Located right between the north and center of Africa, Chad (Arabic: تشاد Tšād
), officially known as the Republic of Chad (Arabic: République du Tchad, جمهورية تشاد, Ǧumhūriyyat Tšādis
), a diverse country: at the north has the Sahara desert, at the middle has the Sahel region and at the south, the Sudanian Savannas. It has more than 200 ethnic groups and the main religion is Islam Sufi, followed by Christianity.
It used to be a French colony, governed in a completely unorganized way; since the zone was seen only as a source of slaves and cotton, it was almost ignored by the administration and, save for the south, had to content itself with the dregs of other regions under French control.
The country went independent in 1960, but has been in an eternal wave of civil wars
since then. The deplorable French mandate, plus all the ethnic groups fighting for power, resulted in continuing disputes amongst themselves: each time one of the groups manages to hold control of the capital (and, de facto, the country), the other groups start another civil war to try to topple the actual group in power. Just to spice things up, once in a while external groups decide to join the civil wars, like France in the 80’s, Libya (which ended in a complete disaster for Gaddafi
, since the government got the support of almost all the warring factions to expel the Libyans from their country) and, more recently, the war in Darfur has spilled over to the eastern region, causing an influx of Sudanese immigrants.
As a consequence of the things previously mentioned, Chad is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world. Despite being an economic and social basketcase, it still managed to beat Libya
in a nearly decade-long war
, a vital source of water for the region not only of Chad, but also its neighbors Nigeria, Cameroon and Niger, is known for its many size fluctuations throughout history. Unfortunately, between 1963 to 1998, it had been shrinking at an alarmingly fast rate (as you can see on the map, nowadays the water is only present in Chad and Cameroon). It has been declared an ecological catastrophe by the FAO, since it’s not only worsening the drought that seems to threaten the region, but also putting in danger the flora and fauna of the place. However, according to satellite images taken in 2007, the lake's regular period of nadir seems to have ended and it is slowly growing in size again.
The country doesn’t receive much publicity and not many people are aware of the critical conditions going on in it; neighboring countries like Sudan or Lybia tend to focus all the international attention. In fact, one of the only western mentions of the country is in a throwaway gag in Cats & Dogs
. The country itself has a slow film industry as a result of the war and the lack of cinemas (turns out there’s only one
Compare the depressingly large
number of impoverished, failing African nations, such as Somalia
. Compare/Contrast the Democratic Republic of the Congo
, which is essentially the same scenario in a resource-rich country.
The Chadian flag
The flag is almost visually similar to that of Romania
, except the blue stripe is indigo (in contrast to Romania's cobalt blue). Blue stands for the sky, hope and water; yellow for the sun and the desert; and red for progress, sacrifice and unity.