Monday, January 24, 2011

‘Prince of Mercenaries’ who wreaked havoc in Iraq turns up in Somalia

Blackwater founder sets up new force to tackle piracy 

By Guy Adams in Los Angeles, The Independent, Jan 22, 2011

Blackwater employee on patrol in Baghdad  
AFP/Getty:Blackwater employee on patrol in Baghdad 
 
Erik Prince, the American founder of the private security firm Blackwater Worldwide, has cropped up at the centre of a controversial scheme to establish a new mercenary force to crack down on piracy and terrorism in the war-torn East African country of Somalia.
The project, which emerged yesterday when an intelligence report was leaked to media in the United States, requires Mr Prince to help train a private army of 2,000 Somali troops that will be loyal to the country’s United Nations-backed government. Several neighbouring states, including the United Arab Emirates, will pay the bills.

Mr Prince is working in Somalia alongside Saracen International, a murky South African firm which is run by a former officer from the Civil Co-operation Bureau, an apartheid-era force notorious for killing opponents of the white minority government.

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