Chad Population: 15,833,116


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Chad, part of France's African holdings until 1960, endured three decades of civil warfare, as well as invasions by Libya, before peace was restored in 1990. The government eventually drafted a democratic constitution and held flawed presidential elections in 1996 and 2001. In 1998, a rebellion broke out in northern Chad, which has sporadically flared up despite several peace agreements between the government and insurgents. In June 2005, President Idriss DEBY held a referendum successfully removing constitutional term limits and won another controversial election in 2006. Sporadic rebel campaigns continued throughout 2006 and 2007. The capital experienced a significant insurrection in early 2008, but has had no significant rebel threats since then, in part due to Chad's 2010 rapprochement with Sudan, which previously used Chadian rebels as proxies. In late 2015, the government imposed a state of emergency in the Lake Chad region following multiple attacks by the terrorist group Boko Haram throughout the year; Boko Haram also launched several bombings in N'Djamena in mid-2015. DEBY in 2016 was reelected to his fifth term in an election that was peaceful but flawed. In December 2015, Chad completed a two-year rotation on the UN Security Council. In January 2017, DEBY completed a one-year term as Chairperson of the African Union Assembly.

    Chad is the largest of Africa's 16 landlocked countries

  • not long ago - geologically speaking - what is today the Sahara was green savannah teeming with wildlife; during the African Humid Period, roughly 11,000 to 5,000 years ago, a vibrant animal community, including elephants, giraffes, hippos, and antelope lived there; the last remnant of the "Green Sahara" exists in the Lakes of Ounianga (oo-nee-ahn-ga) in northern Chad, a series of 18 interconnected freshwater, saline, and hypersaline lakes now protected as a World Heritage site
  • Lake Chad, the most significant water body in the Sahel, is a remnant of a former inland sea, paleolake Mega-Chad; at its greatest extent, sometime before 5000 B.C., Lake Mega-Chad was the largest of four Saharan paleolakes that existed during the African Humid Period; it covered an area of about 400,000 sq km (150,000 sq mi), roughly the size of today's Caspian Sea
Location: Central Africa, south of Libya
Geographic coordinates: 15 00 N, 19 00 E
Area: total: 1.284 million sq km
land: 1,259,200 sq km
water: 24,800 sq km

Size comparison: almost nine times the size of New York state; slightly more than three times the size of California
Land Boundaries: total: 6,406 km border countries (6): Cameroon 1116 km, Central African Republic 1556 km, Libya 1050 km, Niger 1196 km, Nigeria 85 km, Sudan 1403 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: tropical in south, desert in north
Terrain: broad, arid plains in center, desert in north, mountains in northwest, lowlands in south
Natural resources: petroleum, uranium, natron, kaolin, fish (Lake Chad), gold, limestone, sand and gravel, salt
Land use: agricultural land: 39.6% (2011 est.) arable land: 3.9% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 35.7% (2011 est.) forest: 9.1% (2011 est.)
other: 51.3% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 300 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds occur in north; periodic droughts; locust plagues
Current Environment Issues: inadequate supplies of potable water; improper waste disposal in rural areas and poor farming practices contribute to soil and water pollution; desertification
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping
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Nationality: noun: Chadian(s)
adjective: Chadian
Ethnic groups: Sara (Ngambaye/Sara/Madjingaye/Mbaye) 30.5%, Kanembu/Bornu/Buduma 9.8%, Arab 9.7%, Wadai/Maba/Masalit/Mimi 7%, Gorane 5.8%, Masa/Musseye/Musgum 4.9%, Bulala/Medogo/Kuka 3.7%, Marba/Lele/Mesme 3.5%, Mundang 2.7%, Bidiyo/Migaama/Kenga/Dangleat 2.5%, Dadjo/Kibet/Muro 2.4%, Tupuri/Kera 2%, Gabri/Kabalaye/Nanchere/Somrai 2%, Fulani/Fulbe/Bodore 1.8%, Karo/Zime/Peve 1.3%, Baguirmi/Barma 1.2%, Zaghawa/Bideyat/Kobe 1.1%, Tama/Assongori/Mararit 1.1%, Mesmedje/Massalat/Kadjakse 0.8%, other Chadian ethnicities 3.4%, Chadians of foreign ethnicities 0.9%, foreign nationals 0.3%, unspecified 1.7% (2014-15 est.)
Languages: French (official), Arabic (official), Sara (in south), more than 120 different languages and dialects
Religions: Muslim 52.1%, Protestant 23.9%, Roman Catholic 20%, animist 0.3%, other Christian 0.2%, none 2.8%, unspecified 0.7% (2014-15 est.)
Population: 15,833,116 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 48.12% (male 3,856,001 /female 3,763,622)
15-24 years: 19.27% (male 1,532,687 /female 1,518,940)
25-54 years: 26.95% (male 2,044,795 /female 2,222,751)
55-64 years: 3.25% (male 228,930 /female 286,379)
65 years and over: 2.39% (male 164,257 /female 214,754) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 100.2 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 95.2 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 4.9 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 20.3 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 15.8 years
male: 15.3 years
female: 16.3 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 3.23% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 43 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 10.5 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 23.1% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 3.88% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 1.323 million N'DJAMENA (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.8 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2018 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth: 17.9 years (2014/15 est.) note: median age at first birth among women 25-29
Maternal mortality rate: 856 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 71.7 deaths/1,000 live births male: 77.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 65.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 57.5 years male: 55.7 years
female: 59.3 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 5.9 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 5.7% (2014/15)
Physicians density: 0.05 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 71.8% of population
rural: 44.8% of population
total: 50.8% of population

urban: 28.2% of population
rural: 55.2% of population
total: 49.2% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 31.4% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 6.5% of population (2015 est.)
total: 12.1% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 68.6% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 93.5% of population (2015 est.)
total: 87.9% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1.3% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 110,000 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 3,100 (2017 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 6.1% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 29.4% (2015)
Education expenditures: 2.9% of GDP (2013)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write French or Arabic (2016 est.)
total population: 22.3%
male: 31.3%
female: 14% (2016 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 8 years male: 9 years female: 6 years (2014)
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Chad
conventional short form: Chad
local long form: Republique du Tchad/Jumhuriyat Tshad
local short form: Tchad/Tshad
etymology: named for Lake Chad, which lies along the country's western border; the word "tsade" means "large body of water" or "lake" in several local native languages note: the only country whose name is composed of a single syllable with a single vowel
Government type: presidential republic
Capital: name: N'Djamena
geographic coordinates: 12 06 N, 15 02 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: name taken from the Arab name of a nearby village, Nijamina, meaning "place of rest" 
Administrative divisions: 23 regions (regions, singular - region); Barh el Gazel, Batha, Borkou, Chari-Baguirmi, Ennedi-Est, Ennedi-Ouest, Guera, Hadjer-Lamis, Kanem, Lac, Logone Occidental, Logone Oriental, Mandoul, Mayo-Kebbi Est, Mayo-Kebbi Ouest, Moyen-Chari, Ouaddai, Salamat, Sila, Tandjile, Tibesti, Ville de N'Djamena, Wadi Fira
Independence: 11 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday: Independence Day, 11 August (1960)
Constitution: history: several previous; latest approved 30 April 2018 by the National Assembly, entered into force 4 May 2018 amendments: proposed as a revision by the president of the republic after a Council of Ministers (cabinet) decision or by the National Assembly; approval for consideration of a revision requires at least three-fifths majority vote by the Assembly; passage requires approval by referendum or at least two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly; amended 2005, 2013 (2018)
Legal system: mixed legal system of civil and customary law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Idriss DEBY Itno, Lt. Gen. (since 4 December 1990)

head of government: President Idriss DEBY Itno, Lt. Gen. (since 4 December 1990); prime minister position eliminated under the 2018 constitution

cabinet: Council of Ministers elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 10 April 2016 (next to be held in April 2021)

election results: Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY Itno reelected president in first round; percent of vote - Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY (MPS) 61.6%, Saleh KEBZABO (UNDR) 12.8%, Laokein Kourayo MEDAR (CTPD) 10.7%, Djimrangar DADNADJI (CAP-SUR) 5.1%, other 9.8%
Legislative branch: description: unicameral National Assembly (188 seats; 163 directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 25 directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote with a second round if needed; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 13 February and 6 May 2011 (next to be held NA)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MPS 117, UNDR 10, RDP 9, RNDT/Le Reveil 8, URD 8, Viva-RNDP 5, FAR 4, CTPD 2, PDSA 2, PUR 2, UDR 2, other 19; composition - men 164, women 24, percent of women 12.8% note: the National Assembly mandate was extended to 2019, reportedly due to a lack of funding for the scheduled 2015 election
Judicial branch: highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice, 3 chamber presidents, and 12 judges or councilors and divided into 3 chambers); Constitutional Council (consists of 3 judges and 6 jurists) judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice selected by the president; councilors - 8 designated by the president and 7 by the speaker of the National Assembly; chief justice and councilors appointed for life; Constitutional Council judges - 2 appointed by the president and 1 by the speaker of the National Assembly; jurists - 3 each by the president and by the speaker of the National Assembly; judges appointed for 9-year terms

subordinate courts: High Court of Justice; Courts of Appeal; tribunals; justices of the peace
Political parties and leaders: Chadian Convention for Peace and Development or CTPD [Laoukein Kourayo MEDAR] Federation Action for the Republic or FAR [Ngarledjy YORONGAR] Framework of Popular Action for Solidarity and Unity of the Republic or CAP-SUR [Joseph Djimrangar DADNADJI] National Rally for Development and Progress or Viva-RNDP [Dr. Nouradine Delwa Kassire COUMAKOYE] National Union for Democracy and Renewal or UNDR [Saleh KEBZABO] Party for Liberty and Development or PLD [Ahmat ALHABO] Party for Unity and Reconciliation Patriotic Salvation Movement or MPS [Idriss DEBY] Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP [Mahamat Allahou TAHER]RNDT/Le Reveil [Albert Pahimi PADACKE] Social Democratic Party for a Change-over of Power or PDSA [Malloum YOBODA] Union for Renewal and Democracy or URD [Felix Romadoumngar NIALBE]
National symbol(s): goat (north), lion (south);
national colors: blue, yellow, red
National anthem: name: "La Tchadienne" (The Chadian)
lyrics/music: Louis GIDROL and his students/Paul VILLARD

note: adopted 1960
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Ngote Gali KOUTOU (since 22 June 2018)
chancery: 2401 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 652-1312
FAX: [1] (202) 758-0431
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Richard K. BELL (since September 2018)
embassy: Chagoua Round Point, BP 413, N'Djamena
mailing address: B. P. 413, N'Djamena
telephone: [235] 2251-5017
FAX: [235] 2253-9102
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Chad’s landlocked location results in high transportation costs for imported goods and dependence on neighboring countries. Oil and agriculture are mainstays of Chad’s economy. Oil provides about 60% of export revenues, while cotton, cattle, livestock, and gum arabic provide the bulk of Chad's non-oil export earnings. The services sector contributes less than one-third of GDP and has attracted foreign investment mostly through telecommunications and banking. Nearly all of Chad’s fuel is provided by one domestic refinery, and unanticipated shutdowns occasionally result in shortages. The country regulates the price of domestic fuel, providing an incentive for black market sales. Although high oil prices and strong local harvests supported the economy in the past, low oil prices now stress Chad’s fiscal position and have resulted in significant government cutbacks. Chad relies on foreign assistance and foreign capital for most of its public and private sector investment. Investment in Chad is difficult due to its limited infrastructure, lack of trained workers, extensive government bureaucracy, and corruption. Chad obtained a three-year extended credit facility from the IMF in 2014 and was granted debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative in April 2015. In 2018, economic policy will be driven by efforts that started in 2016 to reverse the recession and to repair damage to public finances and exports. The government is implementing an emergency action plan to counterbalance the drop in oil revenue and to diversify the economy. Chad’s national development plan (NDP) cost just over $9 billion with a financing gap of $6.7 billion. The NDP emphasized the importance of private sector participation in Chad’s development, as well as the need to improve the business environment, particularly in priority sectors such as mining and agriculture. The Government of Chad reached a deal with Glencore and four other banks on the restructuring of a $1.45 billion oil-backed loan in February 2018, after a long negotiation. The new terms include an extension of the maturity to 2030 from 2022, a two-year grace period on principal repayments, and a lower interest rate of the London Inter-bank Offer Rate (Libor) plus 2% - down from Libor plus 7.5%. The original Glencore loan was to be repaid with crude oil assets, however, Chad's oil sales were hit by the downturn in the price of oil. Chad had secured a $312 million credit from the IMF in June 2017, but release of those funds hinged on restructuring the Glencore debt. Chad had already cut public spending to try to meet the terms of the IMF program, but that prompted strikes and protests in a country where nearly 40% of the population lives below the poverty line. Multinational partners, such as the African Development Bank, the EU, and the World Bank are likely to continue budget support in 2018, but Chad will remain at high debt risk, given its dependence on oil revenue and pressure to spend on subsidies and security.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $28.62 billion (2017 est.) $29.55 billion (2016 est.) $31.58 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $9.872 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: -3.1% (2017 est.) -6.4% (2016 est.) 1.8% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $2,300 (2017 est.) $2,500 (2016 est.) $2,700 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 15.5% of GDP (2017 est.) 7.5% of GDP (2016 est.) 13.3% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 75.1% (2017 est.) government consumption: 4.4% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 24.1% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 0.7% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 35.1% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -39.4% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 52.3% (2017 est.) industry: 14.7% (2017 est.) services: 33.1% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: cotton, sorghum, millet, peanuts, sesame, corn, rice, potatoes, onions, cassava (manioc, tapioca), cattle, sheep, goats, camels
Industries: oil, cotton textiles, brewing, natron (sodium carbonate), soap, cigarettes, construction materials
Industrial production growth rate: -4% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 5.654 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 80%
industry: 20% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate: n/a
Population below poverty line: 46.7% (2011 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 30.8% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 43.3 (2011 est.)
Budget: revenues: 1.337 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 1.481 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 13.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -1.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 52.5% of GDP (2017 est.) 52.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): -0.9% (2017 est.) -1.1% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$558 million (2017 est.) -$926 million (2016 est.)
Exports: $2.464 billion (2017 est.) $2.187 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: oil, livestock, cotton, sesame, gum arabic, shea butter
Exports - partners: US 38.7%, China 16.6%, Netherlands 15.7%, UAE 12.2%, India 6.3% (2017)
Imports: $2.16 billion (2017 est.) $1.997 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and transportation equipment, industrial goods, foodstuffs, textiles
Imports - partners: China 19.9%, Cameroon 17.2%, France 17%, US 5.4%, India 4.9%, Senegal 4.5% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $22.9 million (31 December 2017 est.) $20.92 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $1.724 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $1.281 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $4.5 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: n/a
Market value of publicly traded shares: n/a
Exchange rates: Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar - 605.3 (2017 est.) 593.01 (2016 est.) 593.01 (2015 est.) 591.45 (2014 est.) 494.42 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 224.3 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 208.6 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 48,200 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 98% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 3% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 128,000 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 70,440 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 1.5 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 2,300 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 2,285 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 342,200 Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 6,231,009
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 52 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: inadequate system of radio telephone communication stations with high maintenance costs and low telephone density; Chad remains one of the least developed on the African continent, telecom infrastructure is particularly low, with penetration rates in all sectors - fixed, mobile and Internet -well below African averages (2018)

domestic: fixed-line connections less than 1 per 100 persons, with mobile-cellular subscribership base of about 52 per 100 persons (2018)

international: country code - 235; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Broadcast media: 1 state-owned TV station; 2 privately-owned TV stations; state-owned radio network, Radiodiffusion Nationale Tchadienne (RNT), operates national and regional stations; over 10 private radio stations; some stations rebroadcast programs from international broadcasters (2017)
Internet country code: .td
Internet users: total: 592,623
percent of population: 5% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 59 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 9
(2017) over 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2017)
under 914 m: 1 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 50
(2013) over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 22 (2013)
under 914 m: 11 (2013)
Pipelines: 582 km oil (2013)
Roadways: total 40,000 km

note: consists of 25,000 km of national and regional roads and 15,000 km of local roads; 206 km of urban roads are paved
Waterways: (Chari and Legone Rivers are navigable only in wet season) (2012)
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Military branches: Chadian National Army (Armee Nationale du Tchad, ANT): Ground Forces (l'Armee de Terre, AdT), Chadian Air Force (l'Armee de l'Air Tchadienne, AAT), National Gendarmerie, National and Nomadic Guard of Chad (GNNT) (2013)
Military service age and obligation: 20 is the legal minimum age for compulsory military service, with a 3-year service obligation; 18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary service; no minimum age restriction for volunteers with consent from a parent or guardian; women are subject to 1 year of compulsory military or civic service at age 21; while provisions for military service have not been repealed, they have never been fully implemented (2015)
Military expenditures: 2.79% of GDP (2016) 2.03% of GDP (2015) 2.82% of GDP (2014) 5.61% of GDP (2013)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: since 2003, ad hoc armed militia groups and the Sudanese military have driven hundreds of thousands of Darfur residents into Chad; Chad wishes to be a helpful mediator in resolving the Darfur conflict, and in 2010 established a joint border monitoring force with Sudan, which has helped to reduce cross-border banditry and violence; only Nigeria and Cameroon have heeded the Lake Chad Commission's admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty, which also includes the Chad-Niger and Niger-Nigeria boundaries
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 343,591 (Sudan), 103,562 (Central African Republic), 15,999 (Nigeria) (2019) IDPs: 133,338 (majority are in the east) (2019)
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