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In Backing Chad, the West Faces Moral Hazards
In Backing Chad, the West Faces Moral Hazards
Report 180 / Africa

没有卡扎菲的非洲:以乍得为例

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穆阿迈尔·卡扎菲对利比亚的长期统治伴随着其于10月20日在家乡苏尔特被打死而结束,为利比亚民主敞开了道路。他的陨落也使这个国家及其邻国面临许多潜在的新问题,可能危及该地区的稳定。乍得就是个例子。在乍得的所有冲突中,卡扎菲总是让人觉得有他的存在,尽管人们对此看法不一,有褒有贬。而且他与乍得总统代比保持着密切关系。因为代比在利比亚叛乱初期对卡扎菲这位命中的恩人给与了政治上的支持,并到了很晚的时候才与利比亚“全国过渡委员会”(NTC)进行配合,所以乍得与利比亚关系的新时代从一开始就迈错了步子。全国过渡委员会对乍得战士在军事上支持卡扎菲的指控(恩贾梅纳对此表示否认),种族主义者对非洲黑人的袭击,难民和与之相关的流离失所问题,以及边境的局势动荡,都增加了即将到来的挑战。

在卡扎菲42年的统治中,他一次又一次地成为乍得冲突的参与者和调解人,利用他的南方邻国作为达到他的地区野心的试验场。在代比的领导下,恩贾梅纳乐于附庸的黎波里,并且的黎波里和恩贾梅纳之间的关系改善显著。两国领导人的关系有起有落,但代比允许卡扎菲通过保护人身份增强其影响,以换取政治和经济上的支持。

卡扎菲在乍得的介入是前后矛盾的。卡扎菲最初积极破坏乍得北部的稳定,但近几年却通过在武装部队之间调停进为这片历来叛乱不息的地区带来了相对和平。鉴于此,代比将卡扎菲视为自己推行地区政策的要素,因此当利比亚叛乱爆发时,他不愿接受卡扎菲下台的可能性,并且很长时间之后才意识到叛乱的全面影响。当危机开始时,代比试图通过指责叛军勾结伊斯兰主义者来为卡扎菲的合法性进行辩护。虽然他的政府否认了其向卡扎菲提供了任何军事支持,在利比亚的卡扎菲部队中有乍得战士的参与的使其言论并不可信。

然而,代比对利比亚反政府军的指责自然而然令全国过渡委员会(NTC)对恩贾梅纳产生怀疑,认为恩贾梅纳倾向于卡扎菲继续统治。这严重影响了过渡委员会如何对待那些叛军控制的利比亚地区的乍得国民。只是到了北约(NATO)对利比亚局势进行干预和权力从卡扎菲手中转移时,乍得政府才采取了更具战略性和更现实的立场,呼吁谈判并与全国过渡委员会建立初步接触。 

鉴于近代历史,代比知道与的黎波里的敌对关系可能很快危及乍得北部的稳定。最近他在卡扎菲帮助下取得的与苏丹关系的正常化远不会逆转,所以他想避免与黎波里新当局之间的紧张关系。恩贾梅纳也关心利比亚的乍得国民的困境,他们经常被认为是雇佣兵,也被当作雇佣兵来对待,尽管他们中的绝大多数人多年来一直纯粹出于经济原因而留在利比亚。同样,恩贾梅纳也意识到需要保持两国间的经济关系,特别是贸易和投资关系。

考虑到安全和经济利益受到威胁,乍得政权现已经承认了利比亚的前叛军,代比已经会见了全国过渡委员会的领袖,穆斯塔法·阿卜杜勒·贾利勒。尽管双方有所和解,但是未来关系的不确定性仍然存在。的黎波里的新统治者和代比能够彼此赢得信任并将八个月的危机中双方的不满全部撇开吗?利比亚南部的动荡局势将如何影响这些关系?利比亚在与乍得和苏丹的关系上将出台什么新政策?更广泛的说,利比亚与非洲其他国家的新关系将是怎样的? 

由于卡扎菲长期统治利比亚,加上他在国外的影响和强大的恩庇政治,他在利比亚及其邻国的影响仍将继续存在。在他下台之前和之后的动乱制造了新的和潜在问题,包括人口大规模流离失所;利比亚部族间的紧张局势,和对撒哈拉以南非洲国家国民的种族主义袭击;伊斯兰教可能复苏;以及军队扩充和武器扩散。现在要对这些改变是否将演变为地区(特别是在萨赫勒地区和达尔富尔)不稳定的中期和长期因素做出结论还为时过早。然而,乍得作为一个联接撒哈拉以南地区和北非以及东西萨赫勒的国家,所面临的问题凸现了该地区在后卡扎菲时代所面对的危险。

恩贾梅纳/内罗毕/布鲁塞尔,2011年10月21日

Chadian President Idriss Déby acknowledges soldiers and military officers in the Chadian capital N'djamena, on 11 December, 2015 Brahim Adji/AFP
Commentary / Africa

In Backing Chad, the West Faces Moral Hazards

The West sees Chad as a reliable ally in the fight against extremists in the African Sahel. But it needs to take more care. Chad is breaking prior agreements by spending much of its oil revenue on the military, while social services and good governance have suffered.

Chad is facing a severe fiscal and social crisis. On 7-8 September, President Idriss Déby is in Paris for an International Donor Conference to seek much-needed funding for the country’s National Development Program. The government likes to portray the country’s problems as due to external shocks like the drop in oil prices and the cost of military intervention against Boko Haram and other extremists. Donors, under pressure from France, largely accept this narrative and support has recently been forthcoming from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). But a closer look at the country’s recent history tells another story.

According to the Chadian economy minister, the conference aims to mobilise support “for the transformation of Chadian economy”. This is not the first time Chadians have been promised such a transformation. When Chad joined the club of oil-producing countries in 2003, the World Bank supported the building of the critical pipeline to get the oil to the coast on condition that the money generated would be put to good use. The Oil Governance Law was passed in 1999, stipulating that 80 per cent of revenues were to be allocated to pre-defined priority sectors – public health, social affairs, education, infrastructure, agriculture, livestock and water. Ten per cent of oil revenue was to be channelled into a fund for future generations, while another 5 per cent was earmarked for the oil-producing region. Only the remaining 5 per cent would flow directly into the state budget.

Soon thereafter, however, Déby started to dismantle these control mechanisms. In 2006, he amended the Oil Governance Law, dismantling the future generations fund and, crucially, adding defence to the list of priority sectors. He faced down donors and gradually rolled back all the control mechanisms so painstakingly negotiated by the World Bank, eventually gaining full discretion over spending of oil revenues.

This came about against the backdrop of mounting political and military opposition. The lack of political space, and in particular the constitutional changes in June 2005 that allowed Déby to run for a third term in 2006, led to the defection of senior political and military figures including his nephews Timane and Tom Erdimi. After a failed coup attempt on 14 March 2006, they established a rebel group, one of several rebellions to challenge Déby’s power with the support of neighbouring Sudan. Major rebel offensives on N’Djamena in 2006 and 2008 nearly overthrew the regime.

Oil money gave Déby a critical lifeline. Free from any obligations of transparency, he awarded his supporters import licenses or public contracts for numerous infrastructure projects. To ease social tensions, the regime also recruited workers into the public sector. Oil revenues likewise enabled Déby to confront the armed opposition, through heavy investments in the army. Military spending skyrocketed from $67 million in 2005 to $247 million in 2006. Military expenditures reached an all-time high in 2009, accounting for $670 million – a full 8 per cent of GDP. According to SIPRI data, between 2006 and 2016, the regime acquired 34 aircraft (attack and transport planes) and 372 armoured vehicles of different varieties, turning its armed forces into one of the best equipped on the continent. After this splurge, military spending declined, but still remains way above pre-oil money levels at 2.6 per cent of GDP.

As in other African countries that have received significant Western support for their militaries, Chad’s government is itself a product of a civil war and remains military at heart.

As in other African countries that have received significant Western support for their militaries, Chad’s government is itself a product of a civil war and remains military at heart. So diverting funds to the army fits seamlessly with the government’s own desire to reward its military and keep it loyal. Military spending has helped Chad intervene in the Central African Republic, Mali, in neighbouring countries threatened by Boko Haram and as far afield as the Saudi Arabia-led coalition to fight Huthi combatants in Yemen.

This engagement has strengthened relations with Western powers and brought substantial financial and political support. The EU, France and the U.S. in particular today consider Déby as their principal partner in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel. For Déby it is a win-win: tackle domestic armed opposition, pay his troops and gain significant leverage over donors.

But the rise in military spending along with mismanagement of oil revenues has come at a cost. Having failed to diversify the economy while the going was good, dependency on oil money has made the country highly vulnerable. Declining prices and production levels have led the country back to international donors. Partly as a requirement under the IMF financial and economic support program, the government has introduced drastic budget cuts, affecting allowances for civil servants, parliamentarians and police, student scholarships and the staffing size of state agencies. The government has accumulated arrears in payments of salaries, allowances and pensions.

This situation has caused waves of strikes by teachers and other public sector workers. Many feel that while they didn’t profit from the oil revenues in the first place, they are now, on top of this, paying the price for its mismanagement. Widespread corruption, high living costs, and the lack of political space and civil liberties have further fed the anger and the country’s growing number of protest movements.

The government has reacted [to strikes] with repression and a clampdown on civil liberties.

The government has reacted with repression and a clampdown on civil liberties. Reports of harassment, arbitrary arrests, ill-treatment and torture of journalists, civil society activists and political opponents have increased. Unsurprisingly, international partners have been reluctant to denounce such practices, let alone impose conditions for their support. So even as Chad’s economy nosedives in the context of corruption and authoritarianism, Déby’s international position appears untouchable. Europe’s increasing desire to get Sahelian countries to stop migrant flows from reaching the Mediterranean will likely give him a further opportunity to show how useful his country can be.

Chadian civil society activists and political opponents are increasingly frustrated with this unconditional international support for Déby, which they interpret as silent complicity. And understandably so: in backing Déby as he pours money into his military while the rest of the population suffers, Western powers are paying scant regard to the sustainability of their engagement, nor to what kind of state they are encouraging. The longer-term fight against extremism requires stronger and more legitimate public institutions, not “more strongmen”.

While financial support for the fight against extremists in the Sahel is certainly an immediate priority, Chad’s international partners should also extract real commitment to use part of international aid to support the country’s crumbling social sectors, as well as to build new monitoring mechanisms to guarantee greater transparency.

Eliane Giezendanner, Central Africa Project intern, assisted in the preparation of this commentary.

This text was changed on 12 September 2017 to rectify the original version that incorrectly stated, "Between 2006 and 2014, the regime purchased 139 aircraft and 153 armed vehicles". According to SIPRI data, the regime actually acquired 34 aircraft (attack and transport planes) and 372 armoured vehicles of different varieties between 2006 and 2016.