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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Dial an army
Author:Shearer, DavidISNI
Periodical:The World Today: Chatham House Review
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
Sierra Leone
Abstract:Executive Outcomes (EO) was formed in 1989 with personnel drawn almost exclusively from former members of the South African Security Forces. They had extensive combat experience in Namibia, Angola and Mozambique. The majority of the soldiers are black, mostly Angolans who served in the 32 Buffalo Battalion that spearheaded South African destabilization in southern Africa. In general the officers are white. EO's willingness to be involved in combat alongside those it has trained distinguishes it from other companies. Although EO works as an independent security firm, it has close ties to mineral exploration companies. Executive Outcomes was employed in April 1995 to win the war for the Sierra Leonean military government against the rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). Analysis of Executive Outcomes' operations in Sierra Leone indicates that the company made a very real impact on the course of the war and the eventual signing of a peace agreement at the end of 1996. But its role in this case raises other questions about the capacity of private military forces to secure a more permanent peace, and about their limitations and dangers. Ref.