Monday, March 27, 2006

Israelis and Americans, the Gulf of Guinea: the next Persian Gulf

"If the neo-cons and their allies get their way, the next victims of U.S. military aggression will not be Arabs, but poor Africans."

The Gulf of Guinea has oil.

According to Haaretz, 03/06/2005:

Israeli firms are to train Equatorial Guinea presidential guard.

Israeli arms dealers and security companies are negotiating a contract to train Equatorial Guinea's presidential guard...

A Foreign Ministry source confirmed to Haaretz that the ministry was aware of... the intensive activity of Israeli arms companies in Equatorial Guinea...

International human rights organizations said that if Israelis train Equatorial Guinea's presidential guard, it would help bolster one of Africa's most corrupt and tyrannical presidents...

A year ago, Israel Military Industries (IMI) sold Equatorial Guinea about $10 million worth of Shaldag Mk-II class Fast Patrol Boats manufactured by Israeli Shipyards.

An IMI representative declined to comment on the matter Thursday.

IMI is one of the companies competing for the contract to train the presidential guard.

An failed coup attempt took place in Equatorial Guinea... organized by British businessmen including Mark Thatcher, the son of Britain's former prime minister.The coup plotters were assisted by British, South African, Armenian and German mercenaries. Most of them were arrested and sentenced to long prison sentences in Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Following the coup attempt, Obiang approached Israeli weapon dealers and security companies for assistance.

In addition to IMI, Aeronautics Defense Systems of Yavne, which manufactures drones, is also active in Equatorial Guinea. Several retired senior IDF officers, including Major General(res.) Avigdor Ben Gal, are on the Yavne company's board of directors...

The company was involved recently in controversial dealings in Ivory Coast, where a civil war is taking place...

Other Israeli businessmen are also known to be involved in business deals in Equatorial Guinea.

Equatorial Guinea, located in west Africa between Gabon and Cameroon, is a former Spanish colony and until a few years ago was considered one of the most under developed states on the continent. Following the discovery of large quantities of oil a few years ago, it has become one of Africa's largest oil producers. American, British, South African and Malaysian oil companies are operating in the country. IMI's boats are intended to secure the oil rigs at sea.Obiang rose to power in 1979 after reportedly killing his uncle, the reigning president. Human rights groups say his security forces regularly carry out murders and mass arrests, and torture prisoners.


According to :

March 27, 2006 - Outsiders racing to oil-rich Gulf of Guinea in Africa.

Israel is making a major overture to Africa's most despotic dictator, Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea.

In 2004, Israel Military Industries (IMI) sold Nguema's Coast Guard, a force established under a contract with Military Professional Resources, Inc. (MPRI) of Alexandria, Virginia, two Shaldag MK-II fast patrol boats.

MPRI's web site states "MPRI developed an integrated team of defense, security, and Coast Guard experts to provide a detailed set of recommendations to the government of Equatorial Guinea concerning its defense, littoral, and related environmental management requirements, as well as detailed implementation processes. The implementation of the NSEP will begin in early 2006."

Nguema has also negotiated for other Israeli private security firms and defense contractors to provide security services and weapons to Equatorial Guinea.

These include Aeronautics Defense Systems, which is teamed with General Dynamics, to provide Aerostar unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the U.S. Navy.

Israeli troops have been seen training Obiang's presidential security forces in Mongomo, the small town where Obiang was born.

With Israeli-supplied patrol boats plying the waters of Equatorial Guinea's off-shore oil platforms and islands, including the islands of Bioko, Annobon, Elobey, aand Corisco, as well as the coastline of mainland Rio Muni, comes word that Nigeria requested 200 patrol boats from the United States to help put down insurgencies among the peoples of the Delta region, whose land and waters are being ruined by pollution from Western oil companies.

Last year, Nigeria negotiated with China for the delivery of dozens of Chinese-made fast patrol boats to guard off-shore oil installations. Nigeria has also ordered fighter jets from China. China receives 30,000 barrels of oil per day from Nigeria.

MPRI has also been active in Nigeria. According to MPRI's web site, "MPRI has provided cross-functional teams of experts to Nigeria to assist the Ministry of Defense, the National Assembly, and the armed forces develop and implement a jointly developed Action Plan for the national defense structure . . . MPRI also established and assists in the operation of a cutting edge Joint Simulations Centre focused on peace support operations and security operations, with the Nigerian government."

There are also outside military activities in Sao Tome and Principe, Gabon, Congo (Brazzaville), Cabinda, Benin (where MPRI has conducted training), and Cameroon.

The Israeli Institute for Advance Strategic and Political Studies advocates the creation of a U.S. Gulf of Guinea Command headquartered at a new U.S. naval base on Sao Tome.

With Israeli influence within the Pentagon continuing unabated, there are signs that such a command, or a smaller scale version of one, may be in store for Sao Tome.

The two-island oil-rich nation has been visited by a number of senior U.S. military officials over the past few years.


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