OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Chad
CAPITAL: N'Djamena
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Republic with Transitional Regime
AREA: 1,284,640 Sq Km (496,002 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION 7,068,300


Direct Link to Political MapDirect Link to Physical MapLOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Chad is a landlocked country located in North Central Africa. It is bounded by 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. The country is mostly an arid, semi-desert plateau on the edge of the Sahara Desert. Its prominent feature is the broad shallow basin of Lake Chad in the south and southwest part of the country, from there the land rises gradually to plateaux in the south while to the north of the basin the land rises to the Ennedi Plateau and the volcanic Tibesti Ranges. For the most part the country's vegetation is generally desert scrub or steppe. The Logone and Chari are the only permanent rivers that drain into Lake Chad in the southwest with most other rivers only seasonal flowing. Major Cities (pop. est.); N'Djamena 529,600, Moundou 281,500, Sarh 198,100, Abeche 187,800 (1993). Land Use; forested 26%, pastures 36%, agricultural-cultivated 2%, other 36% (1993).


CLIMATE: Chad has three climatic zones, (1.) a subtropical zone within the equatorial rain belt to the south with a wet season from May to November and a dry season from September to April. (2.) A Sahelian zone in the central region which has a longer dry season and a brief wet season between June to September. (3.) The Saharan zone in the northern region which has a true desert climate with hot and arid conditions and is almost entirely rainless. Average annual precipitation in N'Djamena is 744 mm (29 inches) and the average temperature ranges are from 14 to 35 degrees Celsius (57 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit) in December to 23 to 42 degrees Celsius (73 to 108 degrees Fahrenheit) in August.


PEOPLE: Some 200 ethnic groups compose Chad's population with Arab and Arabized groups in the north and the Pagan or Kirdi in the south. The Sara, Bagirmi and Kreish account for around 31% of the population while the Sudanic Arabs account for 26%, the Teda or Tubu for 7% and the Mbun for 6.5%. The remainder are of various tribal minority groups.


DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 5 persons per sq km (12 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 23.9% urban, 76.1% rural (1986). Sex Distribution; 49.3% male, 50.7% female (1990). Life Expectancy at Birth; 43.9 years male, 47.1 years female (1990). Age Breakdown; 43% under 15, 26% 15 to 29, 16% 30 to 44, 9% 45 to 59, 5% 60 to 74, 1% 75 and over (1990). Birth Rate; 42.3 per 1,000 (1988). Death Rate; 19.0 per 1,000 (1988). Increase Rate; 23.3 per 1,000 (1988). Infant Mortality Rate; 157.0 per 1,000 live births (1988).


RELIGIONS: Around 44% of the population follow Muslim beliefs, mainly the northern and central tribes while 23% of the population follow local native tribal beliefs. Christianity represents 33% of the population, of which 21% are Roman Catholic and 12% are Protestant.


LANGUAGES: The official languages are Arabic and French, however, less than 5% of the population understand or speak French. Arabic is widely used in the north and central regions with Sara widely spoken to the south.


EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: N/A. Literacy; literate population aged 15 or over 29.8% (1990).


MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: After World War II thousands were sent to work on the railways in, what is now, Congo and never returned. In 1960 Chad gained independence and in 1962 the government headed by Francois Tombalbaye purged all their rivals and established a single party state. In 1966 a group of northerners mostly Muslims formed a rebel organization called the Chad National Liberation Front (CNLF). During the mid 1960's civil war broke out between the CNLF and the government troops. In 1971 the CNLF began to receive military supplies from Libya while the Libyan President had hopes to make Chad part of Libya. In 1973 Libyan forces occupied a region called the Aozou Strip along Chad's northern border. In 1975 Pres. Tombalbaye was assassinated by the military who overthrew the government. Gen. Malloum, a Sara and head of the Army became President of the new military regime. In 1978 the fighting continued until the rebels, with French support, captured almost half the Chadian army. In 1982 Habre, the former Defense Minister, became Prime Minister and requested the Libyan troops to withdraw. In 1986 the French sent troops to remove the Libyan troops from the occupied northern part of Chad and forced them from Chad except the Aozou Strip. The two countries then agreed to sign a truce. In Nov. 1988 a reconciliation between the government and opposition factions resulted in many of the rebel leaders being incorporated into the government. In Apr. 1989 Habre survived an attempted military coup and in Nov. 1990 forces led by Gen. Idriss Deby entered the capital when Habre and his government were in Cameroon and virtually unopposed took control. He promised multiparty elections and on Mar. 4, 1991 appointed Jean Alingue Bawoyeu prime minister. On Mar. 18, 1991 two former opposition groups, the Chadian People's Revolution and the Original National Front for the Liberation of Chad, agreed to join Pres. Deby's Patriotic Salvation Movement. In May 1991, former President Goukouni Oueddei returned to discuss a multiparty system of government scheduled for 1992. On Sept. 5, 1991 Chad signed an security agreement with Libya to improve bilateral cooperation. In Sept. 1991 dozens of people were killed in an army mutiny by troops loyal to Habre in northern Chad. On Jan. 3, 1992 France deployed 450 troops into Chad to assist in putting down conflict in eastern Chad by the Movement for Development and Democracy (MDD). In Feb. 1992 an attempted coup against Pres. Deby resulted in the death of 12 people and the repatriation of 4 French aid workers after the government claimed that French residents were involved. In May 1992 five political parties were officially recognized in preparation for multiparty elections while in June 1992 there was another attempted coup, which resulted in Col. Abbas Koty fleeing the country. On June 24, 1992 the government and the MDD signed an agreement to end hostilities, although on Oct. 30, 1992 fighting again broke out. On Jan. 15, 1993 the National Conference was officially opened by Pres. Deby, however four days later the conference was suspended. At the end of the month there was an attempted coup on behalf of a former president, Hissene Habre, while Pres. Deby was out of the country. In Feb. 1993 the National Conference reconvened with 40 opposition parties, 20 organizations and 6 rebel groups intending to make declarations, although the MDD continued their armed conflict in the Lake Chad region. In Mar. 1993 some 15,000 civilians from southern Chad fled to the Central African Republic following massacres by government troops. In April 1993 the National Conference adopted a transitional charter and elected Fidele Moungar as the prime minister, although Delwa Kassire Koumakoye replaced Moungar as prime minister in Oct. 1993 after a vote of no confidence. Also in October the government foiled another coup attempt which resulted in the death of Col. Koty.


CURRENCY: The official currency is the CFA Franc (Communaute Financiere Africaine-CFAF) divided into 100 Centimes.


ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $1,248,000,000 (1993). Public Debt; USD $704,600,000 (1993). Imports; CFAF 102,820,000,000 (1994). Exports; CFAF 86,870,000,000 (1994). Tourism Receipts; USD $23,000,000 (1993). Balance of Trade; CFAF -4,826,000,000 (1993). Economically Active Population; 2,719,497 or 43.3% of total population (1993). Unemployed; N/A.


MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are France, Nigeria and Cameroon.

MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Cassava, Cattle, Cotton, Dates, Fish, Gum Arabic, Millet, Peanuts, Rice, Salt, Sorghum, Sweet Potatoes, Yams.

MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Brewing, Fishing, Food Processing, Mining, Textiles.

MAIN EXPORTS: Cattle, Cotton, Meat, Processed Fish.


TRANSPORT: Railroads; nil. Roads; length 40,000 km (24,855 mi) (1983). Vehicles; cars 8,000 (1989), trucks and buses 6,000 (1989). Merchant Marine; nil. Air Transport; passenger-km 232,329,000 (144,363,000 passenger-mi) (1990), cargo ton-km 17,694,000 (12,119,000 short ton-mi) (1990).


COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 1 with a circulation of 2,000 (1992). Radio; receivers 1,310,000 (1994). Television; receivers 5,000 (1987). Telephones; units 4,600 (1993).


MILITARY: 25,350 (1995) total active duty personnel with 98.6% army, 0.0% navy and 1.4% air force while military expenditure accounts for 2.7% (1992) of the Gross National Product (GNP).


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