An emerging military power in Central Africa? : Chad under Idriss Déby
Sociétés politiques comparées
2 - 20 p.
Military power, Boko Haram, Chad, Idriss Déby Itno, Mali
Chad involvement in Mali in January 2013 and in all neighboring states throughout the following years gives an image of strength to a regime that is also seen as increasingly fragile. This discrepancy can be understood by analyzing the dynamic of events over the last two decades, which convinced President Idriss Déby Itno to play successfully the card of the West’s main regional ally against terrorism in the Sahel region. Reasons are rooted in his management of internal tensions as well as in a shrewd stance in regional polarizations in the 2000s. An outcome of these policies was the development of an impressive military apparatus. Oil revenues were key to acquire this power but the rentier economy had long-term negative effects in increasing greed among the ruling elite and president relatives, and weakening the regime legitimacy among the marginalized population. The ability to project troops over Chad borders appears ambiguous, especially after international oil price collapsed in 2014. It exorcises internal contradictions within the regime as much as it builds new regional and international alliances to get alternative fi nancial and political resources to keep a military machine that, besides popular protests, has become a source of potential destabilization.