Sunday, April 16, 2006

Chad may shutdown oil pipeline

Rocked by insurgency, Chad threatened to cut off its oil supplies Saturday unless the government receives frozen oil revenues from the World Bank.

President Idriss Deby survived a close call last week when his troops defeated a rebel attack on the capital city of N'Djamena.

Oil revenues were frozen in a London escrow account after thw World Bank accused Chad of violating an accord on how oil revenues are spent.

According to the agreement, the World Bank would support Chad's oil pipeline if two-thirds of oil revenue went toward improving living conditions for the poor and 10 percent into a savings fund. In December, Chad's National Assembly increased money going to general spending and the defense budget.

Chad exports about 160,000 barrels of oil daily.

N'Djamena broke relations with Sudan Friday, accusing its neighbor of supporting anti-government rebels. The Chad-Sudan border near Darfur is extremely tense with both sides accusing the other of supporting insurgents.

Many will recognize Darfur as the region where large numbers of refugees have faced starvation in recent times.

With great poverty in this region, the situation is one of the most volatile in Africa. Kofi Annan has expressed concern over the violence and hopes the international community can help diffuse tensions.

Chad: UN Envoy Urges Chad Not to Expel Sudanese Refugees

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