Premier of Africa's Chad dies in Paris

23rd February 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 23, 2007 (AFP) - Prime Minister Pascal Yoadimnadji of Chad died early Friday in a Paris hospital after a brain haemorrhage, the ambassador of the impoverished north-central African state said.

PARIS, Feb 23, 2007 (AFP) - Prime Minister Pascal Yoadimnadji of Chad died early Friday in a Paris hospital after a brain haemorrhage, the ambassador of the impoverished north-central African state said.

Yoadimnadji, a close political ally of President Idriss Deby Itno, was 56.

The premier had been flown from the Chadian capital N'Djamena on Wednesday after he collapsed with high blood pressure.

A lawyer, Yoadimnadji played a key role in organising the country's first multiparty elections, held in 1996.

A former French colony, Chad has been in the news both due to fighting sparked by the war in neighbouring Darfur, and its recently-acquired role as an oil producer.

Deby, who had seized power in a coup in 1990, easily won the 1996 election, and has been reelected in subsequent polls since then.At the time, opposition politicians denounced the appointment of Yoadimnadji to head the electoral commission, saying he was too close to Deby to be impartial.

Deby later made him head of the constitutional court before appointing him to a series of ministerial posts.

He held the oil and energy portfolio for several months in 1997, and then served as minister for tourism and minister for agriculture. He was appointed prime minister in February 2005.

Yoadimnadji hailed from the Doba region of southern Chad, where the country's substantial oil reserves have recently started flowing for export.

Work began on extraction in 2000, and in 2003 Chadian petroleum began flowing through a pipeline linking the oil fields to the Atlantic port of Kribi in Cameroon.

Chad nevertheless remains one of the world's poorest countries, and has a long history of political violence. In recent years it has been destabilised by unrest in its eastern regions, exacerbated by the conflict in the Sudanese region of Darfur, which borders Chad.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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