World Bank powerless to end Chad abuses

1 April 2008

Chadian president Idriss Déby has used February’s failed coup attempt to clamp down on critics of the Bank-supported Chad-Cameroon pipeline. Leading opposition legislator, Ngarlejy Yorongar, who led a complaint to the Bank’s Inspection Panel in 2001, was arrested by security forces though later managed to escape to Cameroon. Delphine Djiraibe, who has challenged the government and the Bank to live up to commitments to use the country’s oil revenues for poverty reduction, fled to Europe. The Bank has promised to address development objectives “once it’s possible to have discussions with the government”, but has backed down when Déby has diverted oil profits to the military.