International Appeal: No Blood for Oil! International Troops out of Chad!

Here we publish a joint appeal by the IMT sections in France, Austria, Belgium, Poland and Sweden, some of the countries which are sending troops to Chad.

At the end of January, EU foreign ministers gave the green light to send EUFOR troops to Chad. According to the "official" line, this military operation, led by French imperialism, is to help protect the refugee camps in the country. In reality, France and its allies openly support the regime of dictator Déby in a dirty war against Sudan and various rebel groups.

The human catastrophe of the refugees in Darfur is not only the result of the displacement of civilians by Sudanese militias. The conflict in Darfur - and its repercussions within Chad - began as an extension of the war for control of the oil reserves in central and southern Sudan. This war was fought out between the US-backed Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) and the fundamentalist regime in Khartoum, supported by France, at the time. More recently, China has gained control over most of the oil resources in the country, much to the dismay of both US and French imperialism.

The conflict in Darfur is linked to the question of French imperialist interests in Chad, which would suffer a fatal blow if Déby regime collapses, and this is inevitable if it loses control of its main power base in the eastern frontier region. Hence the bombing of targets in Sudan by the Chad regime and the attack on N'Djamena by rebel forces operating out of Sudan. The Déby regime is a bloody and corrupt dictatorship which exists by the grace of French imperialism, Chad's former colonial power, which uses the country as a base for the pursuit of its interests in the Sahara. The French army is actively supporting the Déby regime in the present conflict.

The race of the imperialist powers for local resources and important raw materials forms the backdrop of this worsening conflict. Increasing oil prices also make Saharan oil, located deep underground, far more attractive. An estimated 10% of worldwide oil reserves are to be found in Africa. Since 2003, Chad has been a net oil-producing country and therefore of increased strategic interest. Back in 2002 the USA declared that, because of the increasing instability in the Middle East, the assurance of African oil reserves would become a central strategic aim of its foreign policy. The USA plans on getting 25% of its oil imports from Africa by 2015. However, France and China are also showing big interest in the future oil wealth of this region.

These conflicts in Darfur and in Chad are classical proxy wars, by the USA, China and France, for the oil resources of the Sahara. The misery of the refugees as well as the ethnic conflicts of the African continent, are once again serving as a cover for imperialist manoeuvres. Imperialist interference is the real cause for this misery and barbarism in Africa. The desperate position of the masses is once again being used to legitimize further interference.

Nobody is less qualified to lead humanitarian missions than states which are characterized by racist and inhuman policies against migrants, workers and youth in their own countries.

With this EUFOR mission in Chad, troops from countries like Austria, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Sweden become accomplices to France's imperialist aims. They will be part of a dirty war for raw materials. Their "humanitarian" motivation to protect the refugees is nothing more than a smokescreen to hide their real interests.

The labour movement in the countries involved in this EUFOR mission cannot stand idly by. We appeal to the labour and youth organisations of these countries to raise their voice in protest against this military mission.

  • Not a soldier - not a single cent for the EUFOR-mission. We demand the immediate end of this military mission and the end of any assistance to the warring parties.

  • Propagate in the trade unions and socialist/labour/communist parties a campaign for the prevention of further troop transports and the delivery of fresh supplies for the EUFOR troops.

  • Enduring peace, stability and prosperity are not possible under imperialist domination and capitalist exploitation.

  • The ruling elites of ex-colonial countries like Chad show that no genuine independence is possible unless the workers and the exploited masses take their destinies into their own hands. Genuine independence can only be achieved by destroying the foundations of economic dependence on the imperialist powers. This is only possible through the nationalisation of the natural resources, infrastructure, trade and industry under the democratic control of the African working people.

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