Chad liberated itself from the French colonial yoke and became a free and sovereign Nation on 11 August 1960. The accession to independence was the fruit of several years with as principal figure, François Tombalbaye, first president of the Republic of Chad in 1973. The country owes its name to Lake Chad, which is its main body of water.
Chad celebrated its independence on Wednesday 11 August for the 61st time.Chad’s approach to obtaining independence from France is not far from that used by the other French colonies in Africa. The country favored negotiation instead of armed struggle.The transition to relative administrative autonomy in 1956 was followed by a Yes to the French Community in the referendum held on 28 November 1958. The Progressive Party.
The Chadian Progressive Party (PPT) of Gabriel Lisette, then of François Tombalbaye, played a very important role in this fight.Considered a French protectorate from 1900, Chad was erected as a colony in 1920 as part of French Equatorial Africa (AEF). Under the leadership of Governor Félix Éboué, it was the first French colony to rally to free France in 1940 and formed the embryo of free French Africa.
Chad became an autonomous republic in 1958 and gained independence on 11 August 1960 under the presidency of François Tombalbaye. The latter soon had to face the revolt of peoples of the North, mostly Muslims, which led him to seek the help of French troops in 1968. After the assassination of Tombalbaye in 1975, the power fell to General Felix Malloum, who had to give way to Goukouni Oueddei following the first battle of N’Djaména in 1979. Before independence, Chad, the colony of France, was marked by the participation of its citizens in the two world wars (1914-1918 and 1939-1945).
On 11 August 1960, on the porch of the Fort-Lamy town hall, François Tombalbaye, Prime Minister, delivers the speech of independence of Chad alongside André Malraux, representative of General de Gaulle and of France.
In a few minutes, our people will have won the right to self-determination, the right to choose their own path, the right to be among the concert of nations, equal in dignity to the greatest. We are proud and joyful in this unique moment. We are also determined and determined. A major people is respected, but it does not forget its duties: civic duty of work and discipline, duty of honour, respect for alliances and friendships. A new day is about to begin. The sovereign Republic of Chad will not forget that it is great and beautiful. She will not forget what she owes France and General de Gaulle. Chadians, let us shout our joy: it is midnight. I solemnly proclaim that Chad is independent and sovereign!”
It should be noted that Chad, a Central African country, is geographically and culturally a crossing point between North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. With an area of 1,284,000 km2, it is the fifth largest country in Africa.