Blackwater Founder Trains Somali ‘anti-Pirate’ Militia

UN Probing if Project Violates Arms Embargo

by Jason Ditz, January 20, 2011

Reports have emerged that the project to create “anti-piracy” militias in Somalia with significant international funding involve former Blackwater founder and CEO Erik Prince. Prince’s spokesman said the effort would eventually “overcome the scourge of piracy.

Though the “anti-piracy” effort is done with some nominally support from the self-proclaimed Somali government it has largely operated outside of their purview, and they expressed surprise to learn that Prince was invovled at all.

The UN was already investigating the scheme, particularly as it relates to a blanket embargo on the importation of weapons into the country. The inclusion of Prince in the project will likely add to the concerns about it.

Piracy has been a serious problem around the Horn of Africa, and there are said to be major private donors funding the bulk of the militia efforts. Though some expressed hopes that the group might be able to clean out the pirates in relatively short order, it remains to be seen what the new, largely unaffiliated fighting force would do with its weapons and training after the pirates are dealt with.

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