Portal:Chad

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The Chad Portal

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Chad (/æd/ (About this sound listen); Arabic: تشادTashād; French: Tchad pronounced [tʃad]), officially the Republic of Chad (Arabic: جمهورية تشادJumhūrīyat Tshād; French: République du Tchad lit. "Republic of the Chad"), is a landlocked country in north-central Africa. It is bordered 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. It is the fifth largest country in Africa and the second-largest in Central Africa in terms of area.

Chad has several regions: a desert zone in the north, an arid Sahelian belt in the centre and a more fertile Sudanian Savanna zone in the south. Lake Chad, after which the country is named, is the largest wetland in Chad and the second-largest in Africa. The capital N'Djamena is the largest city. Chad's official languages are Arabic and French. Chad is home to over 200 different ethnic and linguistic groups. The most popular religion of Chad is Islam (at 55%), followed by Christianity (at 40%).

Beginning in the 7th millennium BC, human populations moved into the Chadian basin in great numbers. By the end of the 1st millennium AD, a series of states and empires had risen and fallen in Chad's Sahelian strip, each focused on controlling the trans-Saharan trade routes that passed through the region. France conquered the territory by 1920 and incorporated it as part of French Equatorial Africa. In 1960, Chad obtained independence under the leadership of François Tombalbaye. Resentment towards his policies in the Muslim north culminated in the eruption of a long-lasting civil war in 1965. In 1979 the rebels conquered the capital and put an end to the south's hegemony. However, the rebel commanders fought amongst themselves until Hissène Habré defeated his rivals. He was overthrown in 1990 by his general Idriss Déby. Since 2003 the Darfur crisis in Sudan has spilt over the border and destabilised the nation, with hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees living in and around camps in eastern Chad. An uneven inclusion into the global political economy as a site for colonial resource extraction (primarily cotton and crude oil), a global economic system that does not promote nor encourage the development of Chadian industrialization, and the failure to support local agricultural production has meant that the majority of Chadians live in daily uncertainty and hunger.

While many political parties are active, power lies firmly in the hands of President Déby and his political party, the Patriotic Salvation Movement. Chad remains plagued by political violence and recurrent attempted coups d'état. Since 2003, crude oil has become the country's primary source of export earnings, superseding the traditional cotton industry. Read more...

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The Toyota War is the name commonly given to the last phase of the Chadian-Libyan conflict, which took place in 1987 in Northern Chad and on the Libyan-Chadian border. It takes its name from the Toyota pickup trucks used as technicals to provide mobility for the Chadian troops as they fought against the Libyans. The 1987 war resulted in a heavy defeat for Libya, which, according to American sources, lost one tenth of its army, with 7,500 troops killed and 1.5 billion dollars' worth of military equipment destroyed or captured. Chadian losses were 1,000 troops killed.

The war began with the Libyan occupation of northern Chad in 1983, when Libya's leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the Chadian President Hissène Habré, militarily supported the attempt by the opposition Transitional Government of National Unity (GUNT) to overthrow Habré. The plan was foiled by the intervention of France that, first with Operation Manta and later with Operation Epervier, limited Libyan expansion to north of the 16th parallel, in the most desertic and sparsely inhabited part of Chad.

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Child at a MSF camp in Chad.jpg
Credit: Mark Knobil

Child at a Médecins Sans Frontières camp in Chad.

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Wikinews Chad portal
  • October 21: United States judges block third version of President Trump's travel ban
  • January 18: Nigerian jet attacks refugee camp, killing dozens
  • March 9: Nigeria allies join fight against Boko Haram
  • August 17: Chadian soldiers rescue Nigerian Boko Haram hostages
  • March 5: Chadian army: Mokhtar Belmokhtar 'killed' in Mali
  • March 7: Polio vaccination campaign targets 85 million African children
  • January 29: Chad calls for UN troops to withdraw
  • November 14: Six aid groups suspend work in Chad after killing
  • May 18: Sudan accuses Chad of air strikes
  • November 9: "Darfur a powder keg" says UN Head of Humanitarian Affairs

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General Mahamat Nouri (born 1947) is a Chadian insurgent leader who currently commands the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development (UFDD). A Muslim from northern Chad, he began his career as a FROLINAT rebel, and when the group's Second Army split in 1976 he sided with his kinsman Hissène Habré. As Habré's associate he obtained in 1978 the first of the many ministerial positions in his career, becoming Interior Minister in a coalition government. When Habré reached the presidency in 1982, Nouri was by his side and played an important role in the regime.

Following Habré's downfall in 1990, Nouri passed his allegiance to his successor, Idriss Déby, under whom he rose once again to great prominence, remaining in the cabinet without interruption from 1995 to 2004. After that he was sent as Chad's ambassador to Saudi Arabia: while in that country he broke with Déby in 2006, joining armed opposition against him.

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