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 drafted a democratic constitution and held flawed presidential elections in 1996 and 2001. In 1998, a rebellion broke out in northern Chad, which has sporadically flared up despite several peace agreements between the government and the rebels. In 2005, new rebel groups emerged in western Sudan and made probing attacks into eastern Chad despite signing peace agreements in December 2006 and October 2007. Power remains in the hands of an ethnic minority. In June 2005, President Idriss DEBY held a referendum successfully removing constitutional term limits and won another controversial election in 2006. Sporadic rebel campaigns continued throughout 2006 and 2007. The capital experienced a significant rebel threat in early 2008.
president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; if no candidate receives at least 50% of the total vote, the two candidates receiving the most votes must stand for a second round of voting; last election held on 25 April 2011 (next to be held by 2016); prime minister appointed by the president
Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY Itno reelected president; percent of vote - Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY 83.6%, Albert Pahimi PADACKE 8.6%, Nadji Madou 7.8%
unicameral National Assembly (188 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
National Assembly - last held on 13 February 2011 (next to be held by 2015); note - legislative elections, originally scheduled for 2006, were first delayed by National Assembly action and subsequently by an accord, signed in August 2007, between government and opposition parties
percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ART 133, UNDR 11, others 44
Alliance for the Renaissance of Chad or ART, an alliance among the ruling MPS, RDP, and Viva-RNDP; Federation Action for the Republic or FAR [Ngarledjy YORONGAR]; National Rally for Development and Progress or Viva-RNDP [Delwa Kassire KOUMAKOYE]; National Union for Democracy and Renewal or UNDR [Saleh KEBZABO]; Party for Liberty and Development or PLD [Ibni Oumar Mahamat SALEH]; Patriotic Salvation Movement or MPS [Mahamat Saleh AHMAT, chairman]; Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP [Lol Mahamat CHOUA]; Union for Renewal and Democracy or URD [Gen. Wadal Abdelkader KAMOUGUE]
three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, and red; the flag combines the blue and red French (former colonial) colors with the red and yellow of the Pan-African colors; blue symbolizes the sky, hope, and the south of the country, which is relatively well-watered; yellow represents the sun, as well as the desert in the north of the country; red stands for progress, unity, and sacrifice
note:similar to the flag of Romania; also similar to the flags of Andorra and Moldova, both of which have a national coat of arms centered in the yellow band; design was based on the flag of France
Chad's primarily agricultural economy will continue to be boosted by major foreign direct investment projects in the oil sector that began in 2000. At least 80% of Chad's population relies on subsistence farming and livestock raising for its livelihood. Chad's economy has long been handicapped by its landlocked position, high energy costs, and a history of instability. Chad relies on foreign assistance and foreign capital for most public and private sector investment projects. A consortium led by two US companies has been investing $3.7 billion to develop oil reserves - estimated at 1 billion barrels - in southern Chad. Chinese companies are also expanding exploration efforts and are currently building a 300-km pipeline and the country's first refinery. The nation's total oil reserves are estimated at 1.5 billion barrels. Oil production came on stream in late 2003. Chad began to export oil in 2004. Cotton, cattle, and gum arabic provide the bulk of Chad's non-oil export earnings.
1 state-owned TV broadcast station; state-owned radio network, Radiodiffusion Nationale Tchadienne (RNT), operates national and regional stations; about 10 private radio stations; some stations rebroadcast programs from international broadcasters (2007)
20 years of age for conscripts, with 3-year service obligation; 18 years of age for volunteers; no minimum age restriction for volunteers with consent from a parent or guardian; women are subject to 1 year of compulsory military or civic service at age of 21 (2004)
since 2003, Janjawid armed militia and the Sudanese military have driven hundreds of thousands of Darfur residents into Chad; Chad remains an important mediator in the Sudanese civil conflict, reducing tensions with Sudan arising from cross-border banditry; Chadian Aozou rebels reside in southern Libya; only Nigeria and Cameroon have heeded the Lake Chad Commission's admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty, which also includes the Chad-Niger and Niger-Nigeria boundaries
current situation: Chad is a source, transit, and destination country for children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation; the majority of children are trafficked within Chad for involuntary domestic servitude, forced cattle herding, forced begging, involuntary agricultural labor, or for commercial sexual exploitation; to a lesser extent, Chadian children are also trafficked to Cameroon, the Central African Republic, and Nigeria for cattle herding
Tier 2 Watch List - the Government of Chad does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the Government of Chad reportedly ended all child conscription into its national army and continued to engage in efforts to demobilize remaining child soldiers from rebel forces; fewer efforts were made to address the forced labor of children in cattle herding, domestic service, and begging, or to combat the commercial sexual exploitation of Chadian children; the government did not enact legislation prohibiting trafficking in persons and undertook limited anti-trafficking law enforcement and victim protection activities (2011)