|Monday, January 24, 2011 |
Saracen has offered to train government troops, and battle pirates and Islamist insurgents in Somalia, which has been steeped in civil war for 20 years. But after the recent disclosure of an African Union report that said Erik Prince, Blackwater's founder, provided seed money for the Saracen contract and was "at the top of the management chain," many of Somalia's biggest financial supporters, including the United States, have questioned the wisdom of the deal. Somali officials have cooled to the idea.
"At this point, our collective thinking is that this is not a good thing," said Minister of Information Abdulkareem Jama.
"We don't want to have anything to do with Blackwater," he said, mentioning accusations that Blackwater employees had killed civilians in Iraq. "We need help, but we don't want mercenaries."
Other Somali officials were said to be debating how to handle Saracen.
Source: Star Tribune