To have oil is, for a country's leadership, like an addiction.
With oil in your veins you have no need of popular support. You have lots of money to buy your friends (who, being close, are your greatest enemies) and to buy weapons that can be used against anyone else. You can be assured of international acceptance and comfortably selective vision when being scutinised.
Fishermen, farmers - who needs them? You can import food with your petty cash. Or jet off to Europe, America, China to make more deals with the willing rich.
There is only one priority - to keep the oil flowing. Nothing else matters.
A Humanitarian Disaster in the Making Along the Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline - Who's Watching?
For Chadian President Idriss Deby, oil revenues are a means to prolong abusive and undemocratic rule. He changed the constitution to become president for life, used over 30% of Chad’s oil revenues on war, and used money destined for development in “priority sectors” to grant opaque, no-bid public contracts to god knows whom -- all things he promised not to do. It is little wonder that Chadian civil society declared the pipeline’s inauguration a day of national mourning.
No place in Cameroon has been overrun by the pipeline as much as the coastal city of Kribi. Traditional Kribians wake up around 5 am and ready their wooden canoes for the day’s fishing expedition. As each day passes, they paddle farther and farther to catch fewer and fewer fish. That’s because one of the principal fishing reefs was dynamited to make way for the Chad-Cameroon pipeline, which is buried under 11 kilometers of seabed. Supertankers from around to world come to dock at the Offshore Loading Facility just off Kribi’s coast, fill up on Chadian crude, and then head off to Europe and the US. The Cameroonian coast guard and Exxon private security won’t let fisherman drop their nets near the Offshore Facility and routinely harass artisanal fisherman as commercial Chinese trawlers illegally overfish the outer waters with impunity.