Standing up to donors and oil companies, Déby looks all-powerful - until the next rebel advance
Seldom in his 16-year rule has President Idriss Déby Itno inspired much envy from his peers but right now, he is riding high. His latest tactical victory, against United States' oil major Chevron and Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), follows a win against the World Bank in July, forced to cave in and drop its opposition to changes in the oil revenue management programme. In August, Chad suddenly switched diplomatic affiliation from Taiwan to China, a move likely to bring a surge of badly needed infrastructure spending. Chad also hopes for more support in the United Nations Security Council over Sudan's Darfur region, where the mooted UN peacekeeping force would make life harder for Chadian rebels backed by Khartoum and based in Chad's eastern border area.
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