SUDAN WATCH: World Bank suspends loans to Chad - Sudan accused of backing Chad rebels

Saturday, January 07, 2006

World Bank suspends loans to Chad - Sudan accused of backing Chad rebels

BBC news today confirms the World Bank has suspended all loans to Chad, saying the African country's government had breached an agreement over oil revenue controls. Bank president Paul Wolfowitz announced the move, one of the most drastic the bank can take against a member country.

"We've been trying for some time to open dialogue with the government of Chad to see if the concerns that they have expressed can be addressed, and regrettably instead of engaging in dialogue they have proceeded unilaterally," Mr Wolfowitz told the Reuters news agency.

"We haven't given up on dialogue and hope in fact that perhaps if they stop and appreciate how serious the issue is from our point of view and not only from theirs, we can find some common ground," he added.

Chadian troops on eastern border with Sudan

Photo: Chadian government troops gather in the town of Adre on the eastern border with Sudan December 19, 2005. (Reuters/Sudan Tribune)

Jan 6, 2005: Sudan accused of backing Chad rebels. The UN reported Thursday a troop buildup along the border between eastern Chad and Sudan's western Darfur province, saying it was reducing its mission in the region "due to the increasing instability in the affected areas."

Chadian President Idriss Deby

Photo: Chadian President Idriss Deby. Chad, Africa's newest oil producer, said last month a "state of belligerence" existed between itself and Sudan and has accused Khartoum of directing last month's attacks on Adre by Chadian rebels who have vowed to topple President Idriss Deby.

Last week several Chadian rebel groups opposed to Deby - a 53 year old former army commander who himself led a revolt from the east to seize power in 1990 - announced the formation of a political and military alliance to try to oust him.

Jan 6, 2006: Chad warns Sudan after cross-border raid. Analysts say Chad's dispute with Sudan risks exacerbating an already messy regional conflict and Chad's internal problems.

"Deby clearly hopes to attract sufficient U.N. attention to current problems in the east to head off what are in fact largely domestic troubles," Chris Melville of research group Global Insight said in a report on Thursday.

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