Sudan. Chad has four climatic zones: it has broad, arid plains in center, desert in north, dry mountains in northwest, and tropical lowlands in south. Only 3% of Chad is arable land and none of it has permanent crops. Environmental hazards in Chad include hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds occur in north, periodic droughts, and locust plagues. Lake Chad, which is in Chad and Cameroon, was once the second-largest lake in Africa but has shrunk dramatically during the last few decades and is now down to less than 10% of its former size. The people of Chad are known as Chadian.

Terrain - Contents

Chad’s terrain is dominated by the low-lying Chad Basin (elevation about 250 m/820 ft), which rises gradually to mountains and plateaus on the north, east, and south. In the east heights of more than 900 m (more than 3,000 ft) are attained in the Ennedi and Ouaddaï plateaus. The greatest elevations are reached in the Tibesti massif in the north, with a maximum height of 3,415 m (11,204 ft) at Emi Koussi. The northern half of the republic lies in the Sahara. The only important rivers, the Logone and Chari (Shari), are located in the southwest and flow into Lake Chad. The lake doubles in size during the rainy season.

Economy - Contents

Chad's primarily agricultural economy is being boosted by major oilfield and pipeline developments that began in 2000. Over 80% of Chad's population continues to rely on subsistence farming and stock raising for its livelihood. Cotton, cattle, and gum arabic have, until recently, provided the bulk of Chad's export earnings, but Chad began to export oil in 2003 from three oilfields near Doba. It has been estimated that income from oil increased Chad's per capita GDP by 40% in 2004, and may double it in 2005.Chad's economy has long been handicapped by its landlocked position, poor internal communications, high energy costs, scarce water resources and a history of instability. Until now, Chad has relied on foreign assistance and foreign capital for most public and private sector investment projects but oil income will transform government finances.A consortium, led by ExxonMobil (US), and with the participation of Chevron (US) and Petronas (Malaysia), invested .7 billion to develop oil reserves estimated at 1 billion barrels (0.2 km³) in southern Chad, and Chad became an oil-producing country in 2003, with the completion of a pipeline (financed in part by the World Bank) linking its southern oilfields to terminals on the Atlantic coast via neighbouring Cameroon. Chad hopes to avoid the waste and corruption experienced in some other African oil-producing countries; as a condition of its assistance, the World Bank has insisted on a new law which requires that 80% of oil revenues will be spent on development projects. However, in January 2006 the World Back suspended its loan program to Chad, in reaction to the Chadian decision to "relax" laws governing the spending of oil money. Chad's response is that the World Bank is using Chad as a test subject for different management styles.Provided stability is maintained, the outlook for Chad's economy is now better than it has ever been. It is known that further reserves of oil exist within the country, in addition to the oilfields that are already being exploited.

Demography - Contents

Main article: Demographics of Chad
There are more than 200 ethnic groups in Chad. Those in the north and east are generally Muslim; most southerners are Christians or animists, although such a north/south division glosses over the complex and nuanced tribal and religious relationships in Chad. Through their long religious and commercial relationships with Sudan and Egypt, many of the peoples in Chad's eastern and central regions have become more or less Arabized, speaking Chadian Arabic (see below) (although typically not literal Arabic) and engaging in many other Arab cultural practices as well. More than three-quarters of the Chadian population is rural.

Culture - Contents

Chad is a very culturally diverse nation. Among the manifestations of this diversity is the extremely large number of languages spoken there. Although the only official languages in Chad are Arabic and French, there are also more than 100 tribal languages spoken and a dialect of Arabic known as Chadian Arabic is the closest thing the country has to a national trade language. Chadian Arabic is a mix of "literal" Arabic, French and local dialects. It differs from the country's official language, literal Arabic, and, while literal Arabic speakers can often understand Chad Arabic, the inverse is not true. Government schools are taught in the official languages, with French typically the language of instruction. Few Chadians other than the educated/traveled elite speak literal Arabic.The largest ethnic group in Chad, the Christian/animist Sara peoples living in the south, only makes up 20% of the population. In central Chad, people are mostly nomadic and pastoralist. The mountainous north has a sparse, mostly Muslim population of mixed backgrounds. Each society in Chad (smaller than the groups described above) has developed their own religion, music, and folklore.The largest Christian churches are the Roman Catholic Church, the Assemblees Chretiennes du Tchad, the Eglise Baptiste du Tchad and the Eglises Evangeliques au Tchad. List of writers from Chad, Day (language)
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