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I saw active service in conventional, clandestine and covert units of the South African Defence Force. I was the founder of the Private Military Company (PMC) Executive Outcomes in 1989 and its chairman until I left in 1997. Until its closure in 1998, EO operated primarily in Africa helping African governments that had been abandoned by the West and were facing threats from insurgencies, terrorism and organised crime. EO also operated in South America and the Far East. I believe that only Africans (Black and White) can truly solve Africa’s problems. I was appointed Chairman of STTEP International in 2009 and also lecture at military colleges and universities in Africa on defence, intelligence and security issues. Prior to the STTEP International appointment, I served as an independent politico-military advisor to several African governments. I am a contributor to The Counter Terrorist magazine. All comments in line with the topics on this blog are welcome. As I consider this to be a serious look at military and security matters, foul language and political or religious debates will not be entertained on this blog.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

ANOTHER MONUMENTAL UN MESS IN THE DRC

On 29 April 2009, the BBC ran an interesting article on the DRC. Who else could be the main actors in this story but the UN’s result-lacking mission to the DRC (MONUC) and an ex-rebel leader wanted for war crimes?

According to the BBC – a comment based on a Congolese army paper - an indicted war criminal is currently playing a leading role in the joint-MONUC/Congolese Army’s chain of command in the DRC. “General” Bosco Ntaganda – better known as "the Terminator" - is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged forced enrolment of child soldiers in 2002-2003.

Here is an extract from the BBC’s report on this matter:

The BBC's Thomas Fessy in the capital, Kinshasa, has seen an internal Congolese army document, dated 4 April 2009, which refers to Gen Ntaganda as the deputy co-ordinator for the joint mission's operations.
Our correspondent says the paper - which notes that Gen Ntaganda spoke during an operations meeting - proves he is playing a major role in the chain of command.
A high-ranking Congolese army official confirmed the former rebel leader was involved in the operations, describing him as an adviser to the operations commander.
The UN's peacekeeping force in DR Congo, which is known as Monuc, denied the report
”.
(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/8023978.stm)

One needs to ask if MONUC is unaware of whom Ntaganda is and if so, why haven’t they been reading the indictments by the ICC as relates to the DRC. Or are they using Ntaganda because he is more capable than their own officers?

Can it be possible that a so-called “peacekeeping organisation”, with unlimited resources and funding (17 000 men plus), is actually this incompetent? Quick to condemn others, this bloated, inefficient organisation masquerading as a “peacekeeping force” needs to be held accountable for its failures and ineptitude.

Even the New York-based Human Rights Watch has expressed its dismay:

"We are very worried by this information and it seems to us that the United Nations is acting like an ostrich with its head in the sand…
"It's time now this is addressed head on. Rather than denying or ignoring the role being played by Bosco Ntaganda, the UN should be actively seeking his arrest and transferring him to The Hague
."
(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/8023978.stm)

Whereas it is well known that MONUC apparently has somewhat of a history of partiality towards rebels in the DRC, it will be interesting to see if UN Reporter Talif Deen, who so vigorously attacked EO for daring to assist legitimate governments in Angola and Sierra Leone, will use his pen to further expose their duplicity , hypocrisy and gross incompetence. I do, however, have my doubts…

It also remains to be seen if the UN will appoint a Special Rapporteur such as Mr Enrique Ballesteros to investigate these allegations. Perhaps, in keeping with his previously long-winded title for the EO report he so falsely penned, they could name this new effort of hiding the truth “Report on the question on the use of an indicted War Criminal as a means of assisting the UN’s Mission in the DRC (MONUC) to ensure the continued violation of human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination”.

If the UN is incapable of finding officers who are not wanted by the International Criminal Court to command operations to locate and destroy rebels, it is time to contract a PMC to do what should be done. This will cost a fraction of the wastage the UN is currently thriving on, achieve more results faster and bring about an end to this lengthy conflict for once and for all.

Sadly though, the UN are simply prolonging it.

54 comments:

Alan said...

Eeben:

Following the failures of the Boer wars Kipling wrote, “Its a difficult thing to admit it, but as a grown-up nation we should; we’ve had a hell of a beating, it will do us no end of good.” Is there a Kipling in the UN today or a the States who will openly admit the UN's African experience has been a total cock up? Probably not, but If so, he or she is undoubtedly a journalist or blogger, and likely dismissed as a malcontent.

Regards, Alan

matt said...

That is appalling. So let's see how long it will take for the UN to address the issue? That's if they have the guts to do so. What kills me is that the prospect of a well run PMC looks better and better, as this severely deficient UN attempt to perform these missions continues to falter.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

You are so correct, Alan. Failure can be forgiven but the consistent failures we witness are shocking. Of course, then there is the wastage of money, the tacit support for rebel groups, the gross incompetence…the list goes on. It would appear that one way of achieving a senior post in the UN is to be a rebel, get indicted as a war criminal – and your future is assured.

Admitting to their numerous failures is not something these clowns will even consider. Instead, they will look for another small-scale conflict they can turn into a war.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

It is disgusting, Matt. For the life of me I cannot understand why the media does not investigate this to the bone, why the ICC does not act against this organisation for harbouring an indicted war criminal, why governments say nothing…Oh, I forgot, this is Africa.

As you point out, the prospect of using a well-run PMC looks better by the day. But the UN will never allow it.

Rgds,

Eeben

Robby said...

Eeben The problem with the UN like all countries that embrace "democracy" is that majority rule is a failure no matter if it's a country or institution ,I don't expect this to change anytime soon as no one seems to want to challenge this flawed concept of one man one vote.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

The problem is that whose brand of “democracy” is being followed, Robby? If one looks at how the UN’s peacekeeping failures have continued to bring mainly misery to Africa then it is highly unlikely that they will ever change. After all, this they view as “success”. And as we all know, “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” So, this failed UN approach will simply continue ad nausium.

Rgds,

Eeben

TCO said...

It really is depressing to think how much more security the DRC could have enjoyed if the MONUC funding had been delivered to the DRC along with a short-list of qualified PMCs capable of delivering the necessary service.

It would have cost one-tenth in monetary terms and would have saved who knows how many lives from death or systematic rape and plunder.

This is the tragic fallout that the reckless behavior of some PMCs in Iraq has caused. Because of the actions of a few the entire industry is not viewed as a viable alternative. No one even takes seriously the idea of a PMC entering this picture now and as usual the innocent citizenry are left in the lurch.

As for the ICC their credibility is quickly falling to the level of the UN's based on their indictment of the Sudanese President which basically fell on deaf ears. Not this latest wanted war criminal is operating in plain view while no one takes the time to turn him in to authorities.

Jake

Robby said...

Democracy is a failure no matter what form it follows.. Churchill's famous dictum: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

I could be wrong but just like American politics I'm sure the "military industrial complex" controls much of what goes on in the UN.

Could explain why they are reluctant to use PMC's why upset the cash cow

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

You are so right, Jake. Had that happened, I am sure the DRC would be able to pick up the pieces and continue on a path to success. As the richest country in Africa, it remains the poorest. Ironical isn’t it?

The US sadly used PMCs in Iraq that had little to no experience, didn’t know the local customs and beliefs of people, saw themselves as being a law unto themselves, weren’t properly trained or even controlled and now the entire industry is tainted with the same brush. But this blame ultimately lies with the PMCs themselves.

A PMC, well-led, well-controlled and prepared to do its work will be able to bring about a significant change in the DRC. But, as mentioned, will never happen. Sadly, the DRC will continue to suffer – as will other countries where the UN’s peacekeepers are deployed – while the UN reaps the cash-cow for all it is worth,

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Churchill was a wise man, Robby. Pity many English students have no clue who he was and many English leaders have forgotten his wisdom.

As far as I am concerned, the UN is the beginning of many of the evils we see in this world. But, no-one is prepared to speak out…

Rgds,

Eeben

UNRR said...

This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 5/3/2009, at The Unreligious Right

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks, UNRR.

Rgds,

Eeben

Robby said...

Maybe if there a few Rhodies at the UN things would be different

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_s7L0vrjOI&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fhome.php&feature=player_embedded

simon said...

The answers of 'why ?' are here on this post. Primarily you have the UN which is a one country, one vote system. with 95% of the participants unable to actually enact force on another country or set up operations to handle a country like the DRC. Its a fine example of Democracy in its true sense making a shambles out of things.

The other is the Military Industrial complex. The UN operations and the countries that are actually conscripted to do duty likely dont produce their own supplies. You can bet the machine behind the UN in a military sense lobbies hard for their gravy train.

Like it or not, wars are won by motivated people. Col. David Hackworth, who retired from the Army during the Vietnam conflict after going on National TV saying its a war that cant be won because of piss poor command and the corruption of the South Vietnamese had some thoughts. A bunch of them. I recommend About Face for those interested in a real look at command in the US army.

He stated that what was needed to win low intensity conflicts without a national rally and seemingly pointless combat was 'combat bums'.

He described them in two ways. The first being those who would automatically run to the sound of rifle and artillery and march into battle because that was who they were and those who have gone 'native'.

Native being soldiers who have identified with the people, understand the customs and innerworking of the politics. Without these two, COIN warefare was a lost cause, even with the largest firepower in the world at their disposal.

The UN is neither. A bunch of likely conscripts in a FOB who wont patrol and prefer trafficking children for sex and drugs.

I think of the short list of PMC's that would work well in Africa and they fit the Combat Bum well.

Sadly, Americans are blissfully ignorant about africa. I had a lady at work ask me where kinshasa was ? America will play no part in solving Africa's Congo problem. There would be no support for such and operation. And the band played on......

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

As you are fiercely Rhodesian, so I am fiercely South African, Robby. The history of our two countries are so closely related. If we had any say in the UN, at least we would understand the aftershocks of betrayal. But, we would also know how to get the job done.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Correct, Simon, the UN is a fine example of democracy gone off the rails, yet it still thrives on the system of more money for less results. Worse still, that attitude is accepted by the member countries, who at the time of this response, have not even had the courage to criticise the use of a war criminal in a senior position in MONUC.

Col Hackworth was correct re winning the COIN conflict. It, however, takes professional soldiers to do a professional job. It is very obvious that the UN is nowhere near this criteria and the end result will never be winning COIN conflicts but prolonging them.

Talk about a lack of geography: I once had a journalist from the US ask me “Why is Rwanda and Luanda spelt differently if they are both the same place?” This very same person was writing an article on the conflict/genocide in Rwanda.

Rgds,

Eeben

drew8ear said...

I’ve read the posting before mine and some of the state that the U.N. is part of the “military industrial complex” I do not agree with that statement.

The U.N. is part of the “global diplomatic complex” hence why you do not get any sort well defined military results from them. They are part of the political class that thinks everyone you deal with can me reasoned with and any one who objects is “mean spirited” and worse than a war criminal. The often conveniently forget that, warlords or dictators are often psychopaths, and psychopaths are notorious for being amicable and charming when it suits them. I have a feeling that many U.N. ambassadors really just enjoy the life of an envoy, but really do not wish to solve anything.

The “global diplomatic complex” forgets that warfare is an extension of politics as Von Clausewitz stated, but to diplomats all humans are reasonable. The U.N. will always be dysfunctional because it operates without a moral code a places all nations as equal even when many prove to be harmful to their own people.

A pure democracy only works as long as people are educated and moral, but it dies quickly, because as a nation gains power and wealth it loses morality and discipline. The U.S. is not even a pure democracy, but a democratic republic. It has a balance of power between the executive branch (presidency), the legislative branch (congress/senate), and the judiciary (supreme court), but even now it is rotting because over the years similar people with a global diplomatic perspective have gained power and the three branches share the same world view which has eroded the balance of power.

I’m a middle class U.S. citizen who served in military. Most people in the U.S. do not want to be involved in Africa or many of the other countries the U.S. finds itself in. We don’t wish Africa ill, but we do not wish to solve its problems. Many of the people in the U.S. who speak about Africa with great authority, but have little background to do so are the upper middle class or rich. Many have romanticized Africa and the very rich see it as an adventurous play ground. They supposedly want to help Africa get better, but I secretly doubt they do, just like the U.N. they need all types of countries in crisis especially the countries of Africa to enjoy their adventures. You see Madonna, who I’d call globalist, but she is a U.S. citizen traipsing around buying children. Angelina Jolie does the same thing. They all want to save “Darfur”, but would never suffer a day in their life to do so. They would discredit Arab government in Sudan out of one side of their mouth and enjoy the government’s hospitality while “negotiating” and resolving nothing.

Many of the major governments are going the way of the U.N. and becoming part of the “global diplomatic complex”. President Bush would call for military action, but was never prepare to produce a true “shock and awe”. President Obama is a globalist and U.S. military action may become less decisive and more dangerous than under President Bush. Africa will be a play ground for movie stars and diplomats who really are not “American” at all, but draw a paycheck from the U.S. government and we the regular people of the U.S. will suffer as will Africans in some parts of Africa. The U.N. will always mess up Africa because they think they are God, benevolent, kind, and fair, but they are really detached, uncommitted, and need a continuous cause.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Your summation of the UN’s arrogance is well put, drew8ear. Additionally, they would much rather have a tea-party with rebels than stop them. A simple indication that they have apparently lost the moral compass.

I cannot comment on your take on US administrations apart from what I have already mentioned previously.

It is ironic how everyone who wants to be someone has a plan to “save” Africa. Perhaps they think that by getting publicity of their “good deeds” the rest of the world will see them as peacemakers and offer them tributes. If someone is paying their expenses, even better.

Likewise, the UN has no desire to resolve conflict. IN fact, if they did resolve conflicts, where would the next pay cheque come from?

Rgds,

Eeben

E Richard said...

Hey Eeben,
I'm believing that a big part of the military wows are due to the political agenda that they are required to adhere to. The generals are nothing more that military politicians.
The UN continues to be nothing more than a liberal think tank with a bottomless budget where results are measured in amounts of time and money you can spend on a project.
So many people are ingratiated by their actions there will never be a cause the UN will opt out of.
We have to house the worthless POS institution, which is better than having them operating in our country, on our behalf.

E Richard

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

A good point, ER. But it is sad that generals need to play the political line and not the military line. After all, what are they there for then? I accept that whereas armed intervention is an extension of politics (foreign policy), when the military is called into action, it should be allowed to do its job without continuous political interference.

Part of today’s problem with politicians is that they think that they are highly qualified to lead the military. In the old-SADF’s case, our Minister of Defence was a lance corporal in the Air Force choir…yet he thought he had a fine grasp of strategy and tactics. A bit sickening don’t you think?

But the UN will happily take its money and do as little – as long as the funding doesn’t dry up.

Rgds,

Eeben

eet kreef said...

Reminds me of the Rwanda genocide debacle, when the UN didn't quite cover themselves in glory either.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I cannot find an instance where they did cover themselves in glory, Eet Kreef.

Astonishingly, since the BBC report on their most recent blunder in the DRC, I cannot find another media outlet that has criticised the UN for employing an ICC war criminal in a senior post. I suppose that by and large this type of action is totally acceptable to the international community.

Rgds,

Eeben

Robby said...

Eeben...Not saying all but in America the majority of military top brass see their service as a stepping stone to riches in civilian life, if they don't become TV analysts they become lobbyist for the military industrial complex...loyalty to the almighty dollar trumps all....whats new!

John said...

Hi Eeben

I agree with you yet again on the UN. I know of incidents in the EDRC where the UN just stood by as CNDP rebels slaughtered civilians in villages in the East Congo. After they promised that they will help these people and protect them against rebel attacks.
Now Bosco, who was a senior rebel with the CNDP, has been integrated, with the rest of his CNDP into the FARDC (Congolese army).
Question is, if the West and the UN decide to use a PMC, who will they use? DynCorp, MPRI, Black Water?
I think at least it must be a company who has failed miserably on previous contracts.
But you are right. The UN will probably never allow a PMC to fix their mess in the DRC, as they will loose billions, not to mention all the money/funding the different NGO’s will loose.
It’s strange how war criminals become friends of the West when it suits them. I reckon the West can make more use of Bosco in securing minerals that they could with Nkunda? The President of Sudan, as mentioned by some readers is a war criminal because he doesn’t allow Western oil companies into Sudan, although Chinese and Indian oil companies are.
Mugabe who has killed thousands is still President of Zimbabwe, maybe because Zimbabwe has nothing the West needs at present.
Obiang Ngwema of Equatorial Guinea who has killed thousand has been called a friend of the West by Condoleesa Rice, because he sells his oil to the US.
So I guess a President becomes a war criminal when he doesn’t allow Western Oil companies into his country, and a rebel criminal a senior officer when he can help in securing minerals for the West.
The UN was actually stoned by civilians in some villages in the EDRC because of their failure to protect them against rebel attacks. Some villages have actually been organizing their people into protecting themselves by arming them with primitive weapons – spears and bows to try at least in defending themselves against these attacks. In some cases this actually worked reasonably well, although the rebels are armed to the teeth.
So how can the UN with 17000 + soldiers and modern armaments and air support NOT be able to do this?

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

So I have noticed, Robby. I suppose the rule is to play the political game, to hell with real results and make a good living after retirement. I don’t see anything wrong with making a good living after retirement but it is the ”before retirement” I am usually concerned about.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks for the insight, John. But, even though the CNDP has been integrated into FARC, how can Bosco be used? This is where my problem lies. The UN are quick to criticise people who are not indicted as war criminals yet reserve the right to employ war criminals. A bit of hypocrisy, don’t you think?

As for which company the UN will use if ever they went down that path: I suppose you are right – it will need to be a company that has failed miserably – that way they (UN) won’t look bad.

The hypocrisy of the West makes me nauseous sometimes. But, as you know, what they have sown, they are already reaping…let’s just hope that they regain their senses before it is too late. Again, I am concerned with what they are trying to do in Africa ito militarising the continent . It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise why they are doing it…

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Robby, please go to my posting “A (very) brief look at security”…Jeff (Va. Rebel) has something he wants to check with you.

Rgds,

Eeben

Alex said...

This may be a slightly extreme way of putting it, but this situation sounds more or less like asking Eichmann to help re-organize Europe after WWII. I doubt the UN's argument (whatever it may be) for using Ntaganda is any more convincing than any that could have been thought up for employing Nazis after 1945.

The UN must have seemed such a good idea at the time. And indeed it would be if it worked. One wonders how much longer it will take for the world as a whole (as if Africa didn't already know) that the UN just isn't working properly, in an age that desperately needs an organization capable of acting where necessary. It took the Second World War for people to realise the League of Nations was an utter failure. Hopefully something so cataclysmic will not be necessary to jolt people to their senses regarding the UN. Of course were the UN to be required, and then fail as it does, in Western Europe, Western countries would be tripping over each other to reorganize it and make it work.

How exactly they plan to improve the country by employing the very people carrying out systematized atrocities I could not guess, but it seems an interesting approach, to put it mildly. I must confess to being very interested to think what EO could achieve in DRC were it still in existence and contracted on the same basis as Angola and Sierra Leone.

Regards

Alex

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Robby answered your question, Jeff (Va. Rebel)- check where you posted your comment.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

As a concept, the UN is a great idea, Alex – the problem is it doesn’t work. If the UN had to carry out in Europe or the USA what it does in Africa, nations would declare war on it and work at achieving its total and utter destruction.

As for what EO would have achieved in the DRC, who can tell? But, if we had one-tenth of the UN’s budget, we would not have been able to cause the mess and chaos they have caused – even if we tried our very best.

Rgds,

Eeben

simon said...

In my field of work, so many of these um, refugee's or asylees, show up in america at the statue of liberty with nice suits, gold watches and seemingly enough money to be ok. More on the asylum side. I dont work asylum except around the edges but I have related before about a zimbawe- terrorist, um... was claiming asylum only to break under pressure and arrogance by other scammers in his asylum scheme giving up the goods.

They were in part responsible for the Mugabe Slaughter in the TT lands in the 80's. I told the Legal counsel, who was very sharp but naive about military matters. Maam, a true refugee from zimbabwe coulnt afford a ticket here if he sold his childrens children for generations and if I'd had a moment with him, I could thru a series of basic questions ascertained his role in Mugabe's govt, ie persecutor or persecutee.

Might have even begun the talk with a bit of chatter about the RLI haha. But that stuff isnt my job so I only get to hear about it.

The congo has brought numerous fraud claims as well. And the UN validates this !!!!! What we dont know is what should make us even more ill.
BTW, my agency denies 80% of asylum claims. And I think that is realistically too low. Edit post

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

There is much we don’t and never will know, Simon. But we often witness so-called “freedom fighters”, whose sole aim is to rape, pillage, murder and destroy, being supported by not only the UN but by governments as well.

The DRC is particularly a case where the UN have shown their support to the rebels (See John’s recent comment) yet this happens all over the show.

It is a good thing that men such as you work to prevent these people from gaining asylum. But I am sure it does not make you too popular…

Rgds,

Eeben

TCO said...

Not sure if this link has been posted already but the BBC program called Hardtalk is doing a 3 part series on DRC. The first of this series is located at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/hardtalk/8029299.stm

It's a pretty good overview of the situation there.

Jake

John said...

Hi Eeben

I might be a bit off the UN point here, but talking about war criminals in prestigious positions –“President Hamid Karzai chose a powerful warlord accused of rights abuses as one of his vice presidential running mates.”
It seems like this trend is quite OKAY with the West and its puppets. Quick to blame a President (Sudan) to be a war criminal when it suits them.
“Up to 100 Afghan civilians may have been killed during an air raid by US forces.”
If I look at these news highlights it seems as if the West with its great democracy spreading drive is actually full of war criminals being used by their governments every day.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thank you, Jake.

May I ask that you post the other links as and when you get them?

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

It is the hypocrisy of the West, John. As you know, the attitude is “If you are not with us, you are against us”. The implication is that if you do not agree with the West, you are a terrorist and therefore potentially a war criminal. However, if you are a terrorist and a war criminal, the West will befriend you and support you if you have something they want…

As you point out, one only has to look at the West’s record in these conflict areas to really start wondering and worrying about what is really going on.

Rgds,

Eeben

simon said...

The last couple of years studying African conflicts and the change from minority rule to 'majority'rule, IE, lawlessness its apparent to me that the west cannot and will not solve the problems there.

Outside forces of socialism, communism, etc won the cold war there in many areas and set in motion events that sent the continent on a pathway to hell. Inspite of anyone's politics, apartheid, no apartheid, truth and um reconciliation, freedom, democracy, one party, no say, Whatever....

Its apparent that engendered by hatred those liberation movements only served to destroy the institutions keeping civilization coherent.

Americans can not understand this, much less point out Africa on a map or realize it has countries and is not a country.

African governments and people must take control and change their world view. People such as Barlow and other old warriors know the solution to sue for peace. It takes courage to get off the gravy train of the UN and ACT. They need to quit claiming the moral highground standing on the mountain of money for the latest poster boy the UN has set up.

I see the same thing happening in the west only with different schematics. The seeds of self destruction seem inherent.

Enough rants from an outsider..Simon

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

You are quite correct in your summation of the end-result of the Cold War in Africa, Simon. However – and I know I harp on this a lot – the West played a huge role in ensuring that Africa lost against itself. One only needs to look at how the western governments supported the so-called liberation movements – and when those movements were about to lose their “struggles”, quickly switched support to the apparent victors. When those liberation movements came into power, the West quickly recognised them – only to covertly start supporting a new movement to overthrow the government they helped install.

I, like many of my colleagues, recall finds in enemy bases in crates or bags labelled “A gift from your friends in the US” or “A gift from your friends in Sweden” or “A gift…” But the reason for all of this is now, in hindsight, very apparent. Keep Africa in chaos, help to breed the chaos, lawlessness and disrespect and destroy every trace of civilisation. That way, new overtures can be made to “rebuild” – but with it all comes a price – usually in the form of strategic resources.

Only Africa can solve Africa’s problems. Ironically, as the richest continent, it does not have the funds or the desire to do so. One needs to ask why? Watching the trends in the West, it is obvious that, although still a long way from a similar situation, the West has started its own slide into chaos – a slide it is encouraging itself to follow.

Rgds,

Eeben

simon said...

You have said it all. I certainly wasnt a part of those wars and saw empty ( and full ) terr camps filled with 'bribery' so Im just looking at a game and analyzing after its over.

I recently became more intune with your concepts of how the west meddled in africa during the cold war in the manner you talk about. Larry Devlin, now dead wrote a book called Congo Chief of Station. The obvious chess playing with the soviets was nothing new but what struck me is how Washington would send messages to Devlin on who to support and he would work from there.
Every contact he made would be relayed back and decided upon by the president advised by the Africa affairs division of the CIA. After alot of feelers, they chose Mobutu.

Devlin makes no apology and says at the time it was the least evil option and the best one for the US. I would love to read more on other countries especially South Africa and our interactions with them. I've got a semi handle on what the CIA was doing in Rhodesia. SA is next on my list of books to read and contemplate.

You being in charge of a region in the Western world probably know more than you'd like to say publicly. Thanks for the continued insight. If I err, you'll have to forgive me. I only get second hand information. If you can recommend some good books on SA and the USA let me know. Simon

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

If we don’t understand the past, we will never be able to plan for the future, Simon. It is also the past that lays tracks for us to see what happened.

Larry Devlin’s book was, at the time of publishing, a great eye-opener in many respects. But, look what happened to Mobutu…

There are several good books on South Africa but, like all books, every author has his/her own agenda and perceptions. Off the top of my head, you may wish to look at www.galago.co.za for some books on the bush war. Another publisher that has come to the fore is www.30degreessouth.co.za You may wish to also contact www.africancrisis.co.za – they have written quite a lot about the meddling in Africa by various governments. Also see my previous posting “The demise of an Intelligence Service” for a look at how this was perceived from inside of a service.

Rgds,

Eeben

Alan said...

Simon:

An excellent historical read and an amazing template for what is currently taking place in Africa, and the west as well is Ian Smith's Bitter Harvest.

And in other news..."Queen's Trinity Cross Scrapped... because it's 'too Christian'

A medal personally established by the Queen is being withdrawn after it was deemed offensive to Muslims and Hindus.
The honour - known as The Trinity Cross of the Order of Trinity - has been ruled unlawful and too Christian.
It has been awarded to 62 distinguished residents of the former colony of Trinidad and Tobago over more than 40 years, including cricketers Brian Lara and Garfield Sobers, novelist V.S. Naipaul and many diplomats and politicians.
But groups representing the Caribbean islands' Muslim and Hindu communities - which account for around a third of their 1.3million-strong population - had argued that the words 'Trinity' and 'Cross' were 'overtly Christian'. They also said the use of a cross insignia was offensive.
Five British law lords, all members of the Privy Council, have ruled that the honour breached the right to equality and the right to freedom of conscience and belief.
The Council is an obscure body made up of senior politicians, bishops and peers.

More at the link if you can stomach it.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1178688/Queens-Trinity-Cross-medal-scrapped--Christian.html

"The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves."

Regards, Alan

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

A truly shocking report on the Trinity Cross, Alan. The danger of being this politically correct is that governments tend to overdo it all and in the process become so correct that they are in fact incorrect. A sad situation indeed and a slap in the face of those who were graced with this award.

Rgds,

Eeben

Robby said...

This is always a tricky subject but next week the global elite meet in Greece,Daniel Estulin who describs himself a an author who specializes in investigating the Bilderberg Group, an annual invitation-only conference of the elites in the fields of business, media and politics. He is known for his extensive works about this group and for his books on communication techniques.

In an interview, Estulin describes his background, which led him to his profession:

"I’m a Russian ex-patriot who was kicked out of the Soviet Union in 1980. My father was a dissident who fought for freedom of speech who was jailed, tortured by the KGB. Suffered two political deaths. When these people got tired of us they threw us out. We moved to Canada and 12 years ago I came to Spain. My grandfather was a colonel in the KGB and the counter-intelligence in the 1950s, so I am privileged somewhat to get a lot of the information from secret service which are our best sources of information. Not only the KGB people but the MI6 people, the CIA because most of the people who work for the secret service as you probably know are patriots and they love their country and they’re doing it for the good of the nation and they’re the first ones absolutely terrified of the plans of the Bilderbergers".

His explanation of the wars in Africa which he says there are plus minus 30 is based on stealing natural resources (oil) and the lucrative business, for want of a better term "military industrial complex" where interested parties furnish both sides of the many conflicts

Heres a recent interview

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-15EjHCzds

Robby said...

As a follow up

Gold & minerals: Curse of Congo!

BRAZZAVILLE: African nations rich in minerals are bound to witness internal wars and unrest. Because, groups of people who want to take control of the minerals will always try to drive away others from the regions.

Minerals such as cobalt, coltan, cassiterite, copper, and gold are rare in the world. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one nation which has an abundant stock of all these minerals. Congo is a country in central Africa with a small length of Atlantic coastline. It is the third largest country (by area) in Africa.

For Congo, the biggest curse is its mineral resources. Rebel groups, governments and mining companies exploit mineral resources, fueling civil and interstate conflict as players vie for control over riches.

Countries such like Congo have fallen victim to rebels who use revenue from minerals such as diamonds, coltan and cassiterite to purchase arms and fuel conflict. Governments often establish repressive military regimes in mineral producing regions to protect their national interests, but local populations rarely see the profits and are subjected to environmental damage wrought by corporations.

Violence has plagued the Congo since its emergence from Belgian colonial rule in 1959. Congo’s rich natural resources, including timber, diamonds, copper, cobalt, gold, uranium and coltan, clearly fuel the conflict. Local militias, backed by Uganda, Rwanda and mining multinationals, get supplies of food, money, and military hardware in exchange for smuggled resource riches.

In October 2003, a UN panel of experts released a report accusing Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe of systematically exploiting Congolese resources and recommended the Security Council impose sanctions. Doubtless due to powerful political and economic interests, the UN never followed up on the report’s recommendations.

Congo is the centre of numerous exploitations of most diverse metals in a multitude of mines and quarries. Its soil harbours a wide variety of mineral species with facies of often very high esthetical quality.

The worked deposits are distributed over Precambrian massifs bordering, to the south, east and north-east, a vast sedimentary central basin.

Cutting the link between the minerals trade and the armed groups committing atrocities in eastern Congo is one of the most critical steps toward changing the logic of war in Congo.

The international community has spent billions on elections and peacekeeping in Congo, but despite the extensive documentation of Congo’s war economy by UN investigations, existing peacemaking efforts have failed to address the economic drivers of the conflict.

The economic benefits of fighting a war in this region remain one of the central motives of the warring parties. Fighting between the rebel group Congrès national pour la défense du peuple (CNDP), led by Laurent Nkunda, and the national Congolese army, the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC), has escalated sharply. The civilian population has borne the brunt of the violence, as it has done throughout more than ten years of war. The latest fighting has caused mass displacement in North Kivu province. Both the CNDP and the FARDC have carried out serious human rights abuses against unarmed civilians.

Congo’s eastern provinces of North and South Kivu are rich in minerals, notably cassiterite (tin ore), gold and coltan. The mineral trade has underpinned the war since 1998. Almost all the main armed groups involved in the conflict, as well as soldiers of the national Congolese army, have been trading illegally in these minerals for years, with complete impunity. Many have been taxing the civilian population and extorting minerals or cash along the roads or at border crossings.

For as long as there are buyers who are willing to trade, directly or indirectly, with groups responsible for grave human rights abuses, there is no incentive for these groups to lay down their arms.

The situation in eastern Congo today reflects a wider international failure to address the links between armed conflict and the global trade in natural resources. International community still lacks a common understanding of what constitutes a conflict resource.

Bodies such as the UN have neither adequate means, nor sufficient determination to break the resource-conflict nexus.

Alan said...

Eeben:

Obviously taking the UN forces lead.

Regards, Alan


Congo soldiers raping pygmies for supernatural powers

KIGALI: Government troops sodomised pygmies in March in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo , believing they would gain supernatural powers, a rights group said on Saturday. “Some soldiers from the 85th Brigade sodomised three male pygmies to gain supernatural powers and protection in Kisa village in Walikale territory (North Kivu province),” said the Human Rights League of the Great Lakes (LDGL). “The village chief was stripped and (sodomised) in the presence of his wife, his children and daughter in-law,” said the LDGL, which groups dozens of rights groups in Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC. It said armed groups in the region also abused the pygmies. afp

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009/05/10/story_10-5-2009_pg4_6

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Very interesting, Robby. Thanks for passing that along.

I am in total agreement with Estulin and have been saying this for years. Africa is in turmoil because everyone wants what is best for themselves – and not for Africa.

I wish I could be a fly on the wall at the global elite meeting…

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks for the article, Robby.

I know I most probably sound like a stuck record but I have been saying this for years. Africa is the richest continent on earth and therefore it suits all and sundry to keep it in turmoil. As long as Africa remains at war with itself, allows outside forces to ferment hatred and anger (which lead to conflict) it will continue to extend the beggars bowl.

Given the UN’s more than pathetic actions (rather lack of) in the DRC, I am convinced that they (UN) are the vanguard of much of this turmoil.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

It does appear that way, Alan. After all, the UN is busy bringing about “peace and stability” to DRC and judging by their record of child prostitution, arms trafficking, smuggling and other illicit actions, it appears as though they have managed to influence the Congolese soldiers.

Talk of scum…

Rgds,

Eeben

Robby said...

You don't sound like a broken record I posted those articles in large part to back up your statements....keep doing what do

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thank you, Robby. You are a gentleman.

Rgds,

Eeben

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Rgds,

Eeben

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Rgds,

Eeben