Mozambique: Is Eric Prince Coming In On UAE'S Coat Tails?

Violence in Cabo Delgado has forced thousands to flee their homes (file photo).

Despite some ups and downs, Erik Prince is said to be still close to UAE ruler Mohammed bin Zayed, a graduate of Britain's Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. The Intercept in 2019 detailed his complex links to China, Russia, USA and UAE. Using his UAE connections, Prince has been trying to take a big role in Mozambique. A major investigation by Africa Intelligence (9 Sept) comments that Price always has grand ideas and plans, but so far only has small links in Mozambique, which are listed by Africa Intelligence. Phoenix Aviation based in Kenya has moved from doing executive and safari flights to medical evacuation, particularly for the UN, and works in Mozambique.

Prince's Blackwater had large mercenary forces working for the US government in Afghanistan and Iraq, but this ended after Blackwater security contractors shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007. He then moved to Abu Dhabi and eventually set up Frontier Services Group (FSG). FSG opened its Maputo branch in 2017 with offices in Torres Rani on the sea front. FSG in 2019 set up a joint venture, Blue-Fin, with Mozambique's state energy company, Empresa Nacional De Hidrocarbonetos (ENH), but FSG suddenly withdrew later that year. FSG Mozambique Seguranca Lda was also established in 2019, but has apparently remained inactive after the majority owner Lucilio Matsinha, the son of a former security minister, was arrested in for allegedly smuggling rhinoceros horns. And in 2018 FSG set up TunaMar to take over Ematum and its unused tuna boats, promising fishing by the end of 2018, but nothing has happened.

Ex Australian air force pilot Christian Durrant is said by Africa Intelligence to be Prince's man trying to get mercenaries into Mozambique. It also says that Prince has links to Henk Bam, who is Lionel Dyck's assistant in Dyck Advisory Group (DAG), which is currently flying helicopters in Cabo Delgado.

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