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Chad Celebrates Freedom and Democracy Day

Freedom and Democracy Day is a public holiday in Chad.

Freedom and Democracy Day Date: December 1

Freedom and Democracy Day is a public holiday in Chad.

Freedom and Democracy Day is a national holiday in Chad that falls on December 1. The holiday memorializes the successful ousting of Hissène Habré by Idriss Déby in 1990.

Chad’s Freedom and Democracy Day History

Chad, like the rest of territories held by France in Africa, achieved independence in 1960. The government of President François Tombalbaye was so poor that its survival mainly depended on French help. In 1963, the dissatisfaction of the Muslims from the north first appeared and influenced some revisions in the government. However, this was not sufficient enough to pacify the rebels. So in 1969, Muslim rebels began to infiltrate the north. The attacks from the Muslim guerillas intensified in the following years as they gained military aid from its neighbor, Libya. Tombalbaye’s predicament was made shaky by the drought in the early part of the 1970s. In 1975, Tombalbaye was assassinated.

General Félix Malloum was Tombalbaye’s successor, and he too failed to stop the civil conflict. The war had consumed much of the south by 1979, and Malloum was overthrown. His successor to the presidency was Goukouni Oueddei. The rebels—under the leadership of former defense minister Hissène Habré—were supported by Egypt and Sudan. Libya supported Oueddei against the rebels. Habré restarted his attacks in the later part of 1981 after Libya recalled its forces. In June 1982, Habré forces overran Oueddei’s forces in N’Djamena. In 1983, Oueddei was ousted and thus a new government was formed in the north.

As the civil conflict continued, Oueddei had the support of Libyan troops. Meanwhile, France sent its forces and supplies to help Habré stay in power. Libyan forces were driven out of Chad in the waning part of 1988 as the two nations had stabilized diplomatic relations. Habré was forced out by a rebel group in December 1990. The Patriotic Salvation Movement, under the leadership of General Idriss Déby, had Libyan support. General Idriss Déby became the president. In January 1992, the Deby government claimed to have defeated the rebel forces loyal to Habré. As a safety measure, France provided more troops to the region.

Chad’s Freedom and Democracy Day Traditions, Customs and Activities

Government offices and businesses are closed as the country celebrates this auspicious day.

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