OPINION | By: M. A. Egge
The infamous dealers in fatal services, Saracen International, have finally bolted out of Puntland following the sudden assassination of one of their senior commando tutors.
The mercenary company that is believed to be on offspring of Executive Outcomes came into public limelight a couple of years ago when the TFG in Mogadishu were reported to have solicited for their services.
Soon after public international outcries for the Sharif government to quash their contract, the Puntland administration kindled an over better contract with the trainers of killing machines.
Since the public international outcry became public, the Majeertenia were pressured to cease the Saracen engagements.
Ironically, despite the fact that Puntland announced the revocation of Saracen contracts and that they were chucked out of their territory, do now real facts emerge that all along, the dogs of war were home in business!
It is not clear if the security company left the country with the horde of weaponry and other killing appliances they had earlier flown into Puntland.
The hurried bolting was in a hush as they flew out of Bandarqasim airfield in Bossasso on a chartered flight to Djibouti.
It is not clear whether they were on a technical brief sojourne in Djibouti as an expression of disgust in the killing of their personnel or whether it was for real calling it byes.
The South African security trainer is said to have been killed by his bodyguard in Somalia’s semiautonomous region of Puntland, officials said Saturday.
Puntland’s government said in a statement Saturday that it had launched an investigation into Friday’s killing. The statement identified the man as Lodewyk Pietersen, and said he worked for Saracen International, a security firm that trains anti-piracy forces in Puntland. The statement said the South African was 55 and married with children.
South African foreign ministry spokesman Clayson Monyela said Saturday no official word has been received from consular staff handling South African interests in Somalia.
“We have not yet been alerted to such an incident,” he said.
The statement said the trainer was killed while accompanying Puntland’s maritime forces on a government-approved mission targeting pirates near Hul-Anod, a coastal area favored by pirates who use it as a base to hijack ships for ransom.
Pietersen was shot dead by his Somali bodyguard after an argument, according to a Puntland official who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to comment on the matter. The official said Puntland’s security forces were hunting for the killer.
Somalia’s prime minister recently said that al-Qaida-linked militants were fleeing to mountainous hideouts in Puntland after facing increasing military pressure around Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.
Somalia, which has not had a functioning central government for more than two decades, is one of the most dangerous places for foreigners to work.
By: M. A. Egge