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Chad demands stake in oil output

Chad's President Idriss Deby Itno has said in a public speech the country must have a stake in oil production.

Speaking outside his presidential palace in N'Djamena, Mr Deby told crowds a revolution had started.

This comes three days after he ordered two foreign oil companies, Petronas and Chevron-Texaco, out of Chad.

The two oil firms control 60% of the consortium which runs Chad's pipeline, the same as the share Mr Deby says the government wants.

They were ordered to leave the country as Mr Deby accused them of not paying taxes.

If Petronas and Chevron-Texaco had been hoping President Deby might have mellowed since the weekend, they were wrong.

He declared Chad must enter into oil production at what he called a reasonable rate of 60%. Crucially, 60% would give the government of Chad a majority share and therefore control over the consortium which runs the country's pipeline.

Mr Deby did not repeat his earlier demand for the two oil companies to leave Chad, but he did insist they must pay the Public Treasury $1bn.

This is double the amount he asked for from the firms at the weekend, and an official later said the president had made a mistake and the amount of tax to be paid is actually $500m.

But it was clear from Mr Deby's emphatic language that he believed Chad had a sovereign right to take more control of its own oil.

breaking news- national government wants stake in profits derived from exploitation of its resources

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