Idriss Deby is the president of Chad since 1990 and one of Africa’s top 10 longest serving presidents still in office today. Idriss Deby who emerged as president of Chad when he led a rebellion that overthrew the former president Hissene Habre, has ironically survived several acts of rebellion against his own government. Idriss Deby has managed to retain the presidential office for 26 years winning majority votes in all elections from 1996 to 2016. He also served as the Chairman of the African Union after Zimbabwean ex-president Robert Mugabe, with one of his foremost goal being the elimination of the Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria. His leadership progressively restored basic functions of government and joined forces with the World Bank and IMF to execute substantial economic reforms across Chad. One of the most notable achievements of Idriss Déby’s government is the building of the country’s first oil pipeline which the World Bank praised as “an unprecedented framework to transform oil wealth into direct benefits for the poor, the vulnerable and the environment”.
However, Idriss Deby was criticized for an exploitation of oil which stirred corruption in Chad, as revenues where being misused by the government to strengthen its armed forces and reward its allies while undermining the country’s governance system, subsequently placing Chad at the top of Forbes list of the world’s most corrupt nations in 2006. The rate of corruption prompted Idriss Déby to launch a nationwide anticorruption campaign called “Operation Cobra,” which reportedly succeeded in recovering about $50 million embezzled funds. Idriss Deby was however, alleged by the United States Justice Department to have partaken in a bribery scandal in 2017, which involved him accepting the sum of $2 million in return for granting sole oil rights in Chad to a Chinese company, foregoing other international competitors.
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