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Chad profile

A largely semi-desert country, Chad is rich in gold and uranium and stands
to benefit from its recently-acquired status as an oil-exporting state.

However, Africa's fifth-largest nation suffers from inadequate infrastructure, and


internal conflict. Poverty is rife, and health and social conditions compare
unfavourably with those elsewhere in the region.

Chad's post-independence history has been marked by instability and violence,


stemming mostly from tension between the mainly Arab-Muslim north and the
predominantly Christian and animist south.

In 1969, Muslim dissatisfaction with the first president, Ngarta Tombalbaye - a


Christian southerner - developed into guerrilla war. This, combined with a severe
drought, undermined his rule and in 1975 President Tombalbaye was killed in a
coup led by another southerner, Felix Malloum.

Politics: President Deby, in power since 1990, has overcome rebellion and incursions from
neighbouring Sudan.
Humanitarian issues: 140,000 people are internally displaced; 200,000 refugees are from
Sudan and tens of thousands from CAR
Economy: Chad is enjoying an oil boom. Changes to rules governing how revenues can be spent
have been controversial. Chad ranks among the world's most corrupt states
International: Chad keeps troops in the chaotic CAR, and has pledged armed support for
Cameroon over the Boko Haram insurgency

Mr Malloum failed to end the war, and in 1979 he was replaced by a Libyan-
backed northerner, Goukouki Oueddei. But the fighting continued, this time with a
former defence minister, Hissen Habre, on the opposite side.

In 1982, with French help, Mr Habre captured the capital, N'Djamena, and Mr
Oueddei escaped to the north, where he formed a rival government. The standoff
ended in 1990, when Mr Habre was toppled by the Libyan-backed Idriss Deby.
By the mid-1990s the situation had stabilised, and in 1996 Mr Deby was
confirmed president in Chad's first election.

In 1998 an armed insurgency began in the north, led by President Deby's former
defence chief, Youssouf Togoimi. A Libyan-brokered peace deal in 2002 failed to
put an end to the fighting.

From 2003 unrest in neighbouring Sudan's Darfur region spilled across the
border, along with hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees.

Chad and Sudan accused one another of backing and harbouring rebels, and the
dispute led to a four-year break in relations in 2006-2010.

Since late 2013 Chad has played host to tens of thousands of refugees who have
fled the fighting in the neighbouring Central African Republic, and in 2015 the
country pledged military support to Cameroon in repelling the Islamist Boko
Haram insurgency. Boko Haram responded by attacking the Chadian shore of
Lake Chad, raising fears that the insurgency might spread east.

Chad became an oil-producing nation in 2003, with the completion of a $4bn


pipeline linking its oilfields to terminals on the Atlantic coast. The government has
moved to relax a law controlling the use of oil money, which the World Bank had
made a condition of its $39m loan.

Full name: The Republic of Chad


Population: 11.8 million (UN, 2012)
Capital: N'Djamena
Area: 1.28 million sq km (495,800 sq miles)
Major languages: French, Arabic
Major religions: Islam, Christianity
Life expectancy: 49 years (men), 52 years (women) (UN)
Monetary unit: 1 CFA (Communaute Financiere Africaine) franc = 100 centimes
Main exports: Cotton, oil, livestock, textiles
GNI per capita: US $720 (World Bank, 2011)
Internet domain: .td
International dialling code: +235

President: Idriss Deby


President Deby faces an opposition revolt and allegations of corruption
Idriss Deby came to power in a coup and has faced several attempts to
oust him by similar means.
He won a fourth term in presidential elections in April 2011, which the main
opposition parties boycotted as they did the 2006 elections.
He survived a bid to topple him in April 2006, when rebels attacked the
capital, and again in February 2008, when they were beaten back by
government forces backed by French warplanes and troops offering
logistics, intelligence and protection.
In May 2013 the government said it had foiled another coup plot, this time
allegedly involving army officers and an opposition MP.
Idriss Deby was born in Fada, in north-east Chad, in 1952. A career army
officer, he helped Hissen Habre topple Goukouki Oueddei in 1982.
In 1989 he fled to Sudan after being accused of plotting a coup. A year
later his Patriotic Salvation Movement drove Mr Habre into exile and in
1991 Mr Deby was proclaimed president.
He won Chad's first post-independence presidential election in 1996 after
overseeing the introduction of a multi-party constitution. He was re-elected
in 2001, and in 2005 won a referendum allowing him to stand for a third
term.
An Amnesty International report in 2013 accused Mr Deby of brutally
repressing critics of his rule, and of ignoring promises to respect human
rights when he came to power in 1990.
Mr Deby has actively intervened in the affairs of neighbouring countries,
His troops have been present in the Central African Republic and Mali, and
he courted controversy in January 2012 when he married the daughter of
Musa Hilal, the alleged leader of the feared Sudanese Janjaweed militia.
The authorities exercise control over broadcasting output
Radio is the main medium, but state control of many broadcasting
outlets allows few dissenting views.
State-run Radiodiffusion Nationale Tchadienne operates national and
regional radio stations. Around a dozen private radio stations are on the
air, despite high licensing fees. Some of them are run by non-profit groups.
These broadcasters are subject to close official scrutiny.
The only television station, Tele-Tchad, is state-owned and its coverage
favours the government.
The BBC (90.6) and Radio France Internationale broadcast on FM in the
capital.
Private newspapers critical of the government circulate freely in
N'Djamena, but have little impact among the largely rural and illiterate
population.
Nearly 191,000 internet users were online by December 2011
(Internetworldstats.com).

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