Not much is known about Chad's history before
our times, but the area has been inhabited since the 6th
century BC. The first known societies were founded more
than a thousand years later.
Rock paintings in Borkou and Ennedi show that during
the sixth century BC, northern Chad was part of an
extensive settlement area from the Indus River in India
to the Atlantic. At that time there was plenty of water
in central Sahara and along the beaches were people who
used the land. There were also animals such as
elephants, rhinos and giraffes.
Through its geographical location, Chad has during
history been an intersection of trade routes through the
Sahara. Around these caravan trails were formed towards
the end of the first century BC a number of rival small
states. Most successful, many centuries later became the
kingdom of Kanem-Bornu, founded in the 800s after Christ
in the area that today constitutes western Chad.
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Chad, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
At the end of the 11th century, the reigning monarch
of Kanem had converted to Islam. The economy of the
Muslim kingdoms was largely based on slave trade. The
slaves were captured during raids south where the state
formation was weak and where the population could not
offer much resistance.
Under King Idris Alooma in the late 16th century,
Kanem-Bornu expanded considerably. Alooma exercised a
feudal empire in which land was granted to loyal
warriors. He was a devoted Muslim who built mosques and
changed traditional African justice to Islamic.
In the 19th century, France began to take an interest
in the area. Towards the end of the century, the
Sudanese conqueror Rabah took control of the Muslim
kingdoms and formed a militarily strong state, which
resisted the French. However, Rabah was defeated by the
colonists in 1900. That same year, Chad became a French
military territory and protection area, a so-called
protectorate. It was incorporated in 1910 in the French
Equatorial Africa colony which also included Gabon,
Congo-Brazzavile and the Central African Republic.
After World War II, the inhabitants of French
Equatorial Africa began to form political parties. Most
important in Chad was Chad's Progressive Party (PPT)
with a base among cotton growers in the south. In 1958,
Chad and the other colonies achieved the status of
autonomous republics within the French Commonwealth of
Africa. The country gained full independence in 1960,
and PPT leader François Tombalbaye became Chad's first
President Déby reelected
Chad's President Idriss Déby wins the presidential election with 89 percent
of the vote. The election is boycotted by the main opposition politicians.
The ART alliance wins the election
In the parliamentary elections, the newly formed Alliance for Chad's Rebirth
(ART) wins, which includes President Déby's party MPS. ART receives 132 of the
155 seats. The opposition complains of cheating but the election gets approved
by EU observers.