Following independence from France in 1960, Chad has endured instability, three decades of civil warfare, as well as invasions by Libya before peace was restored in 1990. However, the political situation has remained unstable and volatile. President Idriss Deby came to power in a coup d'etat in 1990; he was since elected and repeatedly re-elected in 1996, 2001, 2006, and most recently in 2011. Throughout his tenure, he had been faced with armed rebellions by several groups and incursions from neighboring Sudan. He survived attacks on the capital from rebels in the eastern part of the country, believed to be supported by Sudan, in 2006 and 2008. Tensions between Chad and Sudan were eased in 2010, effectively assuaging that security challenge. But as discussed above, Deby's government foiled an attempted coup d'etat in 2013, indicating ongoing turbulence in Chad. It should be noted that Chad has become a major participant in the effort to rid Islamic militants from northern Mali. It was unknown if that military engagement was related to the 2013 attempted to overthrow the government.
A semi-desert country in Central Africa, Chad is rich in gold and uranium and stands to benefit from its recently-acquired status as an oil-exporting state. However, Chad’s economic development has long suffered from its landlocked position, inadequate infrastructure, weak governance, and political instability. The country is among the poorest and least developed in the world, and is highly dependent on foreign assistance. Despite the recent development of its petroleum sector, agriculture remains the backbone of the economy, with more than 80 percent of the population dependent on subsistence farming, herding and fishing for their livelihood.