A Teenager in the Chad Civil War: A Memoir of Survival, 1982-1986

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McFarland, Feb 23, 2006 - History - 234 pages
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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 Habre 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 Esaie Toingar, a native of southern Chad and miraculous survivor of Chad's darkest days, many of which came during different Septembers. This work contains Toingar'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 Toingar's memories, this work also utilizes information garnered from other first-hand testimonials and a 1991 documentary filmed by post-Habre Chad Television. Photographs from the author's collection are included.
 

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Contents

Preface
1
Prologue
7
From Rebellion to Presidency
9
Events in Oriental Logon
13
The Murders Continue
18
Choosing the Maquis
25
Among the CODOs
28
Foreign Aid in the Form of Weapons
36
Malingering My Way to Sarh
146
A Miraculous Escape from the Ranks
150
Trying for a Ride to the Capital
156
Ndjaména
161
Earning Money to Attend School
165
Recouping My Wealth
171
Back to School
173
Betrayed
181

Period of Reconciliation
44
The Reconciliation Meeting in Bodo
48
On the Way to Ndjaména
60
Bodo to Doba
71
Payment DealBut with a Catch
81
Spitting into the Wind
93
Seeking Safety in Sarh
105
He Was Called Ngarguerna
112
The Reconquest of Bodo
116
Hunting Logon Prey During the Dry Season
121
Black September of Horrific Memory
123
Going to War as a Fighter
135
Djiguingar the Lucky Prisoner
184
The Value of Diplomacy
187
The Death of Dingammadji
191
A Christian Woman Accused by a Man of Traditional Belief
193
Békôdô Cries Over Its Dead
196
Application of Folk Tales to Real Life
198
My Comrade of the Gun
201
Back to Sarh
206
A Rebel Rebels Against Fellow Rebels
214
Epilogue
220
Index
221
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

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

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