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Vol 39 No 13

Published 26th June 1998


Pipeline jitters

There are still doubts about the huge plan to pump oil from Chad to the Atlantic

Southern-based rebels and environmentalists are losing their battles toscupperPresidentIdrissDéby’ splanstoturnChadintoAfrica’ s latest oil emirate. The Déby plan, put together by a consortium of major oil companies, is to tap the high-quality oil in the Doba area of Logone Orientale in Chad’s far south, and then pipe it down to the Atlantic Coast in Cameroon. Initially, the plan was dismissed as ridiculous, given Chad’s history of instability and the continuing rebellion in the south, along with concerns it would cause grave environmental damage. Even now, the Netherlands government is insisting on a further six months of environmental tests before international financing goes ahead. Some Chadian parliamentarians argue that even if the project does go ahead, its proceeds will do more for the ruling circle in Ndjamena than for the country’s development prospects.

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