Chad in “state of war” with Sudan; World Bank yanks pipeline loan

Chadian gunmen killed an African Union peacekeeper and wounded at least 10 others in an attack in the Darfur region near the Sudan-Chad border, Sudanese authorities said Jan. 7. It was not clear whether the attackers were from the Chadian army or were government-linked tribesmen, a Sudanese military official said. But Mahjoub Hussein, a spokesman for the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), one of the rebel groups fighting in Darfur, said the attack was carried out by the Sudanese army. Officials from the African Union, which has more than 6,000 peacekeepers in Darfur, were not immediately available for comment, Reuters said. The attack came a day after Chad said Sudanese militiamen killed nine civilians in a cross-border raid. (Reuters, Jan. 7)

In late December, Chad’s government announced it is in “a state of war” with Sudan, which it accused of aiding Chadian rebels trying to overthrow President Idriss Deby. The statement called Sudan the “common enemy of the nation,” after a Chadian rebel attack on a border town left some 100 dead. (UPI, Dec. 25)

The tension comes just as the World Bank has suspended loans to Chad on the grounds that the government has broken an agreement to use oil revenues for poverty relief. Bank president Paul Wolfowitz told reporters in a conference that he spent two hours Jan. 6 talking to Idriss Deby, the New York Times reported. “I think it’s very much in the interests of the Chadian government to establish in the eyes of everybody that they are honorable parties to the agreements that they undertake,” Wolfowitz said. He said that Deby told him Chad has the right, as a sovereign nation, to decide on its own spending.

Chad’s parliament voted last week to allow oil revenues to be spent on the military as well as education, roads and other civilian uses. The World Bank has $124 million in outstanding loans to Chad, including one that helps fund a new oil pipeline. Despite new oil revenues, most of Chad’s citizens live on less than a dollar a day. (UPI, Jan. 7)

See our last post on Chad, and our special report on the pipeline project.

  1. Update
    Well, they are ostensibly patching it up. But how interesting that it is “rogue state” Libya that was called in to mediate. From the New York Times, Feb. 9:

    ACCORD REACHED BY CHAD AND SUDAN Leaders of Chad and Sudan agreed to ease tensions between their countries, which have accused each other of backing insurgents, a Libyan official said at the end of summit talks in Tripoli. The accord between the presidents, Idriss Déby of Chad and Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan, was reached at the end of talks in Tripoli with the Libyan leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, as the host. “The two countries Chad and Sudan agreed to end media campaigns against one another and to stop using their territories to back harmful activity against one another,” said a senior Libyan official who had seen the text of the accord. Sudan and Chad pledged to work toward restoring diplomatic and consular ties, according to the official. He said the two countries had agreed to ban insurgents from setting up bases in each country. (REUTERS)

  2. Chad/Cameroon Pipeline Boondoogle
    The current mexican standoff between President Deby and the World Bank/Exxon has been caused by the direct culpable negligence of the World Bank/Exxonmobil/GWB, whom, all sleep in the same bed.
    The pipeline is inferior,sub-standard,unsafe and illegal and the World Banks primary role on the pipeline project was to assist the passage of fraud and theft of International Aid. In Essence, Exxon have robbed the Bank, James Wolfenshon drove the gettaway car,GWB and Tony Blair are creating a divesion and cover-up.
    The pipeline has opeated ILLEGALLY for over 2 years and envisage to continue in a legal void for 40 years, unless Deby pull the plugs.
    The pipeline offers significant risk to the drinking water resources along the entire 1070km routing,it is a threat to human rights,lives public property and International Environment.GWB ,Tony Bliar,Exxonmobil are ALL conspiring to defraud African Countries of their wealth.
    Exxonmobil the World bank have consisently dis and misinformed the General Public and NOW GWB insists the United nations should get more involved!!!??? He’s never bothered about the UN before.
    I worked on this pipeline ,hence,first hand knowledge.