Idriss Deby of Chad
Idriss Deby started his rise to fame in Chad when he entered the Officers’ School in N’Djamena. He remained a strong and loyal member of the army until the central authority fell apart in 1979. Idriss Deby chose to throw his support behind warlord Hissene Habre who would become president in 1982. Shortly after Idriss Deby was made Commander-in-Chief of the army. Habre led an oppressive regime and eventually Idriss Deby was sent into exile after Habre accused him of planning a coup. In exile, Idriss Deby formed a rebellion aided by Sudan and Libya. He took power in late 1990.
Idriss Deby put Chad on a path to economic growth with the building of an oil pipeline. However, the pipeline ended up bringing the corruption within Chad to the forefront. The revenues from the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline Development and the Pipeline Project were supposed to be used to combat famine within Chad. Instead, Idriss Deby took the funds to buy more weapons for the military in order to combat the numerous coup attempts against him. It was considered by Forbes in 2006 to be the “single most piggish use of philanthropic funds” and they ranked Chad as the most corrupt country in the world that year.
His regime has also been characterized by human rights abuses against his opposition and it is clear that all of the elections that have been held since he took power have been fraudulent. In 2005 he eliminated term limits and said in 2016 he would reinstate them but the people have little hope that he will stand by his word. Coup attempts continue to come after every election as the economic conditions of the majority of the population continue to decline and human rights abuses continue. But there is a good part of his reign and that is that he has been a strong force against Boko Haram in Sub-Saharan Africa.