Les droits de l'Homme survivront-ils au récent boom pétrolier en Afrique

Qui a dit que l'Afrique francophone ne peut pas s'en sortir ? La Communauté Economique et Monétaire de l'Afrique Centrale (CEMAC) qui regroupe 6 pays voisins - un ensemble de quelques 30 millions d'habitants - est en train de décoller. La Guinée équatoriale et le Tchad, maintenant les leaders de la CEMAC, sont sortis d'un quasi néant pour rejoindre les rangs des principaux pays exportateurs de pétrole. Si l'on y ajoute le Congo et le Cameroun, deux des anciens piliers de la Communauté, la zone CEMAC constitue une région de plus en plus attractive, ceci tant pour les investisseurs étrangers que pour les hommes d'affaires de la région. Mais ce développement rapide ne risque-t-il pas de se faire au détriment des droits de l'homme ?

L'économie de la région a été dopée en 2003 par la mise en service du pipeline Tchad-Cameroun, un projet de 4,2 milliards de dollars soutenu par la Banque mondiale qui est supposé stimuler l'exploration et la production pétrolière au Tchad, ainsi que celle des sites offshore de Nouvelle Guinée, et apporter des bénéfices aux régions traversées. Ainsi, du fait que le pipeline traverse son territoire sur 890 kilomètres, le Cameroun va engranger 450 millions de dollars net par an en droit de passage et en royalties pendant 25 à 30 ans.

Tout cela a été possible grâce à ce qui a été, historiquement parlant, une période exceptionnellement longue de stabilité politique. Au Tchad, le pétrole a été découvert en 1975 dans le sud du pays, dans la région de Doba ; 300 puits y ont été creusés. Mais ces gisements n'ont été exploités qu'à partir de 1988, à la fin de la guerre civile qui a longuement déchiré le Tchad.

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