Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Private firm Saracen flouts UN embargo in Somalia

Pretoria News  February 26, 2012

Eight months after SA-linked private military company Saracen International was fingered in a UN Security Council as the “most egregious threat” to peace and security in the failed state of Somalia, Saracen continues to run and train a private army in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

Saracen, one of a cluster of shadowy private military contractors born from the ashes of the SA/British mercenary outfit Executive Outcomes, after nearly 18 months of military activity in the region, has yet to secure permission to operate as a security provider in a region so volatile Somalia has not had a functioning central government for upwards of 20 years.

Tlali Tlali, the spokesman for the National Conventional Arms Control Committee, confirmed that neither the SA arm of the Saracen operation, nor any of the individuals associated with the Somali adventure had applied for accreditation as legitimate security contractors.

UN Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) co-ordinator Matthew Bryden confirmed the company had failed to seek or secure authorisation from the international authority to operate as a private military contractor in Somalia after being fingered in the Monitoring Group’s June 2011 report.

We understand that the UN is in possession of compelling evidence that Saracen has continued with military training and deployment in defiance of the UN’s general arms embargo. The continuing violations of UN Resolutions 1973 and 1976 are expected to be addressed in detail in the SEMG’s forthcoming annual report at midyear.

Saracen’s operation in Somalia is headed by Executive Outcomes stalwart and – until the mercenary outfit was disbanded – holding company director, Lafras Luitingh. Luitingh is also a director of Australian African Global Investments (AAGI) the company primarily involved in logistical supply and procurement for the operation

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February 26, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, United Nations | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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