Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Private Army Formed to Fight Somali Pirates Leaves Troubled Legacy

The New York Times  October 4, 2012

Eric Prince

WASHINGTON — It seemed like a simple idea: In the chaos that is Somalia, create a sophisticated, highly trained fighting force that could finally defeat the pirates terrorizing the shipping lanes off the Somali coast.

But the creation of the Puntland Maritime Police Force was anything but simple. It involved dozens of South African mercenaries and the shadowy security firm that employed them, millions of dollars in secret payments by the United Arab Emirates, a former clandestine officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, and Erik Prince, the billionaire former head of Blackwater Worldwide who was residing at the time in the emirates.

And its fate makes the story of the pirate hunters for hire a case study in the inherent dangers in the outsourced wars in Somalia, where the United States and other countries have relied on proxy forces and armed private contractors to battle pirates and, increasingly, Islamic militants.

That strategy has had some success, including a recent offensive by Kenyan and African Union troops to push the militant group Al Shabab from its stronghold in the port city of Kismayu.

But with the antipiracy army now abandoned by its sponsors, the hundreds of half-trained and well-armed members of the Puntland Maritime Police Force have been left to fend for themselves at a desert camp carved out of the sand, perhaps to join up with the pirates or Qaeda-linked militants or to sell themselves to the highest bidder in Somalia’s clan wars — yet another dangerous element in the Somali mix.

Please read the entire story at the The New York Times

October 5, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Maritime Security, Pirates, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Civilian Contractor Bitten by Bat in Contra Costa, Dies of Rabies

NBC Bay Area  October 4, 2012

A Contra Costa man who was bitten by a bat in June, has died of rabies.

The 34-year-old unidentified man, died July 31st, in Zurich, Switzerland, according to the CDC. The man had previously been getting treatment in a Dubai hospital in the United Arab Emirates.

He had been a civilian contractor in Iraq, and traveled back and forth between the States and Iraq. The man is believed to have been on eight international flights between the time he was bitten and the time he died.

Rabies is almost always fatal after symptoms are present. It can be transmitted from person to person if the infected individual’s tears or saliva are introduced into another person’s open wounds or mucous membranes.

The CDC interviewed others believed to have come in contact with the man, and no secondary cases have been identified

October 5, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Iraq | , , , , , | Leave a comment