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  • 7/9/2003


The Republic of Chad is the largest country of former French Equatorial Africa. Chad is a landlocked country with one of the world’s lowest population densities. It is situated in the heart of Africa and has borders with Cameroon in the south-west, Niger and Nigeria in the west, The Central African Republic in the south, Libya to the north and Sudan to the east. Chad’s topography is generally flat except for a range of hills along the eastern border and relatively high, barren mountains in the far north-west. Most of the country’s drainage system flows into Lake Chad, which lacks an outlet. The climate of Chad is hot and arid in the northern desert regions, and wet and tropical in the south.

Location & Geography


Central Africa, south of Libya

Geographic coordinates:

15 00 N, 19 00 E


Total: 1.284 million sq km
water: 24,800 sq km
land: 1,259,200 sq km

Land boundaries:

total: 5,968 km
border countries: Cameroon 1,094 km, Central African Republic 1,197 km, Libya 1,055 km, Niger 1,175 km, Nigeria 87 km, Sudan 1,360 km


Tropical in south, desert in north

Natural resources:

Petroleum (unexploited but exploration under way), uranium, natron, kaolin, fish (Lake Chad)



8,997,237 (July 2002 est.)


noun: Chadian(s); adjective: Chadian

Ethnic groups:

200 distinct groups; in the north and center: Arabs, Gorane (Toubou, Daza, Kreda), Zaghawa, Kanembou, Ouaddai, Baguirmi, Hadjerai, Fulbe, Kotoko, Hausa, Boulala, and Maba, most of whom are Muslim; in the south: Sara (Ngambaye, Mbaye, Goulaye), Moundang, Moussei, Massa, most of whom are Christian or animist; about 1,000 French citizens live in Chad

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2002 est.)


French (official), Arabic (official), Sara (in south), more than 120 different languages and dialects


Definition: age 15 and over can read and write French or Arabic
total population: 40%
male: 49%
female: 31% (1998)


Chad's primarily agricultural economy will be boosted by major oilfield and pipeline projects that began in 2000. Over 80% ofChad's population relies on subsistence farming and stock rising for their livelihood. Cotton, cattle, and gum Arabic provide the bulk of Chad's export earnings, but Chad will begin to export oil in 2004. Chad's economy has long been handicapped by its land-locked position, high energy costs, and a history of instability.Chad relies on foreign assistance and foreign capital for most public and private sector investment projects. A consortium led by two US companies is investing $3.7 billion to develop oil reserves estimated at 1 billion barrels in southern Chad.


cotton textiles, meatpacking, beer brewing, natron (sodium carbonate), soap, cigarettes, construction materials


Telephones - main lines in use:

10,260 (2000)

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 5 (1998)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

1 (2000)

Internet users:

1,000 (2000)



total: 33,400 km
paved: 450 km


probably no more than 8,000 km of the total receive maintenance, the remainder being desert tracks (2000)
unpaved: 32,950 km


2,000 km


49 (2001)


Country name:

conventional long form:Republic of Chad
conventional short form: Chad
local long form: Republique du Tchad
local short form: Tchad

Government type:


Administrative divisions:

14 prefectures (prefectures, singular - prefecture); Batha, Biltine, Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti, Chari-Baguirmi, Guera, Kanem, Lac, Logone Occidental, Logone Oriental, Mayo-Kebbi, Moyen-Chari, Ouaddai, Salamat, Tandjile
note: instead of 14 prefectures, there may be a new administrative structure of 28 departments (departments, singular - department), and 1 city*; Assongha, Baguirmi, Bahr El Gazal, Bahr Koh, Batha Oriental, Batha Occidental, Biltine, Borkou, Dababa, Ennedi, Guera, Hadjer Lamis, Kabia, Kanem, Lac, Lac Iro, Logone Occidental, Logone Oriental, Mandoul, Mayo-Boneye, Mayo-Dallah, Monts de Lam, N'djamena*, Ouaddai, Salamat, Sila, Tandjile Oriental, Tandjile Occidental, Tibesti


11 August 1960 (fromFrance)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 11 August (1960)


passed by referendum 31 March 1996

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY (since 4 December 1990)
head of government: Prime Minister Nagoum YAMASSOUM (since 13 December 1999)
cabinet: Council of State, members appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
election results: Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY reelected president; percent of vote - Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY 63%, Ngarlegy YORONGAR 16%, Saleh KEBZABO 7%
note: government coalition - MPS, UNDR, and URD
elections: president elected by popular vote to serve five-year term; if no candidate receives at least 50% of the total vote, the two candidates receiving the most votes must stand for a second round of voting; last held 20 May 2001 (next to be held NA 2006); prime minister appointed by the president


Judicial branch:

Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; Criminal Courts; Magistrate Courts

Political parties and leaders

Federation Action for the Republic or FAR [Ngarlejy YORONGAR]; National Rally for Development and Progress or RNDP [Mamadou BISSO]; National Union for Development and Renewal or UNDR [Saleh KEBZABO]; National Union for Renewal and Democracy or UNRD [leader NA]; Party for Liberty and Democracy or PLD [Ibni Oumar Mahamat SALEH]; Patriotic Salvation Movement or MPS [Mahamat Saleh AHMAT, chairman] (originally in opposition but now the party in power and the party of the president); Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP [Lal Mahamat CHOUA]; Union for Democracy and the Republic or UDR [Jean Bawoyeu ALINGUE]; Union for Renewal and Democracy or URD [Gen. Wadal Abdelkader KAMOUGUE]; Viva Rally for Development and Progress or Viva RNDP [DelwaKassire COUMAKOYE]



Muslim 51%, Christian 35%, animist 7%, other 7%

An Islamic school in Chad

Islam in Chad has adapted to its local context in many ways. For one thing, despite the presence of a large number of Arabs, Arabic is not the maternal language of the majority of Chadian Muslims. As a result, although many Chadian Muslims have attended Qur'anic schools, they often have learned to recite Qur'anic verses without understanding their
meaning. Hence, perhaps even more than among those who understand Arabic, the recitation of verse have taken on a mystical character among Chadian Muslims.
Chadian Muslims have retained and combined pre-Islamic with Islamic rituals and beliefs. Moreover, Islam in Chad was not particularly influenced by the great mystical movements of the Islam of Middle Ages or the fundamentalist upheavals that affected the faith in the Middle East, West Africa, and Sudan. Beginning in the Middle East in the thirteenth century, Muslim mystics sought to complement the intellectual comprehension of Islam with direct religious experience through prayer, contemplation, and action. The followers of these mystics founded brotherhoods (turuq; sing., tariqa), which institutionalized their teachers' interpretations of the faith. Such organizations stimulated the spread of Islam and also
provided opportunities for joint action, for the most part, which was not the case in Chad, where only two brotherhoods exist. Perhaps as a result of prolonged contact with West African Muslim traders and pilgrims, most Chadian Muslims identify with the Tijaniyya order, but the brotherhood has not served as a rallying point for unified action. Similarly, the Sanusiyya, a brotherhood founded in Libya in the mid-nineteenth century, enjoyed substantial
economic and political influence in the Lake Chad Basin around 1900. Despite French fears of an Islamic revival movement led by "Sanusi fanatics," Chadian adherents, limited to the Awlad Sulayman Arabs and the Toubou of eastern Tibesti, have never been numerous.


A bronze bracelet, believed to be from the Sao period

The territory now known asChad possesses some of the richest archaeological sites inAfrica. During the seventh millennium B.C., the northern half ofChad was part of a broad expanse of land, stretching from the Indus River in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, in which ecological conditions favored early human settlement. Rock art of the "Round Head" style, found in the Ennedi region, has been dated to before the seventh millennium B.C. and, because of the tools with which the rocks were carved and the scenes they depict, may represent the oldest evidence in the Sahara of Neolithic industries. Many of the pottery-making and Neolithic activities in Ennedi date back further than any of those of the Nile Valley to the east.
Chad, part of France's African holdings until 1960, endured three decades of ethnic warfare as well as invasions by Libya before a semblance of peace was finally restored in 1990. The government eventually suppressed or came to terms with most political-military groups, settled a territorial dispute with Libya on terms favorable to Chad, drafted a democratic constitution, and held multiparty presidential and National Assembly elections in 1996 and 1997 respectively. In 1998 a new rebellion broke out in northern Chad, which continued to escalate throughout 2000. A peace agreement, signed in January 2002 between the government and the rebels, provides for the demobilization of the rebels and their reintegration into the political system. Despite movement toward democratic reform, power remains in the hands of a northern ethnic oligarchy.

Taken from:
http://www.arches.uga.edu; and...

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