Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Eritrea planned massive attack against African Union summit, says UN report

The UN News Centre  28 July 2011 –

The Eritrean Government planned a massive attack on an African Union meeting held earlier this year, according to a new United Nations report that states that this was just one of multiple violations of Security Council arms embargoes committed by the small East African nation.
“If executed as planned, the operation would almost certainly have caused mass civilian casualties, damaged the Ethiopian economy and disrupted the African Union summit,” states the reportof the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea.The UN panel is tasked with monitoring compliance with embargoes on the delivery of weapons and military equipment to Somalia and Eritrea, as well as probing activities – financial, maritime or in another field – which generate revenue used to violate those embargoes.

The report states that the Eritrean Government “conceived, planned, organized and directed a failed plot to disrupt the African Union summit in Addis Ababa by bombing a variety of civilian and governmental targets.”

It adds that “since the Eritrean intelligence apparatus responsible for the African Union summit plot is also active in Kenya, Somalia, the Sudan and Uganda, the level of threat it poses to these other countries must be re-evaluated.”

The report, which is over 400 pages, also points to Eritrea’s continuing relationship with Al-Shabaab, the Islamist militant group that controls some parts of Somalia’s territory and has been waging a fierce battle against the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) there.

While the Eritrean Government acknowledges that it maintains relationships with Somali armed opposition groups, including Al-Shabaab, it denies that it provides any military, material or financial support and says its links are limited to a political, and even humanitarian, nature.

However, evidence and testimony obtained by the Monitoring Group, including records of financial payments, interviews with eyewitnesses and data relating to maritime and aviation movements, all indicate that Eritrean support for Somali armed opposition groups is not limited to the political or humanitarian dimensions.

Please read the entire report here

Read the UN Report here

July 29, 2011 Posted by | Eritrea, Safety and Security Issues, Somalia, United Nations | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trust But, Incompetently, Verify

By David Isenberg at Huffington Post  July 28, 2011

In August 2009, the Pentagon awarded five Theater-wide Internal Security Services (TWISS) contracts for site security in Iraq. These contracts, awarded to EOD Technology, Inc.; Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, LLC; Special Operations Consulting-Security Management Group; Triple Canopy, Inc.; and Protection Strategies Inc., have a combined value of $485 million.

U.S base commanders nominate contracting officer’s representatives (CORs), who are responsible for verifying the U.S. government receives what it pays for. The Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) appoints and trains CORs and manages their activities. DCMA uses Quality Assurance Representatives (QARs) to monitor the CORs’ and contractors’ performance.

Yet although COR duties are critical to the U.S. government’s oversight of the TWISS contracts, almost 40% of the CORs it surveyed said the training they received did not prepare them for their duties and 25% said they lack sufficient time to conduct effective oversight, according to an audit report “Control Weaknesses Remain in Oversight of Theater-wide Internal Security Services Contracts,”
released today by the Office of the Special Inspector General For Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR).

Why is this important?  Please read the entire story at HuffPost

July 29, 2011 Posted by | Government Contractor, Private Security Contractor, SIGIR | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pakistani Taliban say they have Swiss tourists

By ISHTIAQ MAHSUD, Associated PressJuly 29, 2011

SHAWAL, Pakistan (AP) — The Pakistani Taliban have custody of two kidnapped Swiss tourists and will free them if the U.S. releases a female Pakistani scientist convicted of trying to kill Americans, the No. 2 commander of the militant group told The Associated Press.

Gunmen abducted the man and woman as they traveled in the southwestern Baluchistan province earlier this month.

Authorities later said the two were taken to South Waziristan, a northwestern tribal region that borders Afghanistan and has been a hotbed of Pakistani Taliban activity for years.

Many locals and several foreigners have been kidnapped by militants in the border region over the past eight years. Some have been killed, while others have been released or their fate is unknown, often after ransoms have been paid.

The commander, Waliur Rehman, spoke to an AP reporter on Thursday in the Shawal area of South Waziristan. He said his group ordered the kidnapping in a bid to gain freedom for Aafia Siddiqui, a U.S.-educated neuroscience specialist and mother of three who is serving 86 years in an American jail for trying to shoot U.S. security officials in Afghanistan.

Rehman said that if Siddiqui is not freed, a Taliban court will decide their fate. He did not give any deadlines.

“We have not tortured this couple, and we have no such intention,” he added.

Officials at the Swiss and U.S. embassies in Islamabad declined to comment Friday on Rehman’s demand.

Please read the entire story here

July 29, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Legal Jurisdictions, Pakistan, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , | Leave a comment