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Vol 51 No 25

Published 17th December 2010


Somalia

New guns on the block

A military company run by President Museveni’s brother and some South African mercenaries is being financed by a mystery donor in the Gulf

Saracen International, a Ugandan-based private security firm, is the latest armed party to intervene in Somalia’s civil war. Speculation abounds about its true role. Just as intriguing are its covert financiers, said to be a ‘Muslim nation’. Heading the list of suspects is the United Arab Emirates, followed by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. All three states are perturbed by the bloody chaos and prospects of a militant Islamist take-over. They are even more perturbed by the Somali pirates’ ability to attack oil tankers and other vessels owned by Gulf states. Bankrolling Saracen’s operations in Somalia meets both those concerns. Yet there is no guarantee that this will work, militarily or politically.

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