Bush administration claims it’s on a mission to root out terrorism all over the world, yet it provides the Chadian military with both trainings and armaments to keep groups linked to al-Qaeda active in the Sudan.
Last month, former Chadian ambassador to the United States, Ahmat H. Soubiane, criticized Chad's President Idris Deby, a new member of the Bush administration's so-called 'global war on terrorism', at a seminar sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. Questioning Deby's plans to amend the Chadian constitution so he can become President for life, Soubiane, in an open letter to the people of Chad, urged the ruling party in Chad to reject Deby's plans.
Reacting to Soubiane's letter, Deby recalled him as ambassador to the United States in February, however, Soubiane remains in Washington under de facto political asylum.
In October 2003, with the beginning of pumping of oil from Chad through the new Chad-Cameron pipeline, a project backed by a consortium consisting of Exxon Mobil, Chevron Texaco, Petronas of Malaysia, Halliburton, and the World Bank, Deby adopted the policy of oil cronyism of Equatorial Guinea's dictator Teodoro Obiang. Although Deby is from the north of Chad, tradition is that the prime minister is from the south and vice versa. However, in June 2003, Deby appointed his inexperienced nephew as Prime Minister and in January 2004 appointed his brother-in-law to head Chad's Central African Bank and, by default, president of the 9-member Chadian Revenue Management Oversight Committee, which oversees how the oil revenues, which are deposited in an escrow account in a London bank, are spent. Deby's family are members of the northern Zaghawa tribe, which represents one percent of Chad's population.
Soubiane fears that Chad will become another Rwanda or Burundi, where a small minority ethnic group rules with an iron fist over the majority.
Soubiane criticized recent trends of African presidents who, after their mandates end, "trump up reasons -civil war, threats from abroad, domestic violence- to remain in power," in effect, becoming presidents for life. Soubiane calls this an "African comedy."
Deby has become a favorite partner of the United States through the Pan Sahel Initiative, a U.S.-European Command program to train and equip Sahel countries in the fight against groups linked to Al-Qaeda. Soubiane said that while he welcomes the initiative's recent success in stopping an Algerian group that somehow has infiltrated into Chad from Niger, he fears that leaders like Deby are joining the Pan Sahel Initiative for their own personal gain.
Chad is provided by U.S. military aid and training under Pan Sahel.
However, Soubiane cited Deby's involvement in the bloody fighting in Darfur, which he fears will eventually spill over into Chad. Soubiane said that violence in Darfur was initiated by former members of Deby's Presidential Guard who hail from the province.
As a way to repay his debt, Deby is providing advanced weaponry, to the Darfur rebels who are fighting the Sudanese central government. Chad's military equipment is being provided by the United States under the Pan Sahel Initiative. The Bush administration and its evangelical Christian allies have targeted Khartoum's Islamic government by providing weapons to various factions opposed to it. Like Chad, Sudan is also sitting on top of a treasure of huge oil reserves.
U.S. military support for Deby and his allied Sudanese rebel groups results in another African genocide, similar to those of Rwanda and Congo in death toll.
Darfur people die everyday after poverty and violent attacks, and the Bush administration keeps throwing gasoline on the flames by granting military assistance to the perpetrators of genocide.