Map Courtesy CIA World Factbook
The Republic of Chad (تشاد, Tašād) is a land-locked nation in central Africa. It borders Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest and Niger to the west. Due to its distance from the sea and its largely desert climate, the country is sometimes refered to as the 'dead heart of Africa.' In the north, it contains the Tibesti Mountains, the largest mountain chain in the Sahara desert. Formerly part of the Federation of French Equatorial Africa, the country is named after Lake Chad.
Like most of the world, the area that today is Chad started out as a disconnected group of tribes. Humanoid skulls and cave paintings have been found there. Eventually, these tribes were overtaken by kingdoms. Chad was controlled by some weak local kingdoms until it was overtaken by the larger, but still completely African Kanem-Bornu Empire.
Later, foreigners started having a bigger influence on Chad. Starting in the Middle Ages, Chad became a crossroads between the Muslim traders and the native tribes. In 1891 Chad became a French colony. In WWII, Chad was the first French colony to join the Allies. In 1960, Chad peacefully became an independent country.
In 1965, a civil war began as tax revolt from the Muslim north. This was a long and painful war. It lasted until 1996, at which time a constitution was written and Idriss Déby was elected president.