Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

The Ronco Riff

October 25, 2012

Voluntary Today, Involuntary Tomorrow

Another Successful Flush by Wackenhut G4S

Will the last Ronco Consulting Corporation Employee out please close the lid ?

October 25, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, ArmorGroup, Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Oversight, Demining, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Follow the Money, Friendly Fire, G4S, Government Contractor, Iraq, Landmines, Lawsuits, Mine Clearance, Ronco, Ronco Consulting Corporation, State Department, Sudan, Taxes, United Nations, United Nations Board of Inquiry, Vetting Employees, Wackenhut | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 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

Please see the original and read more here

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

‘Dozens of UN troops seized’ in Darfur

JEM spokesman says peacekeepers “entered our territory without permission”, accompanied by Sudanese security personnel.

AlJazerra February 20, 2012

A major anti-government group in Sudan’s Darfur region has said it is holding at least 49 international UN peacekeepers, mainly from Senegal.

A spokesman for the group, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), made the announcement on Monday.

“We are holding the UNAMID soldiers because they entered our territory without permission and because they were accompanied by three Sudanese we suspect work for the security services,” the spokesman said.

February 20, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Sudan, United Nations | , , , , | Leave a comment

Eritrea opposition figure feared abducted in Sudan

AFP  February 16, 2012

An Eritrean opposition party official has been missing for two days in eastern Sudan and there are fears he may have been kidnapped by Asmara’s security agents, the party alleged on Thursday.

Mohammed Ali Ibrahim, a member of the People’s Democratic Party central council, left his house in Kassala town at 8:00 am (0500 GMT) on Tuesday and has not been seen since, the party said in a statement emailed to AFP.

Sudanese police and the Kassala hospitals had no word on him, it said.

“The big fear prevailing in Kassala is that he might have been kidnapped by security agents of the Eritrean regime, who enjoy free mobility in the region,” it said.

Eastern Sudan is home to tens of thousands of ethnic Eritreans

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February 16, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Eritrea, Sudan | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

29 Chinese Workers Captured in Sudan

China Digital Times  January 29, 2012

Sudanese claimed on Sunday that they abducted 29 Chinese road workers after a battle between the rebels and the Sudanese army, though the army claims the rebels attacked the workers’ compound. From Reuters:

The army has been fighting rebels of the SPLM-N in South Kordofan bordering newly independent South since June. Fighting spread to the northern Blue Nile state in September.

“We are holding 29 Chinese workers after a battle with the army yesterday,” a spokesman for the SPLM-N said. “They are in good health. We are holding them for their own safety because the army was trying to strike again.”

The army said rebels had attacked the compound of a Chinese construction company operating in the area between the towns of Abbasiya and Rashad in the north of the state and captured 70 civilians.

“Most of them are Chinese. They (the rebels) are targeting civilians,” said army spokesman Sawarmi Khalid Saad.

Chinese state media reported on Monday that all contact had been lost with the workers, while Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party condemned the attack and a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry confirmed that the two sides had begun emergency procedures. , the employer of the abducted Chinese nationals, told Xinhua News that it had launched its own emergency response:

January 30, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Safety and Security Issues, Sudan | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Military Cutback We Can’t Afford: Fighting Tropical Diseases

Leishmaniasis at The Iraq Infections

“In the coming years leishmaniasis may become the most important condition you have never heard of among veterans”

Barbara Herwaldt CDC on Leishmaniasis

 Contractors will be even less likely to be diagnosed and/or treated timely or effectively.   Diagnoses normally occurs long after they’ve had contact with their families.

Peter Hotez & James Kazura at The Atlantic

In recent months, many politicians and presidential hopefuls have called for budget reductions, and many have specifically targeted military spending for cutbacks. Unfortunately, even programs proven to be cost effective are vulnerable to cuts. Medical research for our troops is no exception to this rule — programs such as the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) often find themselves low on the priority list despite their crucial role in saving the lives of our troops on the battlefield and here at home.

One important area of research is tropical medicine. During World War II and the Vietnam War, more than one million service members acquired tropical infections such as malaria, dengue fever, hookworm, and typhus, and many of these diseases continued to plague our veterans after they returned home. Today, American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan still face formidable tropical disease threats, especially from a disease transmitted by the bite of sand flies known as leishmaniasis, which can cause a disfiguring ulcer in one form, and a serious systemic condition that clinically resembles leukemia in another. In the coming years leishmaniasis may become the most important condition you have never heard of among veterans.

WRAIR’s leishmaniasis diagnostic laboratory is the only one of its kind in the world, so each time funding is slashed our military loses considerable expertise and capabilities in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of this devastating disease. For example, in the years prior to the Gulf War, the WRAIR leishmaniasis program was officially decommissioned and all research was halted. Only after cases of leishmaniasis among U.S. forces exposed to sand-fly bites in the Iraqi desert were the remaining leishmaniasis experts at WRAIR quickly assembled and tasked with making up for lost time. In 2002, the WRAIR leishmaniasis program was again dissolved only to be urgently activated once more with the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. The interruptions to the WRAIR leishmaniasis program are part of much larger budget cuts across all of WRAIR’s tropical infectious disease research programs. There is no end to the irony of such cutbacks given that they coincide with the activation in 2008 of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), charged with fighting the war on terror across the African continent. Today, sub-Saharan Africa has the largest number of cases of tropical diseases anywhere in the world. Many of these tropical infections, such as river blindness and African sleeping sickness, have been shown to destabilize communities and may actually promote conflict in the region.

Please see the original and read more here

January 21, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Africa, Bug Watch, Central America, Civilian Contractors, Columbia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Safety and Security Issues, Sudan | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ronco Consulting settles Fantham Lawsuit before bothering to respond

What a disappointment that this lawsuit never made it to discovery. 

The history of how this contract was managed deserved to be exposed. 

Another day…..

Ronco made this lawsuit go away, but this United Nations Board of Inquiries Report and others stand.

And no matter how big a settlement, Stephan will not be growing any body parts back

Careful who you follow

Substantial Settlement Achieved in Personal Injury Suit:

In August 2011, Blake Hannafan and Jim McGuinness settled a Personal Injury lawsuit on behalf of Stephen Fantham, arising from a traumatic leg amputation as a result of a land mine explosion in Sudan, Africa, against Ronco Consulting Corporation pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

In addition, the settlement also included claims for loss of consortium to Mr. Fantham’s wife. The settlement was reached before Ronco even responded to the complaint.

The terms of the settlement agreement are confidential.

Ronco Consulting Sued for Negligence by United Nations Mine Action Employee

Fantham vs Ronco Consulting

January 10, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Oversight, Demining, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Follow the Money, Landmines, Lawsuits, Legal Jurisdictions, Mine Clearance, Ronco, Ronco Consulting Corporation, Safety and Security Issues, Sudan, Uncategorized, United Nations, United Nations Board of Inquiry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

SOUTH SUDAN: Demining for development as rebels re-mine

ROKON, 2 November 2011 (IRIN)

In the South Sudanese town of Rokon, sniffer dogs practise finding explosives as an enormous demining machine churns up the soil in a nearby suspected minefield.

A former Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) soldier is helping NGO Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) in the search for mines in what was a SAF garrison town during the 22-year civil war with the southern rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). In 2005, a peace accord paved the way for the creation in July 2011 of an independent South Sudan.

“These mines were mainly laid in 1991, in 1994 and 1999 by the SAF and the SPLA on both sides of the river and in belts around roads and bridges,” said Moses Bidhali, who manages NPA’s mine clearance activities in Rokon.

The Mine Action Programme has found four anti-tank mines, eight anti-personnel mines and 15 unexploded pieces of ordnance (UXOs) from tanks, bombs and guns over the past six weeks, with local knowledge of SAF mine belts massively speeding up the arduous process of checking 229,000 sqm.

“The threat in South Sudan is not the [number] of land mines, it’s the lack of information about where they are,” said Terje Eldoen, the NGO’s national mine action programme manager.

According to the UN’s Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) database, in 2010, 52 people were injured and 22 killed in 19 reported landmine accidents throughout South Sudan. In the first 10 months of 2011, 75 people were injured and 33 killed in 28 landmine accidents

November 2, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Demining, Explosive Remnants of War, Landmines, Mine Clearance, Sudan, United Nations | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ronco Consulting sued for negligence by United Nations Mine Action Employee

Careful who you follow….

Fartham vs Ronco Consulting

A United Nations Mine Action Employee has filed a lawsuit against Ronco Consulting Corporation for negligence after stepping on a landmine resulting in an immediate below the knee amputation in an area previously cleared by and certified clear of landmines by Ronco Consulting.

The United Nations board of inquiry found that Ronco failed to find the mine that injured Mr Fartham as well as three other mines.

The complaint states that Ronco Consulting, acting through it’s agents and/or employee’s, breached it’s professional duty of care to Fantham and did not exercise the reasonable care and skill expected of professional mine clearance companies.

Fartham vs Ronco Consulting

June 7, 2011 Posted by | Africa, ArmorGroup, Civilian Casualties, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Demining, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Landmines, Legal Jurisdictions, Ronco, Safety and Security Issues, State Department, Sudan, United Nations | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Four More Contractors to Get Piece of $10 Billion Global ‘Civilian Police’ Pie

US Aid and Trade Monitor

Five contractors this week secured another chunk of a $10 billion global law-enforcement project of the U.S. State Dept., which is deploying hired guns and consultants worldwide.

Although the department yesterday (May 11) identified the companies to whom it awarded new contracts, it did not specify the destination or mission assigned to the respective vendors. Rather, it will pay the vendors on an Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity, or IDIQ, basis.

DynCorp International, Justice Services International, MPRI, PAE Government Services, and Civilian Police International will provide a variety of “civilian police” (CIVPOL), corrections, and advisement services to clients of the State Dept.’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). The contractors on their websites are vigorously recruiting applicants in preparation of carrying out “task orders” that the State Dept. may submit.

According to a modified solicitation for the program, one of INL’s responsibilities is:

the provision of a wide array of support to criminal justice sector development programs worldwide.  Program countries/areas include Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Sudan, and the West Bank… The contracts provide criminal justice advisors and life and mission support (LMS).  LMS includes office and living facilities, subsistence, vehicles, and associated equipment and supplies.

Contractors must be able to deploy staff to targeted nations with as little as 72 hours notice from the State Dept., the Statement of Work (SOW) says.

Please read more here

May 13, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Civilian Police, Contracts Awarded, Government Contractor, Haiti, Iraq, Private Military Contractors, State Department, Sudan | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kala Azar outbreak claims more than 300 lives in Southern Sudan

Please take precautions if you are working in places like this

At Yahoo Starting Point

“The fact that we see these high numbers so early, in the traditional low season of the disease, indicate that we are on the brink of a massive outbreak later in the year,” Koert Ritmeijer, a health adviser for Doctors Without Borders, said.

Health officials are struggling to contain and treat an outbreak of a parasitic tropical disease in Southern Sudan, The Associated Press reported.

More than 6,000 cases of Kala Azar have been reported, making it the worst outbreak in the region since 1991. According to the World Health Organization, 303 people have died from it since September 2009.

Largely unknown in the developed world, leishmaniasis is transmitted by the bite of certain types of sandflies that live in forest areas in sub-tropical and tropical climates. Visceral leishmaniasis — the most severe form of the disease — is also known as Kala Azar, which means “black fever” in Hindi. Patients with Kala Azar suffer from high fever, fatigue, anemia, swelling of the liver and spleen and are often described as “wasting away.” The majority of cases in Southern Sudan involve patients under the age of 17.

Nine out of 10 Kala Azar patients will die within weeks if they do not receive proper treatment, the most common of which is sodium stibogluconate. The drug is injected into patients over the course of a month, but it is expensive, exceedingly painful and can cause toxic reactions.

November 11, 2010 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Leishmaniasis, Sudan, Toxic | , , | Leave a comment

Upsurge of kala-azar (leishmaniasis) cases in Southern Sudan

8 October 2010 ¦ Juba, Sudan — Sudan Tribune

Recurrent outbreaks of visceral leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease also known as kala-azar, have been reported in Southern Sudan, with 6363 cases and 303 deaths (case fatality rate of 4.7%) recorded since outbreaks began in September 2009. The number of cases is more than six times higher than the same period starting in 2007 (when 758 cases were recorded) and 2008 (582 cases). Most affected patients (70%) are children aged under 15 years who already suffer from concurrent malnutrition and other secondary illnesses.  Read more here

October 14, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Safety and Security Issues, Sudan, Toxic | , , , , | Leave a comment