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