Chad, formally known as the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked nation in North and Central Africa. It is bounded to the north by Libya, to the east by Sudan, to the south by the Central African Republic, to the west by Cameroon, to the southwest by Nigeria (at Lake Chad), and to the west by Niger. Chad has a population of 16 million people, with 1.6 million living in N'Djamena, the capital and biggest city.
Chad is divided into three regions: the desert in the north, the dry Sahelian belt in the center, and the more fertile Sudanian Savanna zone in the south. Lake Chad, after which the nation is named, is Africa's second-largest wetland. The official languages of Chad are Arabic and French. It is home to more than 200 ethnic and linguistic communities. The primary faiths practiced in Chad are Islam (51.8%) and Christianity (44.1%).
Human populations arrived into the Chadian basin in large numbers beginning in the seventh millennium BC. By the end of the first millennium AD, Chad's Sahelian strip had seen the birth and fall of a number of governments and empires, each vying for control of the trans-Saharan trade routes that ran through the area. By 1920, France had captured the area and integrated it into French Equatorial Africa. Chad gained independence in 1960 under the leadership of François Tombalbaye. Resentment of his actions resulted in the outbreak of a long-running civil war in the Muslim north in 1965. The rebels took control of the capital in 1979, thereby ending the South's dominion. The rebel leaders then battled each other until Hissène Habré overcame his opponents. The Chadian–Libyan dispute began in 1978 with a Libyan invasion and ended in 1987 with a French military intervention (Operation Épervier). Hissène Habré was deposed by his general Idriss Déby in 1990. In 1991, the Chad National Army was modernized with French assistance. The Darfur conflict in Sudan erupted over the border in 2003, destabilizing the country. Already impoverished, the country and people struggled to house the hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees that reside in and around camps in eastern Chad.
While several political parties were represented in Chad's legislature, the Patriotic Salvation Movement held sway under the presidency of Idriss Déby, whose reign was considered as autocratic. Following the assassination of President Déby by FACT rebels in April 2021, the Transitional Military Council commanded by his son Mahamat Déby took control of the country and abolished the Assembly. Chad continues to be plagued by political violence and attempted coups. It is a developing nation that ranks in the bottom of the Human Development Index. Chad is one of the world's poorest and most corrupt nations, with the majority of its people living in poverty as subsistence herders and farmers. Since 2003, crude oil has surpassed the traditional cotton sector as the country's principal source of export profits. Chad has a dismal human rights record, with arbitrary incarceration, extrajudicial murders, and restrictions on civil freedoms committed by both security personnel and armed groups.