Erik Prince and his Frontier Services Group (FSG) has withdraw from the joint venture with Empresa Nactional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH), intended to supply logistics and security for Cabo Delgado gas projects. Omar Mitha, ENH president, said Wednesday (18 Dec) that the majority Chinese shareholders had made the decision. ENH has not been informed officially, but "the partnership is finished, and it was their choice." (Bloomberg 17 Dec; Carta da Mocambique, 18 Dec
Two years ago Prince signed a joint venture agreement with Ematum, the tuna fishing company set up as part of the $2 bn secret debt, but which has never caught any fish. Prince said he would have the company fishing this year, but no more has been heard of the joint venture. Ematum also administers the high speed patrol boats bought as part of the secret debt, and which have never been used (and are inappropriate for the Mozambique Channel).
Prince set up the private security company Blackwater which sent contract security workers to Iraq and Afghanistan, and he has been trying for years to gain a foothold in the Cabo Delgado gas sector. He has been involved fighting the insurgency in Cabo Delgado and had brought helicopters to Mozambique, in the expectation of being given a big role. But in August President Nyusi and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a military agreement to send 200 mercenaries from the Russian Wagner Group with helicopters and drones. However they proved unable to fight effectively in tropical conditions. Ten Russians were killed and in late November Wagner pulled back to Nacala, for retraining and rethinking.
Meanwhile it has become public that Lucilio (Tchenguela) Matsinha, son of the revolutionary war veteran and former security minister Marianao Matsinha, is involved with Prince's FSG. In June this year he set up FSG Mozambique Seguranca, 51% owned by Tchenguela and 49% by FSG Mozambique.