Chad is a landlocked country in Central Africa which is considered one of the cradles of humanity. In its early history, its position straddling the transition between the Sahara and the Sahel placed it in a prime position for trans-Saharan trade, and its territory has comprised several African empires over the centuries. However, French imperial conquests in the 19th and early 20th centuries fastened Chad into the space it inhabits today. While its political power is centered around the capital, N'Djamena, Chad has struggled to deal with its ethnic and regional divides since independence. Sedentary, often Christian populations in the south have historically clashed with nomadic, often Muslim groups in the north for political supremacy. The imposition of colonial borders in Chad's east separated ethnic and tribal groups in Sudan and Chad, driving political instability as the two countries have sought to control the space and its population. Chad's position at a crossroads in Central Africa has often driven its involvement in regional security issues over the years. Chad is a significant contributor to combatting terrorism in the region, closely aligning itself with powers from the West such as France and the United States. These relationships are key for Chadian leaders seeking to augment weak internal resources and the country's landlocked status. However, Chad has emerged as a Central African oil producer in the past two decades, which has helped attract the interest of foreign investors.