N'Djamena

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N'Djamena (IPA: Template:IPA), population 721,000 (2005), is the capital of Chad, and also by far the country's biggest city. A port on the Chari River, near to the confluence with the Logone River, it directly faces the Cameroonian town of Kousséri, by which the city is connected by a bridge. It is also a special statute region, divided in 10 arondissements. It is a regional market for livestock, salt, dates, and grains. Meat processing is the chief industry.

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History

N'Djamena was founded as Fort-Lamy by the French commander Émile Gentil on May 29 1900, and named after an army officer who had been killed in the Battle of Kousséri a few days earlier. Its name was changed to N'Djamena (taken from the Arab name of a nearby village meaning "place of rest") by the President François Tombalbaye on April 6, 1973, as part of his authenticité program of Africanization.

The city was partly destroyed during the Chadian Civil War, in 1979 and again in 1980. Many southern, Chadian inhabitants fled at the time, but the population has since regrown strongly. The city had only 9,976 inhabitants in 1937, but a decade later, in 1947, the population had almost doubled at 18,435. After independence in 1968 the population reached 126,483. In 1993 it surpassed half a million with 529,555.

On April 13, 2006, a rebel United Front for Democratic Change attack on the city was defeated. [1] (See Battle of N'Djamena.)

Demographics

Religiously the city is very composite, even if it shows a clear Islamic predominance. The main ethnic groups are Chadian Arabs (11,08 %), Ngambay (16,41 %), Hadjerai (9,15 %), Daza (6,97 %), Bilala (5,83 %), Kanembu (5,80 %), Maba (4,84 %), Kanuri (4,39 %), Gor (3,32 %), Kuka (3,20 %), Sara (2,24 %), and Barma (2,10 %).

Location

While primarily an administrative center, the city includes the Nassara Strip commercial centre and residential areas such as Mbololo, Chagoua, Paris Congo and Moursal.

Attractions in the city include the Chad National Museum. It has a university, schools of administration and veterinary medicine, American International School of N'Djamena and an international airport.

N'Djamena has been twinned with the city of Toulouse, in France, since 1980.

External links

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