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lauantai 11. heinäkuuta 2015

Chad, Cool Facts #46

<= 45. Tunisia                                                                                                                47. Somalia =>


1. Lake Chad

Chad got its name from Lake Chad, the biggest lake in the country. Chad means "lake" in a local language. The Europeans found the lake in 1823, and it was considered one of the largest lakes in the world then. The lake is a remnant of a former inland sea, Mega-Chad which was at its largest about 5000 BC when it was estimated to cover over 1 million square kilometers of area. Lake Chad is very shallow, only 10 meters deep at maximum which makes it very sensitive to climate changes. The lake was reported to have shrunk 95% from about 1963 to 1998.

Lake Chad

2. Division of Chad

Chad is divided geographically, ethnically and religiously into two. The north is dominated by deserts where the Arab and Tubu nomad populations live. The south is inhabited by black farmers who are Christians or Animists. This division has led to a continuous civil war in Chad.



3. French Colony 1900-1960

In 1900 France made Chad its colony when they invaded the country.

In 1910 Chad became a part of French Equatorial Africa with Central African Republic, Cameroon, Gabon and Congo. Cotton plantations and Christian missionary posts were established in the south. The Sara people lost their lands and they were forced into work in the European plantations. Sara elite was also educated and recruited in the colonial government.

In 1960 Chad became independent when the French colonial system fell. The Sara people got a dominant position in the government and their leader Francois Tombalbaye became the country's first president. He started the Africanization policy by resisting Moslems and supporting Christians.



French Equatorial Africa


4. African Pinochet 

Hissene Habré was called the African Pinochet, referring to Chile's dictator Augusto Pinochet
Habré was the president of Chad between 1982-1990

Belongs to gorane-tribe
In the year 1982 Habré became the president

He created a secret police known as the Documentation and Security Directorate (DDS)
The DDS tortured and executed Habré's opponents

DDS used torture methods like: forced swallowing of water, spraying gas into the eyes, ears and nose, forcing the mouths of detainees around the exhaust pipes of running cars

Habré's government engaged in ethnic cleansing against the Sara, Hadjerai and Zaghawa people
Habré fled to Senegal after being overthrown in 1990

Chadian commission of inquiry claims that 40,000 people were killed and over 200,000 were tortured during Habré's rule

Habré on the left

5. One of World's Unluckiest Countries

Chad is one of world's unluckiest countries
7th poorest country in the world according to UN
Expected life expectancy only 51 years in 2013 (WHO), one of the lowest in the world
Over 80% of the population live below the poverty line 
Since the year 2000 three foreign companies have pumped oil from Chad along a pipeline to Cameroon and from there to the world, but the Chadians haven't benefitted from the oil revenues at all
Continuous fighting and civil war prevents the development of the country

Chad oil pipeline


Timeline

1000 African kingdoms emerge along the caravan routes from black Africa to the Mediterranean, the wealthiest were Kanem and the smaller Baguirmi and Ouaddai Kingdoms
1500-1600s Slave hunting begins and the caravan routes lose their importance as sea routes are opened
1900 France invades the area and makes Chad its colony
1910 Chad is joined together with Central African Republic, Cameroon, Gabon and Congo as the French Equatorial Africa
1960 Chad becomes independent
1966 Moslem-led liberation movement FROLINAT is founded in the north supported by Libya as the government was supported by France
1975 President Tombalbaye is murdered in a military coup
1977 Libya conquers Aouzou strip in northern Chad, which was detached from Libya in the 30s with an agreement between France and Italy
1979 FROLINAT conquers the capital N'Djamena, president Felix Malloum is overthrown and FROLINAT's leader Goukouni Oueddei becomes the new president
1982 After a military coup, Hissene Habre declares himself the president
1985-1987 Chad and Libya fight about a land strip, later in 1994 Libya gives up the area
1990 Habre was overthrown by rebels invading from Sudan, Idriss Deby became the new president
1996 Deby arranged the country's first multiparty elections, which he won
2005 Chad announced them to be in war with Sudan

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chad
Maailman liput maat ja historia by Kimmo Kiljunen
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hissène_Habré

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