When this Aeroplane landed in Zimbabwe on 4 March . I was with my medical superintendent on the way to Francistown which is the second city and we were discussing this thing. At that time I had absolutely no idea who was behind it. Then I got interested because I remembered that article in the German paper.
Some of the names that were mentioned were popping up again, for example Simon Mann who was part of the Sandline crew, together with Tim Spicer, who left Sandline in the year 2000. When I saw that the local papers were also fairly in the dark, I did a little bit of research. I put it together into a two-part article that was published in Zimbabwe, in June last year, under the heading Soldiers for Hire.
Interestingly, it was on 16 April, roughly six weeks after the coup that the mercenary company Sandline closed its doors. I was fairly convinced that these guys were involved again. The flimsy excuse that they gave at that time was that the British Government didn’t give them enough support. At the same time, the so-called private military companies, (I still call them mercenaries because they are nothing else than that), were making big bucks in Iraq, and you wonder why Sandline didn’t go there.
Equatorial Guinea is now the third largest oil producer in Africa. There is no doubt that the president of that country is a dictator, but these guys didn’t go there on a mercy mission. They wanted the oil wealth for themselves.
The majority of companies that are drilling for oil in Equatorial Guinea are American companies like Amerada Hess and Exxon Oil and Halliburton, the company that formerly vice-president Dick Cheney was working for. The British were not very active there, maybe they wanted the rest of their share. It’s quite important to know that every third drilling in Equatorial Guinea is yielding oil. This is virtually a license to print money if you get the exploration rights, and at the same time its also noteworthy that also America has declared this area as an area of maximum interest. At the present moment, they are upgrading their embassy in Yaounde, which is the capital city of Cameroon. Obviously they want to make it their regional centre. After they cut diplomatic ties with Equatorial Guinea in 1993, they were quickly re-introduced after the oil was found, and Mr Nguema the president of Equatorial Guinea was always a welcome breakfast guest at President Bush’s White House.
It was largely ignored in the papers. They only got interested when a totally useless bugger by the name of Mark Thatcher got arrested in South Africa, and then the papers were full ofnews about the coup. I wasn’t very much interested in Mark Thatcher. I was far more interested about the oil companies that were financing this coup and I never believed that the main figure was Ely Calil, or Mark Thatcher, or Jeffrey Archer, the criminal who is still siting in the House of Lords.
I still believe that oil companies, or maybe the British Government, at least knew about it, and that is confirmed by the fact that the British Foreign Office got a detailed report two months before the coup attempt took place and called a mercenary by the name of Tim Spicer in to discuss it. That is an irony on it’s own. One wonders whether they were discussing amicably things even though as the very well-known British journalist Michael Bilton has put it, Tim Spicer is not only a notorious liar but also was giving huge diplomatic problems for Britain in Papua New Guinea and later on in Sierra Leone, in the so-called Arms to Africa affair, which nearly brought down the Blair Government.