Overseas Civilian Contractors

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Foreign Policy: How To Hire A Mercenary

by Joshua Keating at Foreign Policy

As Libya cracks down on the ongoing protests against Moammar Gadhafi’s government, reports have surfaced of African mercenaries attacking protesters and massing to defend the capital city of Tripoli.

“They are from Africa, and speak French and other languages,” said Ali al-Essawi, the Libyan ambassador to India who resigned this week. Libyan police in the town of Benghazi who have turned against the Gadhafi regime have reportedly captured foreign soldiers who are “black, spoke French and were identified by wearing yellow hats” stated an ABC News report. According to varying reports, the foreign mercenaries employed by Gadhafi may be from Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Mali, Sudan and, even Eastern Europe. So how does one go about hiring mercenaries on such short notice these days?

It helps to have friends in the right places. Al-Jazeera has reported that advertisements have been appearing in Guinea and Nigeria offering would-be mercenaries up to $2,000 to come to Gadhafi’s aid. The reports are vague so far, but if the Libyan strongman has indeed been shopping for mercenaries, West Africa would be a good place to start. Recent conflicts in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Ivory Coast have generated a steady supply of unemployed ex-fighters willing to move from conflict to conflict for the right price. Foreign mercenaries, often paid in diamonds, kept Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war going for years. U.N. peacekeepers have reported that the electorally ousted but defiant Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo has brought in mercenaries from Liberia to aid him in his conflict against internationally recognized President Alassane Ouattara.

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February 27, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Libya, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , | Leave a comment