Archive for category Equatorial Guinea

Industry Talk: Simon Mann At Oxford Union

Thanks to James over at Facebook for finding this one. Oxford did a similar question and answer session with Erik Prince awhile back, and these talks are quite good. Great questions and a receptive audience.

Now onto some of the things that Simon Mann brought up that were of interest to me. For company news, he talked a little about New Century and their work in Mexico. That is something to look into. He also mentioned his new book called Kass, which is written from a woman’s point of view. Interesting…

He also talked about working with Vice in North Sudan, so I am sure we will see that video coming out soon. The really interesting bit was him and Erik Prince paling around, for Vice! Like a PMSC hang out session or something. So we will see how that goes. Another cool deal is that he is involved with a virtual reality training company.

At about 18:30 in the video below, he gets a really interesting question from the audience about leadership and discipline in the PMSC world. It was very cool to hear him talk about that element of Executive Outcomes, and what the problems were, and what worked. Unit cohesion is gold for a PMSC, and especially for the kinds of operations EO was involved with. Definitely check that out.

For some lessons learned about his coup attempt and imprisonment in Equatorial Guinea, he really emphasized timing. Meaning the operation was in limbo and open for an entire year before implemented. That is a lot of time for leaks to get out. He said he was pressing to do the operation quickly to minimize leaks, and his higher ups just didn’t get that. He also mentioned regret for not calling a halt to the whole thing in time. They certainly paid the price in prison…

Finally, he mentioned China, which is something I have been writing about here. That eventually, China would probably want to use their own PMSC’s and not western PMSC’s. At this time, they are dependent on western PMSC’s to accomplish OBOR projects, because these companies have so much experience with operations. China does have security companies, and eventually they will get to the same level as western companies. It is a matter of time, and especially with so much money on the line with development.

Great talk and we will see whom else Oxford Union can grab for a good chat. –Matt

 

 

 

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Film: Ridley Scott And Gerard Butler Team Up For Film About Simon Mann

Wow, this is unexpected?  It is also cool to see Ridley Scott do another Africa/conflict type film. Blackhawk Down was an outstanding war film, and Scott really hit the mark with that one

The other story about this, according to Mann’s twitter, is that he is talking with folks about doing a first person shooter game! Erik Prince has some competition in the gaming world I see? lol  Although I do not know if the game will be part of this movie, but even if it isn’t, it will still benefit from a movie.

Also, I kind of think that Gerard is not exactly the best choice of casting for Simon Mann. He doesn’t look like him, or even talk like him. But Gerard brings the star power, as does Ridley Scott, and I am sure Mann’s book fired up the imagination of both guys.  The question is, can a studio sell a mercenary film about a failed coup attempt?

The other question I have is if Ridley Scott and the writers will listen to what others might have to say about Mann and his book?  Because I am sure there are folks out there who disagree with what was said in the book, and would be very interested in making sure that all sides of this thing are fairly represented. It would also make for a more interesting movie if it had all of those perspectives. Who knows, and chalk up another film that we will track. –Matt

Edit: 11/18/2011– Simon Mann just confirmed in a tweet that the video game is part of the movie deal.

 


Ridley Scott and Gerard Butler Team Up for Fact-Based Mercenary Pic

by Dave Trumbore
November 17th, 2011
Although director Ridley Scott is currently busy with the production of Alien-pseudo-prequel, Prometheus, that doesn’t stop him from taking on new projects. Especially when that project stars Gerard Butler (300) as a former British Army officer who puts together a group of mercenaries to attempt a coup against an African nation’s government. Scott is attached to direct and produce the thriller based on the real-life exploits of Simon Mann. The script, written by Robert Edwards (The Bomb in My Garden) will follow Mann through the failed coup, his imprisonment and eventual pardoning.

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Podcasts: Cry Havoc–Simon Mann Speaks At Chatham House About Coup Attempt In Equatorial Guinea

This is interesting. Simon Mann tells his side of the story at the think tank Chatham House. He is also promoting his book Cry Havoc (Jundi Gear Store) which details this coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea. I am sure it will sell well.

The other thing that I wanted to mention is that Eeben picked up on a story written about Cry Havoc over at News24, and they outright lied about Executive Outcome’s involvement with this incident. Eeben corrected the record and I wanted to put the word out through this blog as well. Here is a link to the post. To be clear, Executive Outcomes was not involved, did not back anything, and EO was officially shut down in December 31, 1998. The coup attempt took place in 2004.

Finally, if you are interested in following Simon Mann online, he has become quite connected. He is on Twitter , Facebook, and has a website he is using to promote the book. His Twitter account is very active and he talks about all sorts of stuff there. –Matt

 

Cry Havoc: Simon Mann’s Account of his Failed Equatorial Guinea Coup Attempt
Tuesday 1 November 2011
Location
Chatham House, London
Participants
Simon Mann, Author and Coup Attempt Leader

Discussant: Alex Vines, Research Director, Regional and Security Studies, Chatham House, and author, Well Oiled: Oil and Human Rights in Equatorial Guinea?Chair: Professor Nana Poku, John Ferguson Professor of African Studies and Dean, School of Social and International Studies, University of Bradford
Type: Members Events
The speaker will outline his version of events surrounding the failed coup attempt against Equatorial Guinea in 2004. He will contend that a number of governments had prior knowledge and offered tacit endorsement of the coup attempt.  ?For more information about the event please contact the Members Events Team
Transcript to follow.
Resources:
Cry Havoc: Simon Mann’s Account of his Failed Equatorial Guinea Coup Attempt (Click to download)
Click on the play icon to start playing the audio.

Q&A Recording (Click to download)
Click on the play icon to start playing the audio.

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Equatorial Guinea: Mann Returns To EG To Consult For Dictator That Imprisoned Him For Coup Attempt

      From being convicted and imprisoned for trying to overthrow Obiang, to becoming a consultant for the guy? Weird. Although one thing is for sure, Simon would be the ‘go to guy’ in order to sniff out other coups being planned against Obiang.

     The other thing that is interesting here is that Simon might actually be in a position to ‘influence’ Obiang, which the oil companies would really like. From what I have read, the oil companies hate dealing with this extremely corrupt nation and leadership, and I would too. Having a guy that has a leader’s ear like this, makes things a lot more easier when negotiating deals. (kind of like The Last King of Scotland movie)  Stay tuned, because this story just keeps getting weirder as time goes by. –Matt

Mann back in Equatorial Guinea – to work for leader he tried to oust

Mercenary advises Equatorial Guinea president

Simon Mann

Mann back in Equatorial Guinea – to work for leader he tried to oust

By Kim Sengupta

25 October 2010

Simon Mann’s incarceration in a brutal prison for attempting to overthrow one of the most notorious dictators in Africa was turned into an international cause célèbre in a long and vocal campaign by family friends.

The former SAS officer is now free and has just taken up his first proper “day job” since his release: working for that very same ruler he was determined to depose, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea.

At the time of the bungled coup in 2004, Mr Mann is said to have declared to his friends that he was helping to deliver the people of the benighted nation from the depredations of their appalling leader, who had been accused, among other things, of being a cannibal.

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Industry Talk: The New Mercenaries ‘Made In Spain’

     This is cool.  I got a Facebook friend request from a security company in Spain the other day, and I decided to do a little research on this market.  I couldn’t find anything in english, but I did find some stuff in spanish and I thought it would be cool to Google Translate some stuff and post it up here. This is from last year, but still pretty interesting.

     The point of this post is that this industry is global and it is massive. There is security contracting news going on all over the world and it is easy to miss.  My readership has definitely fed me all sorts of  stories from around the globe, and has even helped in translation or with the local vibe of their market. That is information gold to me, and I really enjoy filling the archives of the blog with those stories.  Check this one out and let me know what you think.-Matt

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The new mercenaries ‘made in Spain’

Lucas Marco / Valencia

Thursday January 8, 2009.

Private military companies have been cropping up in the Spanish market. Formed by ex-military, they offer all kinds of services to businesses and governments in conflict areas worldwide.

Private military companies have been consolidated as a new actor in the conflict. An example is the massive presence of private contractors in Iraq with U.S. occupation troops. To the Professor of International Law and International Relations, Francisco Javier López Quel, the emergence of these companies “is part of a privatization process started in the early 90s that affects health or the prison system.” This generates “the outsourcing of basic services the state in relation to the defense” that involves “a change in structure of hosts.” The High Commissioner of United Nations Human Rights recognizes that “armed conflicts, terrorism, arms trafficking and covert operations by third Powers, among other things, encourage the demand for mercenaries on the global market.”

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Books: My Friend The Mercenary, By James Brabazon

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