Africa: Chad

About Chad

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. Despite movement toward democratic reform, power remains in the hands of a northern ethnic oligarchy.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: N'Djamena
Population: 8,707,078 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: 64% (1995 est.)
Language: French (official), Arabic (official), Sara and Sango (in south), more than 100 different languages and dialects
Date of independence: 11 August 1960 (from France)
Form of government: republic
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: petroleum (unexploited but exploration under way), uranium, natron, kaolin, fish (Lake Chad)
Environmental Issues: inadequate supplies of potable water; improper waste disposal in rural areas contributes to soil and water pollution; desertification
Agricultural Products: cotton, sorghum, millet, peanuts, rice, potatoes, manioc (tapioca); cattle, sheep, goats, camels
Imports: machinery and transportation equipment, industrial goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs, textiles
Exports: cotton, cattle, textiles
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: France 40%, Cameroon 13%, Nigeria 12%, India 5% (1999)
EXPORTS: Portugal 38%, Germany 12%, Thailand, Costa Rica, South Africa, France (1999)


Chad Headlines

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