Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

French Journalist Missing in Columbian Rebel Attack

BOGOTA—An attack by Colombia’s largest rebel group, known as FARC, killed four members of the armed forces, Colombia’s Defense Ministry said. Five other soldiers and a French journalist are missing after the attack, in the southern state of Caqueta, officials said.

French journalist Romeo Langlois in June. Paris-based news outlet France24 identified Mr. Langlois as its employee.

The attack is likely to spoil what had been rising hopes for possible peace talks between the rebels and the government after the guerrillas earlier this month freed 10 military hostages in a “humanitarian gesture.”

In a statement Saturday night, the Defense Ministry identified the missing French journalist as Romeo Langlois. It didn’t indicate which news organization Mr. Langlois worked for, but Paris-based news outlet France24 said on its website that Mr. Langlois is its employee and that he also works for French newspaper Le Figaro.

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April 29, 2012 Posted by | Columbia, Journalists | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Civilian Military Contractor Returns Home

Carolina News on YouTube  April 29, 2012

Wes Bearden has spent the last 18 months working in the Middle East for a Military Defense Contractor. After long hours providing help for American troops, he must make the adjustment to being back home.

 

April 29, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors | , , , | 3 Comments

Pakistan: kidnapped ICRC delegate Khalil Rasjed Dale murdered

Captive British aid worker killed in Pakistan

 

Pakistani security officials stand next to covered body of British Red Cross worker Khalil Rasjed Dale at the site in Quetta, Pakistan on Sunday, April 29, 2012. The body of a British Red Cross worker held captive in Pakistan since January was found in an orchard Sunday, his throat slit and a note attached to his body saying he was killed because no ransom was paid, police said. Photo: Arshad Butt / AP

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — The body of a British Red Cross worker held captive in Pakistan since January was found in an orchard Sunday, his throat slit and a note attached to his body saying he was killed because no ransom was paid, police said.

Khalil Rasjed Dale, 60, was managing a health program in the city of Quetta in southwestern Pakistan when armed men seized him from a street close to his office. The identities of his captors are unknown, but the region is home to separatist and Islamist militants who have kidnapped for ransom before.

The director-general of the International Committee of the Red Cross condemned the “barbaric act.”

“All of us at the ICRC and at the British Red Cross share the grief and outrage of Khalil’s family and friends,” said Yves Daccord.

Dale’s throat had been slit, according to Safdar Hussain, a doctor who examined the body.

Quetta police chief Ahsan Mahboob said the note attached to it read: “This is the body of Khalil who we have slaughtered for not paying a ransom amount.”

Militants and criminal gangs often kidnap wealthy Pakistanis and less commonly, foreigners.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned Dale’s killing, and said “tireless efforts” had been under way to secure his release after he was kidnapped

Islamabad/Geneva – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) condemns in the strongest possible terms the murder of its staff member Khalil Rasjed Dale.

The ICRC has now received confirmation that Khalil, a 60-year-old health-programme manager in Quetta/Balochistan, was murdered almost four months after his kidnapping.

“The ICRC condemns in the strongest possible terms this barbaric act,” said Director-General Yves Daccord. “All of us at the ICRC and at the British Red Cross share the grief and outrage of Khalil’s family and friends.”

“We are devastated,” said Yves Daccord. ‘’Khalil was a trusted and very experienced Red Cross staff member who significantly contributed to the humanitarian cause.”

Khalil worked for the ICRC and the British Red Cross for many years, carrying out assignments in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq. He had been working as a health-programme manager in Quetta/Balochistan for almost a year. At about 1 p.m. on 5 January 2012, he was abducted by unidentified armed men while returning home from work.

The ICRC has been active in Pakistan since 1947, providing humanitarian services in the fields of health-care, in particular physical rehabilitation, including in Balochistan.

April 29, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractors Kidnapped, NGO's, Pakistan, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UN, Norwegian Peoples Aid and Mechem South African Demining Workers abducted/arrested in South Sudan

Sudan arrests foreigners in disputed border region  April 29, 2012

John Sorbo, mine clearing expert working for the Norwegian People's Aid organization, one of the three foreigners arrested in the disputed Heglig border area, exits a plane in Khartoum. (REUTERS)

Sudan said it had arrested a Briton, a Norwegian and a South African on Saturday, accusing them of illegally entering a disputed oil-producing border area to spy for its enemy South Sudan.

South Sudanese officials denied the allegations and said the men were working with the United Nations and aid groups clearing mines and had got lost in the remote territory close to the boundary between the two countries.

Sudanese army spokesman al-Sawarmi Khaled said the three were arrested in Heglig – the scene of recent fighting between Sudan and South Sudan – travelling with a South Sudanese soldier in vehicles carrying military equipment.

“It is now confirmed without any doubt that South Sudan used the help of foreigners in their attack on Heglig. These foreigners were doing military work such as spying out the areas … They had military equipment … They have a military background,” Sawarmi said.

The group had been flown to Khartoum, he added.

A Reuters witness saw four men arriving on a civilian plane at Khartoum’s military airport.

One of the men, a Westerner, was wearing a t-shirt marked with the slogan “Norwegian People’s Aid. Mine Action South Africa”. Reporters were not allowed to talk to the men who were swiftly driven away in an unmarked white van.

Agency France Presse Canada  April 29, 2012

KHARTOUM – A South African demining company on Sunday said two of its workers were abducted by the Sudanese military while on a UN landmine clearance contract in South Sudan.

Ashley Williams, CEO of state-owned Mechem, said its employees, a South African and a local South Sudanese, were abducted with a British UN employee and a Norwegian.

Williams rejected suggestions by the Sudanese army spokesman that the men were working in support of South Sudan in its “aggression” against the north.

“It’s humanitarian work so the story of them being military advisers and this type of thing is completely and utterly nonsense and not true,” said Williams.

“We are doing humanitarian landmine clearance on a UN contract and our members have full UN immunity. The abduction took place well within South Sudan territory,” he told AFP, saying the group were travelling south between two UN bases.

“Then they grabbed them and drove back to Heglig with them where they then said they’ve arrested them in this disputed area while they weren’t there at all.”

A team remained in the area, which the United Nations would bring out with protection over fears of similar action, Williams said.

Sudanese army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad on Saturday said the group were captured within Sudan’s borders in the tense Heglig oil area.

“This confirms what we said before, that South Sudan in its aggression against Heglig was supported by foreign experts,” he told reporters after the four were flown to the capital Khartoum.

“We captured them inside Sudan’s borders, in the Heglig area, and they were collecting war debris for investigation,” Saad said.

He added that all four had military backgrounds, and were accompanied by military equipment and a military vehicle. He did not elaborate.

In the most serious fighting since the South’s independence, Juba’s troops occupied Sudan’s main oil region of Heglig for 10 days, a move which coincided with Sudanese air strikes against the South.

Sudan declared on April 20 that its troops had forced the Southern soldiers out of Heglig, but the South said it withdrew of its own accord.

Jan Ledang, country director for the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) mission in South Sudan, identified one of the captives as its employee John Sorbo.

“It’s impossible that they were in Heglig – they were in Pariang” about a 90-minute drive from Heglig in the South’s Unity state, Ledang said.

They were doing follow-up demining work in the area, he added.

The four were on a de-mining mission “and one of them was from the UN”, said Josephine Guerrero, a spokeswoman for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan

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April 29, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, Contractors Arrested, Contractors Held, Contractors Kidnapped, Demining, Explosive Remnants of War, Landmines, Legal Jurisdictions, Mine Clearance, Safety and Security Issues, Sudan, United Nations | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment