Chadian president spends pipeline windfall on arms

12 December 2000

In June the World Bank agreed to back the Chad Cameroon oil pipeline, despite serious reservations from civil society groups in Chad and around the world. One of the major disputes concerned whether oil revenue of up to $100 million a year would be siphoned off or would go to poverty reduction programs.

The Chadian government received a $25 million “bonus” from the oil consortium (Exxon, Chevron and Petronas). Deby had promised to spend the money in a transparent manner, but in late November admitted that he had used $4.5 million to buy weapons. A World Bank spokesman told the Washington Post (5 December 2000) that the Bank and other institutions might disqualify Chad from debt relief. The arms purchases “should be a warning to show that when the oil money flows, the World Bank won’t have any way to know what Deby will do with it,” said Delphine K. Djiraibe, president of the Chadian Association for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, which fought the pipeline for years.

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