Posts Tagged Egypt

Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood’s Proposal To Use Private Security Causes Controversy

With this deal, the Muslim Brotherhood (Freedom and Justice Party) is trying desperately to restore order and get some kind of control over the people. The police have gone on strike because they are refusing to do business with Morsi government and protesters are going nuts over the soccer riot verdict. Here is a quote about the current situation.

Clashes between police and rioters protesting against the Muslim Brotherhood regime had been ongoing over the past two weeks, ending over the weekend. Currently not even traffic police are visible in several cities.
Abdallah Mash-hoor of the Muslim Brotherhood said that the police have not been cooperating for the past two weeks and refuse to carry out Muslim Brotherhood government orders. “They just don’t want to work with the Muslim Brotherhood,” he said.
Some policemen demanded the interior minister resign, another sign they are refusing to collaborate with the regime. “We don’t want to be the stick for the ones in charge, we don’t want to be a tool for the government to achieve its political objectives,” said one police officer who asked to remain anonymous.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian Sunni Islamist movement Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya’s branch in Assuit issued a statement announcing its readiness to take over police activities and maintain security there instead of the striking policemen. “Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya in Assuit announces its willingness to take full responsibility to secure the city in response to the police strike,” the statement said.

The basic situation is that the new government wants to impose order onto the population and the enforcers are not cooperating. So they could order the army to do it, but then that would look heavy handed and put the new government in the same light as the regime they toppled. Or they could use militias directly, or militias in the form of ‘law abiding’ private security. lol

That is where I think these guys are coming from. Of course the opposition to this new government is going to frame it as ‘militia in private security clothing’. Because I highly doubt that the Muslim Brotherhood would let a company like G4S come in and play cop on the streets, and I doubt G4S would even want to be a part of something like that. If so, riot training would be in order. Although you never know with this stuff and we will see where this goes? -Matt

 

 

FJP leader’s proposal to deploy private security firms provokes controversy
Amid Egypt’s ongoing police strike, member of Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom & Justice Party proposes draft law allowing use of private security firms to maintain public order
Ayat Al-Tawy,
Sunday 10 Mar 2013
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) is currently mulling draft legislation aimed at allowing the state to use private security firms for domestic policing duties, prominent FJP leader Saber Abul-Fotouh said on Saturday.
The proposal comes within the context of an ongoing nationwide strike by large numbers of Egyptian police officers.
According to Abul-Fotouh, who served as head of the labour committee in the People’s Assembly (the now-dissolved lower house of Egypt’s parliament), the legislation would give privately-owned security companies the right to carry arms and make arrests.
The proposed law – which Abul-Fotouh wants referred to the Shura Council (the upper house of Egypt’s parliament, currently endowed with legislative powers) for ratification – is ostensibly meant to fill the security vacuum resulting from the ongoing police officers’ strike.
“I’m calling for a draft law to be submitted to the Shura Council, and put before a popular referendum, to allow private security firms to safeguard the state,” Abul-Fotouh told Ahram Online.
“I also recommend the formation of popular committees tasked with safeguarding the citizenry and state institutions in the event that police continue their strike action,” he added.
The twin calls come against the backdrop of what Abul-Fotouh describes as “the blackmail of the interior ministry by former regime loyalists who are spearheading a counter-revolution, which is to blame for Egypt’s current state of turmoil.”

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Call To Action: Demand Security Contractors Frank Burkert And Hannes Führinger Be Released From Egyptian Prison

Thanks to Yancey, Elena, and Günter for bringing this to my attention. Hopefully with this post, I can bring some more attention to this issue.

Basically these two security contractors were transporting weapons for their maritime security contract through Egypt, and authorities there arrested them. The problem here is that these contractors were in possession of what they thought was the proper licenses and paperwork to transport these weapons through Egypt, and the authorities there decided not to honor that paperwork.

At the same time this was going on, the Arab Spring had hit Egypt and all chaos had ensued there. So these guys were probably viewed as a folks intending to fuel whatever side of the conflict there–which is the farthest from the truth.

These men were working for CAV, an Italian security company, and they were on contract to protect a vessel. Those weapons were for guarding a client’s vessel and not for sale or distribution in Egypt.

So that is what I know, and by all means, please review the two articles below and if you wish to voice your opinion about the matter, you can write any of the pertinent folks below. Send your emails to:

Ehab Mohamed Mostafa Fawzy
e-mail: egyptembassyvienna@egyptembassyvienna.at

If you would like to contact CAV and let them know that they have a responsibility to support and do all they can for these men, here is a contact:

e-mail: segretaria@cav-formazione.it
e-mail: info@csenbologna.it

If you would like to contact LisaFuehringer and provide some help or just give some support, here is her contact:

e-mail: lisa.fuehringer@gmx.at

The German Embassy in Egypt:

Embassy of Germany in Cairo, Egypt
e-mail: info@kairo.diplo.de

The Austrian Embassy in Egypt:

e-mail: kairo-ob@bmeia.gv.at

The Egyptian Embassy in Germany:

e-mail: embassy@egyptian-embassy.de

As more information becomes available, I will add the edits. The last I heard, the mother of one of the contractors communicated this recently:

“Today’s hearing was canceled by the judge and adjourned indefinitely.”

So basically the Egyptian judicial system is barely working, if at all–considering all that has happened there. That, and there might be some new politics involved, like any westerners in their prisons do not deserve due process or any kind of justice….Who knows, and by all means, if any Egyptian authorities would like to answer as to why Egypt is stonewalling this case, contact me or post a comment. If anyone else has information, please feel free to speak as well. -Matt

 

Frank Burkert.

Hannes Führinger and his wife Lisa.

 

Gunrunning: Process in Cairo postponed again
32-year-old in custody
27/05/2012
Gunrunning: Mild judgment in Cairo for Austrians?
Cairo: Burgenland experienced real stick martyrdom
Arms smuggling: Austrian is in Egypt court
The trial of the 32 – year Burgenländer Hannes F., accused Egypt in weapons smuggling, has been postponed again on Sunday. The date for the next hearing was the 23rd June fixed. F. is since 2 Last November in Cairo in custody.
Reason for the postponement this time was the recently held presidential election. The judge informed the lawyers that the trial was postponed, said Nikolaus Lutterotti, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry. The courtroom had served in the presidential election as polling stations and were sealed.
Courtroom was closed to
When she came in the morning to the courthouse, the court room was locked, before police were standing, described Lisa F., the wife of the accused. Initially it had been said that the hearing would take place somewhere else because ballot boxes were kept in the hall. After one and half to two hours, then you have been advised of the process would be delayed.
“21 cases were scheduled for today,” said Lisa F. The other procedures had been postponed to October 23rd of that against her husband on the June: “If it comes in June, not a verdict, then it will go in October.” In the months of July, August and September will not be tried. Place a few days before the new date on 16 and 17 Egypt in June presidential run-off election.
Health of the lander’s Castle “very threatening”
She was worried because of the health of her husband “very threatening” is, according to Lisa F. The visit by a medical officer of the embassy had not been approved, described the wife. “Until now, the not yet been approved,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Lutterotti, “the Embassy is trying every day to make it work.”
The 32 – year-old castle in the country last year was arrested at Cairo airport with four guns and 200 rounds of ammunition in his luggage. He had traveled for an order to guard a ship transport to Egypt.
Story here.
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FREE FÜHRINGER FROM AN EGYPTIAN PRISON
By securitycontractorsrecovery
by Elena Fon, Esq. and Günter Singer
25 January 2012
Hannes Führinger from Austria and Frank Burkert from Germany were arrested on November 2nd 2011 at Cairo airport en route to a maritime deployment. They were working for the Italian security company  CAV ( Centro Addestramento Varano) which had been contracted by the Italian maritime shipping company PREMUDA SPA, to provide security for the ship “ Four Smile” from Suez to Galle in Sri Lanka. Read the rest of this entry »

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China: Enter The ‘Private Security’ Dragon

During the recent Sudan hostage crisis, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Sudanese troops who engaged in the rescue effort were joined by a dozen armed Chinese private security contractors. While that article and coverage of the issue in the Chinese media didn’t identify where the contractors came from, there’s a strong likelihood they were drawn from the same pool of former security forces personnel that Shandong Huawei recruits from and perhaps even came from the company. Chinese sources say it was the Sudanese military that told news outlets armed Chinese contractors were participating, so it appears that Beijing wants to keep its use of private security contractors out of the public eye.

Lately I have noticed an upward trend in reporting about China and it’s private security. These three articles below help to paint that picture of what I am talking about. We have a situation where China has interests all over the world, their people are getting killed and kidnapped all over the world in higher numbers, and security situations are changing for the worse in some of these places they have set up shop in.

Not only that, but now Chinese businesses are demanding more protection and they have the money to buy it. Especially if Chinese PSC’s charge less than western companies.

This first article below talks about the company Shandong Huawei Security Group. I have never heard of them before, and I could not find a link to their website. Although I doubt I would put a link up to their site for fear of getting some virus or whatever. lol Either way, Shandong Huawei is supposed to be one of their top PSC’s.

The article also described an interesting situation going on in Iraq. As the security situation degrades and there is now a lack of western forces to keep things in check, companies like Shandong Huawei are stepping in to fill that security vacuum in order to protect companies like the China National Petroleum Corporation. Oil is of national interest to China, as it is to many countries, and PSC’s are a part of their strategy to protect those national interests.

In the quote up top it mentioned Sudan and the involvement of security contractors in the rescue of kidnapped Chinese workers. There is oil in the Sudan and China definitely has interest there. And if PSC’s are actively involved in rescue operations like this, then it is not far fetched to imagine PSC’s entering other areas of security which would border more military-like operations. Will we see a company like Shandong Huawei evolve into more of a private military company?

The other thing mentioned in this article is the strategic implications of Chinese PSC’s. Here is the quote:

There are a number of strategic implications of this rise of armed private security providers by Chinese firms. For a start, if a project is in an area unstable enough to require armed private guards, there’s a significant probability of armed encounters between security providers and potentially hostile locals. Coupled with this is the fact that given their police and military backgrounds, the contractors are likely to look and comport themselves like soldiers, and would probably be armed with similar types of weapons. There’s real potential, then, for confusion on the ground in a place like Sudan when a private contractor who looks like a soldier engages rebels or others who then mistake him for an actual member of Chinese government forces. A local whose relative was shot near a Chinese drilling site by a security guard who looks like a soldier is likely to blame Beijing, which could spark additional violence against Chinese interests in the area.

Yep. And if the local insurgency/gang/criminal elements are not getting their cut, then expect these groups to attack these Chinese ventures.

The second article below is very interesting to me because it is written by Chinese journalists and actually discusses the lack of experience that Chinese PSC’s have compared to American PSC’s. That they should ‘study’ American PSC’s….or steal trade secrets about such things. lol Either way, I thought this was cool that the Chinese have recognized the west’s expertise in this area. Check it out.

Calls for security guards from China to accompany workers posted in dangerous areas overseas have increased since kidnappings in Sudan and Egypt underscored the danger workers face as Chinese companies expand globally.
The abductions highlight the urgency to ensure the security of Chinese workers overseas, said Han Fangming, deputy director of the foreign affairs committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee, on his micro blog.
Han said that there is a need to study how private security contractors in the United States, such as Academi, work and “when the time is right, the government might allow qualified companies” to establish such services…. Another factor to consider is how prepared the security services are to handle dangerous situations.
“I think security guards in China are far from the level of private security contractors like Academi in the US,” Fu said.

Yep. Private security contractors in the US, and our western partners, have all learned many hard lessons over ten years of warfare. If China plans on allowing PSC’s to do this kind of thing in war zones, then yes, they will be looking to all and any lessons learned in order to make that work. It is also a matter of Mimicry Strategy, and whatever works best, will be copied.

The final article discusses the enormity of the Chinese presence throughout the world. It also emphasizes the threat to these citizens and the upward trend of kidnappings. More kidnappings equals more ransoms. More ransoms paid equates to a creation of a kidnapping industry where individuals purposely target Chinese. That is the price China will pay if they plan on setting up shop in these dangerous parts of the world.

The dramatic rise in overseas travel and expatriate work by Chinese was punctuated by the recent kidnappings of Chinese workers in Sudan and Egypt. “Overseas Chinese protection” (haiwai gongmin baohu) has been a critical priority since deadly attacks killed 14 Chinese workers in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2004. Between 2006 and 2010, 6,000 Chinese citizens were evacuated to China from upheavals in the Solomon Islands, East Timor, Lebanon, Tonga, Chad, Thailand, Haiti and Kyrgyzstan.
But a new urgency has arisen in the past year: in 2011, China evacuated 48,000 citizens from Egypt, Libya, and Japan; 13 Chinese merchant sailors were murdered on the Mekong River in northern Thailand in October 2011; and in late January 2012, some 50 Chinese workers were kidnapped in two incidents by Sudanese rebels in South Kordofan province and by Bedouin tribesmen in the north of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
The worldwide presence of Chinese citizens – and the dependencies that generates – will only continue to grow: in 2012, more than 60 million Chinese people will travel abroad, a figure up sixfold from 2000, and likely to reach 100 million in 2020. More than five million Chinese nationals work abroad, a figure sure to increase significantly in the years ahead.

That is a lot of Chinese traveling and working throughout the world! As the word gets out amongst the thugs/terrorists/rebels of the world, we will continue to see this Chinese kidnap and ransom trend increase. That means more protection work, and more hostage rescue or negotiation work for this young Chinese PSC market. So yes, I would speculate that we are witnessing the rise of the Private Security Dragon and who knows where this will lead. -Matt

Enter China’s Security Firms
February 21, 2012
By Andrew Erickson & Gabe Collins
Chinese private security companies are seeing an opportunity as the U.S. withdraws troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. But plenty of complications await them.
A security vacuum is developing around Chinese workers overseas. The recent kidnapping of 29 Chinese workers in Sudan (where another worker was shot dead during the abduction) and 25 workers in Egypt has sparked a strong reaction in China. As a result, Beijing is looking to bolster consular services and protection for Chinese citizens working and travelling overseas. On the corporate side, private analysts are urging companies to do a better job of training employees before they are sent abroad. Yet with at least 847,000 Chinese citizen workers and 16,000 companies scattered around the globe, some of them in active conflict zones such as Sudan, Iraq, and Afghanistan, key projects and their workers are likely to require more than just an expanded consular staff to keep them safe.
It’s with an eye on this growing danger that new Chinese private security providers see a business opportunity. Shandong Huawei Security Group appears to be a leader among Chinese security providers, which thus far have predominantly focused on the country’s robust internal market for bodyguard and protective services. Huawei provides internal services, but in October 2010, opened an “Overseas Service Center” in Beijing. The company’s statement on the center’s opening explicitly cites the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, and the potential for a security vacuum to result, as key drivers of its decision to target the Iraq market.

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Libya: US Sending More Contractors To Secure Libya’s Weapons Stockpile

Now the thing with this is that recently it was reported that weapons from Libya have been flooding markets in places like Egypt. And no telling where those weapons will end up at. I am sure Israel is not happy? Either way I am glad they are sending more folks and giving this some urgency. -Matt

 

U.S. Sending More Contractors to Secure Libya’s Weapons Stockpile
By ERIC SCHMITT and KAREEM FAHIM
October 14, 2011
WASHINGTON — The State Department is sending dozens of American contractors to Libya to help that country’s fledgling efforts to track down and destroy heat-seeking antiaircraft missiles looted from government stockpiles that could be used against civilian airliners.
The contractors, weapons and explosives specialists, are part of a growing $30 million American program to secure Libya’s conventional weapons arsenal, which was ransacked during the fall of the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.
American and other Western officials are especially concerned that as weapons slip from state custody, they can be easily sold through black markets to other countries, fueling regional wars or arming terrorist groups. Analysts are particularly worried about the dispersal of the SA-7, an early-generation, shoulder-fired missile in the same family as the more widely known Stinger.

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Funny Stuff: Rebellion

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Cool Stuff: The Control Risks CEO Blog

     Now this is what I like to see!  The smart company is one that can apply effective strategic communications to their specific market.  This is just one tool that can help you to achieve that kind of communications.

     It is also a way for companies to correct the record or express views on a constantly changing market and world. From business owners/bloggers like Tim Lynch of Free Range International to CEO Eeben Barlow of Executive Outcomes fame, blogs are an excellent tool for both that individual to set the record straight or to attract new business for whatever projects they are working on.

     This simple act also gives potential clients and researchers information that will further help them to make better choices or to create more factual publications/articles. Bravo to Control Risks and CEO Richard Fenning for setting this up and this blog is definitely on my Google RSS Reader. -Matt

Hello and welcome to my blog

December 8, 2010

By Richard Fenning

The aim of this blog is to provide you with an informed perspective, as well as personal observations, on the complex and dynamic challenges faced by ambitious organisations operating on a global stage fraught with risk.

This first blog outlines some of the key global trends that will characterise 2011 and beyond. Urbanisation and mega-cities, the worldwide enforcement of anti-corruption legislation and the dominance of China will all have an impact on global business in the year ahead.

It is easy to feel a sense of weariness when contemplating all these challenges. In part, with good reason; the world can seem perilous and increasingly fragile. And at Control Risks, it can be all too easy to see the world through an excessively risk–shaped prism. Like doctors who think the world is full of sick people, and dentists who must feel that there is nothing else to life than crumbling molars, we encounter some of the most hazardous predicaments on a daily basis. So, in this blog I hope to demonstrate that as well as complexity and hostility, our world is more full of opportunity, and occasional bursts of optimism, than ever before in the planet’s history.

Control Risks CEO Bio

Richard Fenning is the Chief Executive Officer of Control Risks. Before becoming CEO, Richard held a number of other roles with Control Risks including Chief Operating Officer, head of the New York office and Business Development Director. He is a regular speaker on how geo-political risk can impact a company’s operations and on the role of the private sector in fragile and post-conflict states. Richard is also a director of emergency medical relief charity, Merlin.

Link to blog here.

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