Repúblique du Tchad
short form: Tchad
int’l long form: Republic of Chad
int’l short form: Chad
ISO Country Code: td
Local Time = UTC +1h
Actual Time: Thu-Nov-14 00:13
Country Calling Code: +235
Capital City: N’Djamena (pop. 1 million est.)
Other Cities: Sarh, Moundou, Abéché, Faya-Largeau, Doba.
Independence: 11 August 1960 (from France).
Location: North central Africa, south of Libya
Area: 1,284,000 km² (496,000 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Chad has of three distinct zones. In the South, a tropical zone with wooded savannas and large equatorial forest. The Center, is dominated by the Sahel zone with steppes, thorn-bushes and baobab trees; in the North, the Saharan desert zone.
Climate: The Northern desert is very dry throughout the year; the central plain is hot and dry, with brief rainy season mid-June to mid-Sept.; southern lowlands are warm and more humid with seasonal rains from late May to early October.
Population: 11.3 million (2009 census)
Ethnic groups: 200 distinct groups. In the north and center: Gorane (Toubou, Daza, Kreda), Zaghawa, Kanembou, Ouaddai, Arabs, Baguirmi, Hadjerai, Fulbe, Kotoko, Hausa, Boulala, and Maba, most of whom are Muslim.
In the south: Sara (Ngambaye, Mbaye, Goulaye), Moudang, Moussei, Massa, most of whom are Christian or animist.
Religions: Muslim 51%, Christian 35%, animist 7%, other indigenous beliefs 7%.
Languages: French and Arabic (official); Sara (in the south), more than 120 indigenous Chadian languages and dialects.
Natural resources: Petroleum, natron (sodium carbonate), kaolin, gold, bauxite, tin, tungsten, titanium, iron ore.
Agriculture products: Cotton, gum arabic, livestock, fish, peanuts, millet, sorghum, rice, sweet potatoes, cassava, dates, manioc.
Industries: meat-packing, beer brewing, soap, cigarettes, construction materials, natron mining, soft-drink bottling.
Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine Franc CFA (XAF)
Chad, part of France’s African holdings until 1960, endured three decades of civil 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 elections in 1996 and 1997. In 1998, a new rebellion broke out in northern Chad, which sporadically flares up despite two peace agreements signed in 2002 and 2003 between the government and the rebels. Despite movement toward democratic reform, power remains in the hands of an ethnic minority