Basic information about the territory
- System of governance and political tendencies in the country
- Foreign policy of the country
The system of governance and political tendencies in the country
The Republic of Chad (République du Tchad) is a landlocked state without direct access to the sea. Chad has the longest border with its eastern neighbor – Sudan (1403 km). It borders Libya (1055 km) to the north, Niger Republic (1196 km) to the west, Nigeria (85 km), Cameroon (1116 km) to the southwest and the Central African Republic (1556 km of common borders) to the southeast. The unclear demarcation of international borders has led to border incidents in the past near Lake Chad in the west of the country (the common border between Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria). The territory of the entire republic consists mainly of semi-desert and desert. Fertile soil is found only in the southwest of the country in a narrow strip around Lake Chad and the area near the border with the Central African Republic and Cameroon. It constitutes only 3.82% of the total area of the country, areas with a permanent crop then only 0.02% of the area. There are only a few hundred square kilometers of artificially irrigated land. Chad is a unitary republic practicing a presidential system of power with the existence of multiple political parties. In reality, power is concentrated in the hands of a narrow group around the president, who rules with the support of the military. The president heads the government, appoints the prime minister, with whom he shares some executive powers. The government is also appointed by the president on the proposal of the prime minister. The president is elected in direct elections for five years. Legislative power is entrusted by the constitution to the unicameral National Assembly, where 188 deputies sit, its members are elected by a two-round popular vote for a four-year term of office. The current Constitution was approved by a popular referendum on March 31, 1996, amended by referendums in 2005 and 2013 (no limit on the number of presidential mandates). Lieutenant General Idriss Déby Itno (born 1952) has been the head of state since December 2, 1990. Based on the 1996 constitution, the president could serve only 2 terms of office, Déby had the relevant clause of the constitution changed in 2005. The last presidential election, in which Déby won again, was held on 25 April 2011. The opposition boycotted the election, and voter turnout is questionable (15% according to the opposition, 90% according to Déby’s supporters). Another presidential election was held on April 10, 2016, in which the current president Idriss Déby Itno won for the fifth time with 61.56% of the vote. Opposition leader Saleh Kebzabo, who came in second, received 12.80% of the vote. On 20 April 2021, General Idris Déby was killed on the battlefield. His son Mahamat was chosen to succeed him, for a provisional 18-month period. An interim government is currently in power. Uncertainty still reigns in the country. Check cancermatters to learn more about Chad political system.
Foreign policy of the country
Chad is a member country of the Economic and Customs Union of Central African Countries (CEMAC – Communauté économique et monétaire de l’Afrique centrale), CEMAC members are Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Gabon, the Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea). CEMAC was created in 1994 and is part of a wider entity – the “Economic Community of Central African States” (ECCAS; it also includes Burundi, Rwanda, Angola, DRC and the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe). However, the Union is functional only to a limited extent, there is an imbalance between the positions of richer and poorer member states. Within CEMAC, for example, the agreement on the free movement of persons within all member countries is valid, but it is not applied in practice, see also CEMAC. Chad is also a member country of The Community of Central African, Caribbean and Pacific States (EACPS). Chad’s foreign relations focus on the regional security context. An essential pillar of Chad’s regional role is undoubtedly its support for security stability and the fight against terrorism in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions. The state contributes to regional peace-building efforts: the Joint Force of G5 Sahel (FCG5S) was created as a counter-terrorism alliance of Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Chad at the July 2017 summit in Bamako; the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) founded in 2015 unites Nigeria, Niger, Benin, Chad and Cameroon in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists, and Chadian troops are an important component of it. Chad is an important ally of France and other countries in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel region. The Franco-Chad partnership is likely to remain, and will continue to remain, very strong. Thanks to strategic partnerships and the patronage of France, the international community is lenient towards the Déby regime. Nevertheless, Chad does not hide his frustration at how, from his point of view, the international partners of the G5S positively discriminate against Mali, and to a lesser extent also Burkina Faso and Niger. France has increased the number of troops operating in the Sahel by 600 more troops in 2020 to a total of 5,100 men and women fighting local jihadist groups. In October, during a meeting of the G5 Council of Ministers, Chadian Zaminir Amine Abba Sidick announced the dispatch of a second military contingent, numbering an additional 1,000 soldiers, to support the military coalition of the G5 Sahel states. The contingent was supposed to be sent at the end of 2019, but the Chadian troops were busy fighting Boko Haram. China will continue to remain the main economic leader in the country. Especially in the area of the oil industry, it helps the sustainability of investments. During his visit to Chad in 2019, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu together with President Déby announced the restoration of diplomatic relations, which were severed in 1972 during the height of Arab-Israeli tensions. In 2020, the new bilateral session continued in the form of a Chadian delegation in Jerusalem. During the visit, the possibility of opening a Chadian embassy in Jerusalem was also allegedly discussed, but this report was later denied by Chadian diplomacy (the UN believes that diplomatic missions should be established in Jerusalem only after the Israeli-Palestinian issue is resolved). Check prozipcodes for Chad defense and foreign policy.
- Population: 16.43 million
- Population density: 8.88 inhabitants/km2
- Economically active population: 5 million.
Age composition of the population: • 0–14 years 44.7% • 15–64 years 52.3% • over 65 years 3.0%
Chad is a multi-ethnic state (about 200 ethnic groups). Ethnic groups: Arabs (12.3%), Sara (27.7%), Mayo–Kebbi (11.5%), Kanem–Bornou (9%), Ouaddai (8.7%), Hadjari (%), Tandjile (6.5%), Gorane (Toubou Daza – 6.3%), Fitri – Batha (4.7%), other important groups: Hausa, Bagirmi, Fulbe, Kotoko, Boulala, Maba.
It is estimated that a large number of Nigerians, citizens of the Central African Republic and Sudanese are also staying in the Republic of Chad for a long time, often illegally (exact data are not available). Several thousand French citizens live in the country.
The main religion in Chad is Islam (about 53% of the population professes it). The rest are Christians (35%), animists (7.3%) and other indigenous religions.