Monday 11 December 2017

Chad denies US claim its president took oil bribe

Chad denies US claim its president took oil bribe
(AFP 11/22/17)

Chad's government on Tuesday denied allegations by US investigators that President Idriss Deby received a $2 million (1.7 million euros) bribe for oil rights in the country.

"Faced with this umpteenth false allegation, the government of Chad formally refutes this shameful fabrication," the government said in a statement.

US officials have arrested a former Senegalese foreign minister and Hong Kong's ex-home affairs secretary for leading an alleged multimillion-dollar bribery scheme in Africa on behalf of a top Chinese oil company, with some deals arranged in the halls of the United Nations.

In the Justice Department complaint, the two men allegedly offered the $2 million bribe to Deby "to obtain valuable oil rights" for the Chinese firm.

The Chad government said in its statement that it "rebels against the attitude of the US government and certain agencies that would tarnish the image of Chad and its president".

The government in capital N'Djamena said that since the beginning of oil production in Chad, "the president of the republic has always worked for the transparency and proper management of its natural resources".

"Chad reaffirms its total sovereignty and will continue to pursue its fight for the development and social welfare of the people of Chad," the statement said.

Deby, who won a disputed fifth term in April 2016, has been the leader of the north-central African nation since December 1990.

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