L'odieuse dette africaine

L'occupation de l'Irak par les Américains et les Britanniques relance indirectement le débat sur un sinistre secret de la finance internationale, à savoir, les dettes souscrites par les régimes despotiques.

Tandis que les nouveaux dirigeants de l'Irak débattent du devenir des milliards de dollars de dette extérieure héritée du régime de Saddam Hussein, des voix s'élevent - de l'ONG Oxfam-International jusqu'à Richard Perle, le gourou américain de la défense - pour réclamer l'annulation de la dette irakienne au motif qu'elle a été contractée au bénéfice une dictature corrompue. Or l'Irak n'est pas le seul pays dans ce cas. A travers toute l'Afrique sub-saharienne, beaucoup des peuples parmi les plus pauvres de la planète sont confrontés à l'héritage maudit de prêts inconsidérés accordés à des dictateurs corrompus.

Pendant ses 32 ans au pouvoir, l'ex-dictateur congolais Mobutu a accumulé une fortune personnelle estimée à quatre milliards de dollars, tandis que son gouvernement creusait une dette extérieure de 12 milliards de dollars. La situation est tout à fait similaire en Angola où une enquête menée l'année dernière par le FMI a révélé que quatre milliards de dollars avaient disparu des caisses de l'Etat au cours des cinq dernières années. Il se trouve que durant la même période, le gouvernement angolais a emprunté sensiblement le même montant à des banques privées, hypothéquant les revenus pétroliers à venir à titre de garantie.

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