Chad: France Must Pay To Stay


August 20, 2010: The government feels very secure, with the UN peacekeepers leaving and over a half a billion dollars a year in oil revenue and foreign aid coming in each year. Little of this is spent on public needs, and most goes to reward those who are powerful and loyal to president Deby.

Several hundred kin of rebel leaders were allowed to return from exile in Sudan. The rebel leaders who were headquartered in Sudan have been forced to leave Sudan. Their armed followers now have lost their senior leadership and main source of income. These guys were told to go home, or find a Sudanese warlord that will take them on. Many of the Chad rebels belonged to tribes that have clans on both sides of the border. If the Chad government does not pay off enough tribal leaders, these rebellions will start again. But the government is using a lot of the oil income to hire and equip more soldiers and pay off more tribal leaders.

August 11, 2010: President Deby feels sufficiently secure that he has demanded the French pay for the privilege of stationing over a thousand troops in Chad. France has had troops in Chad for decades, to assist the government in maintaining order (and staying in power). Chadians resent having to depend on their old colonial masters to keep things running, so Deby's demand for money from France is popular in Chad. France is reluctant to withdraw their troops from Chad because China is more economically active in the country, and might offer to provide Deby with any security services he needs.  Chinese firms have been active in building the pipeline that gets the oil out of the country. Many Chinese are entering Chad to start businesses, as they are doing throughout Africa.



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