Chad Independence Day is celebrated on August 11 every year. The country gained autonomy in 1960 after it was colonized by France in the 1890s through a military quest. Chad is a landlocked country with gold and uranium as its natural resources, it is bordered by the Central African Republic, Nigeria, Libya, Niger, and Sudan. After independence, Francois Tombalbaye was Chad’s first president. The country was faced with many challenges after its independence, that culminated in a civil war in 1965 following a tax revolt. In 1975 Tombalbaye was killed during a coup. Civil war ensued in 1979 and lasted three years. But this was not the end of the country’s struggle.
History of Chad Independence Day
Chad is Africa’s fifth-largest country and is thought to be one of the places where humans first appeared. The country has a long and complicated history and was a key component of some of Africa’s most powerful empires, including the ‘Kanem-Bornu,’ which arose in the southwestern portion of Chad. Chad became a French colony in the early 20th century whereafter its formation as a nation-state occurred. In 1913, France annexed the Sudanese conqueror Rabih al-Zubayr’s kingdoms of ‘Kanem-Bornu,’ ‘Baguirmi,’ and ‘Ouaddai.’ These comprised the French Equatorial Africa colony and the’ Ubangi-Shari’ region (Central African Republic). Rabih was killed in the conflict between Rabih and French troops over these countries, and the French restored the customary sultanate of the ‘Kanembu’ family. They ruled over modern-day Chad as a protectorate.
The end of World War II would also signal the end of some of the most severe colonial policies. In 1946, forced labor was abolished, and political parties were legalized. The Chadian Progressive Party (P.P.T.) and the Chadian Democratic Union (U.D.T.) were the two political parties that would dominate the fight for independence from France. U.D.T. catered to the Muslim community, whilst P.P.T. had a stronghold in the country’s south. The P.P.T. was the most powerful party during the conclusion of the colonial period and would go on to become the ruling party after independence was declared in 1960.
Soon after Chad gained autonomy, the first hints of disaster could be seen. Francois Tombalbaye was the country’s first president, and as soon as he gained power, he focused all decision-making on the presidency, turning parliament into nothing but an overall approving body. By 1962, Tombalbaye had abolished all formal opposition parties, expelled all adversaries, and transformed Chad into a one-party state.
Chad Independence Day timeline
A new cattle tax is imposed by the Chadian government which caused a riot in Batha Prefecture.
Chad’s first president, Francois Tombalbaye is killed by General Felix Malloum in April 1975.
The now President Felix Malloum gives an order to execute military officers and this leads to rebels capturing two towns.
The country is divided between the government forces and the emerging rebels.
Chad Independence Day FAQs
Why does Chad celebrate Independence Day?
To mark its freedom from France.
How do Chadians celebrate their independence day?
They have festivities that include music, dance, and parades. There are also political assemblies where speeches are given.
What is the capital of Chad?
N’Djamena is the capital of Chad.
How to Observe Chad Independence Day
Learn the national anthem
A country’s anthem is a reminder of its history. It’s a reminder of the sacrifices that had to be made to bring the country to its current state. Learn the Chad national anthem as a way to honor its history.
Attend public speeches
A public speech where the speaker knows and shares the details of independence would expand your knowledge. Keep an eye out for these events and be sure to register.
Join a street parade
There would most likely be a street parade on Independence Day to celebrate. Join in on the festivities by attending one.
5 Interesting Facts About Chad
It’s a country with three climatic regions
Chad is extremely hot in the north, the central part of the country is a mix between a desert and a tropical climate and then the south has a more pleasant tropical climate.
It’s home to some amazing camel racers
Tourists from across the world visit the Tibesti Mountains to witness the “Toubou” tribe — known as the world’s best camel races — do their thing.
The Sahara Desert is huge in Chad
About one-third of Chad is occupied by this massive hot dessert which is the third largest in the world.
It’s a country named after a lake
Lake Chad is the second largest lake in Africa and a defining wetland in the country.
It has a rich cultural diversity
Chad has over 200 ethnic groups and they speak at least 100 languages; no wonder Chad is known as “The Babel Tower of the World.”
Why Chad Independence Day is Important
It’s a day to honor lost heroes
A lot of people had to sacrifice their lives for Chad to gain its independence. Independence Day is a reminder to honor those people.
It gives us hope for the future
If Chadians can overcome France and gain independence then it means that there is nothing that the country and its citizens cannot achieve if they are determined and they put in the effort.
It reminds us that we are free
Independence Day serves as a reminder that the country is indeed independent and it can make its own decisions. It’s no longer under the leadership of another country.
Chad Independence Day dates