Sunday, May 17, 2015
South African mercenaries at it again?
I mentioned last week that South African mercenaries had shown the way in driving Boko Haram out of much of its territory in Nigeria. Now come rumors (so far unsubstantiated, as far as I know, but from sources that I consider reliable) that South African mercenaries may be active in East Africa as well, preparing to take on Al Shabaab in Somalia. They've been in the area before, with generally good results. Now, if rumor be true, they may be back - in a much bigger way.
African peacekeeping troops have done a pretty good job of pacifying the major cities and transport routes in that country, but they haven't been able to pin down and destroy Al Shabaab's main armed forces, which are acting in the classic guerrilla warfare tradition. Back in the 1980's, the South African Defense Force was probably the world's premier counter-guerrilla-warfare organization, with training and experience to beat anyone else. Its former soldiers know Africa (and Africans) really, really well. I think they'd be a perfect fit to deal with Al Shabaab, having just given concrete evidence of their abilities against Boko Haram.
Keep an eye on the Horn of Africa. If the rumors are true, I think things are about to get very interesting around that part of the world (although Al Shabaab will probably use a different description).