Lake Chad, after which the country is named, is surrounded by Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad. Most of the almost 14 million Chadians live as subsistence herders and farmers. It is home to about 200 ethnic and linguistic groups, but Arabic and French are the official languages. The region has long been a crossroad of civilisations. The Kanem Empire (700-1376) was the longest lasting political unit. The most recent Civil War began in 2005 as part of an long conflict between the Arab-Muslims of the north and the Sub-Saharan-Christians of the south. A peace agreement was signed in 2010.
The Free French Forces included 15,000 soldiers from Chad in WWII