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‘More conflict, more money:’ West not interested in peace in Africa, says mercenary leader

“As long as there is conflict on the go, certain deals can be struck with governments, which allow foreign powers to get hold on these resources for own use,” Eeben Barlow, founder of a mercenary unit, said.

RT–The Western powers are interested in prolonging conflicts in Africa as they crave after the continent’s resources, a private military company founder has said.

Most African forces are “set up to fail” by foreign advisors, Eeben Barlow, the founder of Executive Outcomes, the South African firm that started a private soldier boom, said.

Barlow, who was speaking to RT’s Sophie Shevardnadze, said the Western nations see prolonged African wars and chaos as just a means to get their hand on the rich African resources.

“As long as there is conflict on the go, certain deals can be struck with governments, which allow foreign powers to get hold on these resources for own use,” he said.

Barlow said foreign and particularly the western powers often opt for supporting armed groups or various forces that actually destabilize the situation in the region as “rebels do not have to provide any taxation to whoever mines resources within the areas.”

The anti-government groups are also eagerly used as a means to “replace a certain government that is not compliant enough with the wishes of those that are outside driving these actions.”

As for the foreign advisors to the governmental forces, the quality of training and advice they provide to the African authorities is usually “poor,” the former lieutenant-colonel of the South African Defence Force complained.

“Most African armies are being set up to fail by foreign armed forces or foreign advisers that they make use of,” he said.

The foreign private military companies (PMCs) are usually only just “are out to see how long they can actually prolong a conflict or a war because the longer that goes on, the more money they make for themselves,” Barlow said, adding that he “does believe” that many “foreign forces in Africa are here not to solve problems but to ensure that the problems continue.”

When the African governments try to use local forces, including the African PMCs, to help them deal with conflicts, terrorist groups or insurgencies, “they are continually threatened that … it will be to their disadvantage.”

“These are threats that come from beyond Africa. And it is really just a proof to us that a stable and secure Africa appears to be in very few people’s interests,” Barlow said.

Africa, especially the mineral-rich Great Lakes Region, is constantly on war footing, with the vast and resourceful eastern DR Congo and South Sudan the two worst affected by wars.

South Sudan has been embroiled in endless civil war that culminated just a few years after the country gained independence after decades of armed struggle against the Arab North (The Sudan). Rich in oil, there is no sign of lasting peace in Africa;s youngest nation as IGAD and other regional power brokers teeter from one peace talk to another.

In DR Congo, rebel outfits believed to be sponsored by foreign forces–some said to be within the Great Lakes Region–have left the mineral-rich eastern swathes of the vast country in endless turmoil, with AU and UN interventions often serving as mere white elephants.

This is a slightly edited version of the original article published by RT International. The original version can be found here

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