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I was watching the history channel, there was a fascinating show titled Soldiers for Hire. It covered the topic of military contractors or
machineries. The most interesting section of the show covered a group of mercenary called Executive Outcomes managed to remove the RAF rebel army
sized in the 10s of thousands with a force less then 300 from Sierra Leone. Here is a brief description of this now defunct mercenary firm.
""Executive Outcomes, the now defunct mercenary firm based in Pretoria, South Africa, that was manned mostly by former members of the South African
Defense Force, proved to be a decisive factor in the outcome of some civil wars in Africa. Involved in forcing rebels to the negotiating table in
Sierra Leone and more well-known for contributing to the Angolan government's success in forcing UNITA to accept the Lusaka Protocol in 1994,
Executive Outcomes reportedly had a web of influence in Uganda, Botswana, Zambia, Ethiopia, Namibia, Lesotho and South Africa.
Even though the firm's expertise lay in fighting bush wars, it diversified and reportedly operated as many as 32 companies, whose interests range
from computer software to adult education. The firm's tactic of quickly regaining control of a client country's mineral-rich regions is
well-documented. Within a month of Sierra Leone's hiring of Executive Outcomes in May 1995, government forces had regained control of the
diamond-rich Kono district, which produces two-thirds of Sierra Leone's diamonds. In Angola, oil- and diamond-producing regions were the first areas
secured by government forces trained by Executive Outcomes. The firm also reportedly mined gold in Uganda, drilled boreholes in Ethiopia and had a
variety of interests in the other countries noted above.
Executive Outcomes claimed that its sole purpose was to bring stability to the region by supporting legitimate governments in their defense against
armed rebels. Nevertheless, rumors persisted that the firm was connected to either the South African DeBeers Diamond Corporation or the South African
government. These claims were denied by all parties, and the South African government tried to restrict Executive Outcomes' business ventures.
The intermixing of paramilitary and commercial ventures made it difficult to determine the number of mercenaries involved in various countries. Most
reports indicated there were between 150 and 200 in Sierra Leone, while reports from Angola varied, indicating between 500 and 4,000 members in that
[edit on 19-7-2004 by oconnection]