It would be no understatement to suggest that Libya and their leader Colonel Gaddafi have been intimately involved in the politics of neighbouring Chad. From serving as a middleman in the Chad – Sudan conflict, to being involved in internal reforms and power struggles, Gaddafi’s efforts loom large in the affairs of his country’s neighbour.
The report Libya/Chad: Beyond Political Influence, released 23/03/10 by the International Crisis Group, suggests that the Libyan leader may be less interested in the development and stability of his neighbour than in demonstrating his authority in the region. In the report, Libya’s apparent lack of follow-up in facilitating planned reforms in Chad are cited as reasons for both the slow pace of political reform in Chad, as well as the suggestion that Libya’s actions as a power-broker belie their ambitions as a regional power. Chad’s current political situation is too often characterised by the misuse of Libya’s graces, leading to the arming of insurgent groups and their attempts to maximise their personal gains from the intended peace accords.
Thus, if Gaddafi is to attempt to assert his authority in the region, he would do well to do it wisely. The use of this authority is recommended in terms of putting pressure on the governments in N’Djamena and Khartoum to stick to the agreements they make. Indeed, Gaddafi’s lack of enforcement in this regard may prove to be his undoing, as many in the Chadian and Sudanese government are known to question his agenda.