About Me

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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. Until recently, I was a contributing editor 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.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


I felt I ought not to write something when I am filled with anger, but to say I am absolutely and totally disgusted would be an understatement.

The uncontrolled actions by South Sudanese troops on 11 July 2016, within close proximity of the increasingly useless and ever-incompetent United Nations Peacekeeping Force, resulted in multiple rapes of foreign aid workers, along with a looting spree and murder. One shudders to think how they treated the local population…

After winning a battle in Juba, the South Sudanese troops celebrated their victory with an uncontrolled four-hour rampage through a popular residential compound preferred by foreigners. One aid worker was allegedly raped 15 times…looting and stealing was the order of the day along with the murder of a journalist.

These despicable actions are indicative of an undisciplined rabble posing as soldiers who have no understanding or knowledge of what the mission of the armed forces is.

Not surprisingly, when the UN peacekeeping force stationed approximately a kilometre away were begged for help, they refused to even respond. Several embassies were also called on for help, but they too did not even bother to react.  Perhaps they did not want to infringe on the ‘human rights’ of the out-of-control soldiers?

I consider the lack of action by both embassies and the UN to be a display of spineless cowardice of the highest order, and nothing else. If the UN ‘peacekeepers’ are unable to protect non-participants, then what on earth are they doing in Southern Sudan let alone in Africa?

This is also merely another example of the folly of forcing the balkanisation of a country and then allowing it to implode.  I am sure Pres Bashir—he of now simply ‘Sudan’—is smiling at the incompetence and lack of control that has now become the norm in another state that was set up for failure. 

I wish the day will come when African governments realise that the UN’s so-called ‘Peacekeeping Department’ has NO desire to keep peace. Their inability to perform their function has been proven time and again across Africa. Instead, it is a United Nations sanctioned ‘occupying force’ that continually turns a blind eye to atrocities committed against the vulnerable.

Instead of acting as their name implies and assisting the innocent, they cower behind their barricades like spineless creatures and watch rape, looting and murder take place.

Yet, despite a seriously blighted track record littered with failure after failure, the UN still continues to convince African governments that it is needed, and that it is a ‘successful’ organisation. To reinforce this bluff, they are probably going to increase their force levels and of course, their budget. This will imply that governments must ‘pay more for less’—a corrupt business model if ever there was one.

One only has to look at the gross failure ‘peacekeeping’ has become in DRC. If peace was measured by the amount of peacekeepers and the size of the budget, DRC ought to be a very stable and peaceful country. Sadly, that is not the case.

But if our governments wish to turn a blind eye to this grossly disgraceful incompetent organisation of incompetents, then they will have to suffer the consequences. Equally sad is that the ‘world’ watches and says very little to nothing. But watching these atrocities happen and saying nothing is silent complicity in this gross violation of all that is supposedly humanity.

One also has to wonder who trained these scumbags. It is obvious that they are lacking in any type of training befitting a peacekeeping force as they have yet to yield a positive result anywhere in Africa. Where does the UN find its particularly cowardly dirtbags who make up the misnamed ‘peacekeeping’ forces?

In the not too distant past, commanders who watched atrocities being committed and did nothing to stop them or intervene were considered to be complicit in the atrocities. They were charged with war crimes…

Not so the UN.

They will probably claim they were unable to stop the rampage, call for a ‘special UN investigation’, and insist on an increase in ‘peacekeepers’ along with a massive increase in their budget. And when they finally run out of Southern Sudan, they will hail it another great success story.

The so-called UN ‘peacekeepers’ are nothing other than an international disgrace and the perpetrators of these atrocities should, by all rights, face trial for war crimes.  


Feral Jundi said...

Hey Eeben,

Just got back and checking in with everyone. Man, after Jack put this out, I was floored and disgusted that the UN did this. How could any decent human being just stand by and not do anything to help? Especially since those troops were in the position over there to 'help'....pffft.
That, and as a US tax payer, I am sick of the billions that we pump into this pathetic organization. For what? It is welfare army, and we just keep throwing money at it.
Great news about your book and I hope you sell a bunch. I know there is definitely some interest out there about it. Cheers. -matt

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Good to hear from you, Matt.
I am very pleased that Jack also put it out there (https://sofrep.com/62010/security-contractor-rescues-80-western-ngo-workers-rampage-juba-south-sudan/). This isn’t the first failure of these incompetents as you know…Angola, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, DRC, Somalia, S Sudan…and so it goes. We also know the reason they shout and scream when a government approaches us is because they do not want us to end a conflict or war as conflicts and wars are supposedly their raison d'être. The fact that they unable to achieve any success, despite massive budgets, manpower and equipment says it all.
If the American people just knew what their tax dollars are being spent on in Africa, they would likely have heart attacks. To me, most distressing is SOCOM working with and supporting Seleka—an Islamist movement who see their mission as killing non-Muslims—in Central African Republic under the guise of ‘intelligence gathering’ on the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). As you may know, the US was highly upset when we worked with the Ugandans in destroying the LRA. Since we were forced to leave Uganda, the LRA has increased several-fold. Anyway, I am bitterly disappointed at what the US is doing in Africa re conflicts.
I am really pleased that the book is done and ready for publishing. I know what I wrote works…

Unknown said...

What do people do when their own government or part thereof becomes their worst enemy? The UN is not the perfect answer, but often the only one. Thus the argument that prevention must (in my mind) be the one matter to receive much more attention. EW and prevention serves a different agenda and audience than that of intervention. Perhaps a good and necessary theme for a future conference on African can strategic theory, one that could be rather upsetting to many.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

You make a valid point re the UN Francois.
I have always said that they could play a valuable role. The problem I have is that they don’t and in many cases, they inflame anger and perpetuate the problem. I have also witnessed first-hand the manner in which they act (or rather don’t). Africa is a testimony to gross incompetence and an attitude of ‘couldn’t care less’.
What they did in S Sudan was both cowardly and despicable and to then tear-gas the very people seeking help merely adds to my anger.
I agree wholeheartedly with your statement re EW and prevention. None of these conflicts are ‘spontaneous’ and all of them provide large indications that they are about to erupt.
I believe that we are dealing with a situation whereby we shouldn’t concern ourselves with who we upset but that we rather find solutions to the growing problems we face.

albo said...

Garang was interested in a unified Sudan all along and could easily have been President under a democratic system. Many communities gave their sons and daughters to the struggle only to be orphaned in the North by the new demarcation; Nuba region being a perfect example. The UN is a farce. A place for 'weaker' nations to come make empty speeches in even emptier halls while the real decisions are made by 8 countries. Our biggest mistake is to depend on America and our former colonial masters for military and technical assistance, all of which can be developed domestically in this day and age of information.
Until this changes we shall continue to be fucked


proud Afrikan

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Well said Albo!
What you refer to has already been developed in Africa. Yet, we continue to look elsewhere for assistance that seldom if ever works.
Unless governments wake up – sooner rather than later – they will reap the approaching firestorms.

mwaura kinuthia said...

What happened in Juba was truly a poor show. No excuses. This is my info:
The force commander was a Kenyan Maj Gen Ondieki and there was a complicated command structure only the UN could've set up.“The Force did not operate under a unified command, resulting in multiple and sometimes conflicting orders to the four troop contingents from China, Ethiopia, Nepal and India, and ultimately underusing the more than 1,800 infantry troops at UN House,” the report charges.

According to the report, the force commander appointed the Chinese battalion commander as the incident commander, commanding all the forces at the UN House in addition to his own battalion.

“Furthermore, the Force Commander ordered the Incident Commander to retain an explicit and ultimately confusing command link to Sector South headquarters in Tomping, which was physically cut off from the UN House for the duration of the fighting.”

He wasn't interviewed by the UN in their investigation which is why the GoK says he's being scapegoated and pulled their guys out. The American victims were actually CIA and their female operative suffered horribly.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thank you for your comment Kay.
Why am I not surprised?
These missions are, in my opinion, carefully stage-managed for publicity but ultimately set up to fail – as are most African armies.
The NGOs are, as many of us know, there to provide cover to intelligence operatives who then conduct espionage or agitation operations. Indeed, they are the first to voice anger if STTEP is used anywhere as they know their usefulness will not be long-lived once we arrive.
Similarly, the ending of a conflict or war implies the UN is no longer needed. Why would they want it to end (as seen throughout Africa they don’t) as it would likewise require them to pack their bags and go. Hence all conflicts and wars in Africa remain never-ending and as everyone knows, they are proxy wars supported mainly be Western powers.
Of course, if the force commander is an African, he will be blamed. I suppose he can count himself lucky that he is not hauled before the ICC, as that seems to be the threat offered nowadays.

John Dovey said...

Just for the record Eeben, I was part of the FIB in the DRC in 2013/14.
We were certainly not a failure and what we did worked.
I'm not qualified to comment on anywhere or any when else, but at that time and in that place we did the right thing and very effectively.

MadMacs said...

Hi Eeben, one has to look where this rot all began and I usually refer people to a documentary called "JFK to 911, Everything is a Rich Mans Trick", it's on YouTube. Unfortunately there will never be a way out, unless there is a world wide awakening and revolution.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I don't doubt the impact the FIB had John but it was restricted to a certain area and no more. Maybe the right thing should have been applied over a wider AO and not merely to stabelise a certain area.
Since then, things have returned to much of the same and, although there was an improvement, not much has happened since then.
I still believe that, having seen the impact of the so-called 'peacekeeping' efforts, this is a waste of time, effort and money - although some are making good money from it. How does one keep peace if it does not exist?

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I suspect we get so stuck in a rut MadMacs that we continue to do same old, same old, even when it fails.
I hope the newly appointed US Pres will stick to his undertaking to stop funding these worthless efforts. Time will tell though.
The UN Peacekeeping Department is, as you imply, nothing but a "New World" army...but its results are pathetic.

mwaura kinuthia said...

Hi Eeben!

There was a reason China had reason to hurt the US and their agents ;or at the very least to stand by arms folded as other perps did so. Riek is being (mis)used to attack China's oil interests. Hard facts are ideal but we can't always get LPOs,invoices,air tickets,written agenda etc etc of the perps.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Valid points all Mwaura.
The conflicts we experience in Africa are primarily driven by resource greed but hidden under 'ideology' and 'religion'.
It is really time for our governments to wake up and take a strong stand but sadly, political and military will is often lacking.