The recent fighting in Chad
was partially fuelled by rebels’ resentment over President Idriss Déby’s handling of the country’s oil revenue, reported The New York Times
. “They say that he has not managed the country’s growing oil wealth well and that he has given preferential treatment to members of his ethnic group, the Zaghawa.”
Although an agreement with the World Bank
states that Chad’s government must devote 70 percent of oil revenue to development, few believe this is occurring, especially given Déby’s recent high levels of military spending. Philippe Hugon, a researcher specializing in African economic affairs, told Agence France-Presse
, “The oil wealth has been partially siphoned off and wasted on arms spending and on building up the personal fortunes of people close to Idriss Déby….The rebels want their share.”
Chad’s oil production is tiny when compared with that of some of its neighbors, such as Nigeria; even so, it constitutes a considerable portion of the country’s economy. Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranked 170th out of 177 countries in the 2007-2008 Human Development Index.