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IMAGO / Le Pictorium

Country Reports

Diplomatic Crisis in Chad

Also a test for German-French relations?

Diplomatic crisis between Germany and Chad: The Sahel state expelled the German ambassador in April after criticizing the military government of President Mahatma Déby, which has been delaying elections and cracking down on the opposition. The affair also throws light on France's often problematic relationship with its former colonies such as its ally Chad.

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Chad is a key Western partner in the fight against jihadists in a volatile region in central Africa: the landlocked country is surrounded by Libya, Sudan and the Central African Republic, where Russia has expanded its geopolitical footprint and sent mercenaries of the Wagner Group. In Sudan, heavy fighting broke out in April in the capital Khartoum and in the Darfur region bordering Chad. Chad also borders Africa's most populous state, Nigeria, and Cameroon, where jihadists are active. Chad's army is key to France, which has kept for decades one of its largest military bases in Africa at the airport of the capital N'Djamena.

This also explains why France, the European Union and other Western nations like the United States have always supported Chad, even though the country has been under authoritarian rule for decades. The World Bank and other donors have financed projects such as the construction of an oil pipeline, although the government used oil revenues to buy weapons and not to build infrastructure projects as agreed with donors. With fighting raging on the Sudan side of the Chad border, Western countries worry about a spillover and fear that Chad, with its dozens of ethnic groups, could break apart as Libya after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

 

The full-length publication is only available in German.

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Contact

Ulf Laessing

Ulf Laessing

Head of Regional Program Sahel

ulf.laessing@kas.de 00223-20 23 00 36

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