A Teenager in the Chad Civil War

A Memoir of Survival, 1982–1986

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About the Book

Recent years have found much of Africa to be a land of turmoil and revolution. Distress in the Sudan and countries such as Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Liberia have made Africa the site of a variety of atrocities from displacement to torture to genocide. The country of Chad, which theoretically gained its independence from France in 1960, is one of many that have been fighting a series of particularly brutal wars, internal and external. In 1982, Hissene Habré wrested power from Chad’s UN–recognized government, igniting a vicious civil war. Thousands of innocent citizens were kidnapped, tortured and killed to quash political unrest.
Covering 1982 to 1986, this memoir tells the story of Ésaïe Toïngar, a native of southern Chad and miraculous survivor of Chad’s darkest days, many of which came during different Septembers. This work contains Toïngar’s first-hand description of growing up, coming of age and waging the ultimate struggle for survival in the war-torn country. It gives a graphic account of what transpired in Chad during the rule of Habre and the ways in which the author managed to survive, fleeing his home village and seeking safety among the CODOs, a rebel movement of the south. Derived primarily from Toïngar’s memories, this work also utilizes information garnered from other first-hand testimonials and a 1991 documentary filmed by post–Habré Chad Television. Photographs from the author’s collection are included.

About the Author(s)

Electrical information engineer Ésaïe Toïngar (Master of Arts with an emphasis in Industrial Management) lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He has founded three NGOs: Journey to Forgiveness and Peace, Wake Up for Your Rights International, and Wali Internaltional.

Bibliographic Details

Ésaïe Toïngar
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 234
Bibliographic Info: 9 photos, maps, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2403-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v
Preface      1
Prologue      7

1. From Rebellion to Presidency      9
2. Events in Oriental Logon      13
3. The Murders Continue      18
4. Choosing the Maquis      25
5. Among the CODOs      28
6. Foreign Aid in the Form of Weapons      36
7. Period of Reconciliation      44
8. The Reconciliation Meeting in Bodo      48
9. On the Way to N’djaména      60
10. Bodo to Doba      71
11. Payment Deal—But with a Catch      81
12. Spitting into the Wind      93
13. Seeking Safety in Sarh      105
14. He Was Called Ngarguerna      112
15. The Reconquest of Bodo      116
16. Hunting Logon Prey During the Dry Season      121
17. Black September of Horrific Memory      123
18. Going to War as a Fighter      135
19. Malingering My Way to Sarh      146
20. A Miraculous Escape from the Ranks      150
21. Trying for a Ride to the Capital      156
22. N’djaména      161
23. Earning Money to Attend School      165
24. Recouping My Wealth      171
25. Back to School      173
26. Betrayed      181
27. Djiguingar, the Lucky Prisoner      184
28. The Value of Diplomacy      187
29. The Death of Dingam-madji      191
30. A Christian Woman Accused by a Man of Traditional Belief      193
31. Békôdô 1 Cries Over Its Dead      196
32. Application of Folk Tales to Real Life      198
33. My Comrade of the Gun      201
34. Back to Sarh      206
35. A Rebel Rebels Against Fellow Rebels      214

Epilogue      220
Index      221

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