Chad: Idriss Deby reshuffles government, new key ministers in the line-up

Debt-strapped Chad has a new government. President Idriss Déby Itno on Sunday appointed new faces at the ministries of finance, economy, foreign affairs, security and justice.

Abdoulaye Sabre Fadoul who served as interim finance minister since President Déby sacked his predecessor, Christian Georges Diguimbaye, last month, was confirmed minister of Finance by a presidential decree.

The new foreign minister Mahamat Zene Cherif is the central African nation’s former permanent representative to the United Nations.

Djimet Arabi, an adviser to Deby, was named the new justice minister while Ahmadaye Abdelkerim Bokit takes over the security ministry.

The major shake-up comes amid stalled negotiations with Glencore over more than $1 billion in oil-backed loans Chad owes the commodities trader.

Glencore lent Chad’s state oil firm SHT about $1.45 billion in 2014 to be repaid with crude oil. However, talks between Chad, Glencore Plc and a group of banks to restructure the debt have stalled after Chad rejected the commodities trader’s latest proposal to delay repayment of the oil-for-cash loan.

The Central African nation is also seeking a further cut in the reduced interest rate that has been offered by Glencore and its partners.

Chad Finance Minister, Christian Diguimbaye, fired last month, said rescheduling the loans was “an absolute necessity.”

According to the International Monetary Fund, Chad is in “debt distress” and the borrowings would be unsustainable without restructuring.

Note that out of $271 million in oil sales revenues, debt service took $231 million, leaving only $40 million to the country’s treasury this year.

About Geraldine Boechat 2712 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia