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German mercenaries en route to Somalia
Chaotic country - remains of a carbomb in Mogadishu this February. Photo: DPA

German mercenaries en route to Somalia

Published: 23 May 2010 11:12 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 May 2010 11:12 GMT+02:00

More than 100 German mercenaries are on their way to Somalia to fight for a politician there who intends to overturn the internationally-accepted government, prompting warnings of a bloodbath.

The mercenaries – largely former soldiers from the German army – could even end up fighting forces trained by their former colleagues, as the European Union, including 13 Germans, is training government troops.

Television station NDR reported over the weekend that the firm Asgaard German Security Group, run by Thomas Kaltegärtner, a former German officer, has confirmed it will be sending more than 100 men to Somalia.

Kaltegärtner said one group was already on its way.

They will be working for the self-styled ‘elected president of the republic of Somalia’, Galadid Abdinur Ahmad Darman. He rejects the Transitional Federal Government of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, which is supported by the international community.

Darman said the Germans would be crucial for his plans to take over the country, NDR reported.

They will undertake a wide spectrum of tasks, he said. “Security, the development of our forces and our operations. We are fighting a war, there is house-to-house fighting. They will train our military.

“But at the same time they will help us in the fight against piracy. And if necessary they will also be required to fight. They will fight together with our units.”

Kaltegärtner said the contract was to protect military personnel, property and convoys – using fully-armed men. “Should the worst happen - that means that if there is an attack on the patrol, or the convoy, the team will react. One has learned that,” he told NDR.

Security experts warned that the German mercenaries could make a bad situation in Somalia significantly worse by transforming Darman into a player in the chaotic failed state.

“It will certainly not have a peaceful effect should a new, armed actor enter the game,” said Annette Weber, from the Institute for International and Security Affairs.

Dustin Dehez from the Dusseldorf Institute for Foreign and Security Policy said three armed groups were already vying for influence in the capital city Mogadishu – as well as the peace-keeping troops of the African Union (AMISON).

“If it turns out that Darman actually seeks out a military encounter, for example with AMISON, there would certainly be a bloodbath,” he said.

The German Foreign Ministry said it knew nothing of the contract, a spokesman said, stressing that it had no contact with Asgaard German Security Group.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:15 May 23, 2010 by DavidtheNorseman
I hope the poor mercs have their life insurance policies paid up. There are what, a million armed men in Somalia most of whom are whacked out on Khat.
17:55 May 23, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
A hundred mercenaries hired by a tin-pot dictator is relevant how?
20:37 May 23, 2010 by JohnnesKönig
Suicide mission...
20:56 May 23, 2010 by DavidtheNorseman
Der G aus A,

Why you've read the article. Security experts are certain the 100 mercs will make Somalia "significantly worse".........insane.

JK is correct.
21:54 May 23, 2010 by ColoSlim
Holy holy holy save those poor volunteers and their victims. Fundamentally bad idea.
09:12 May 24, 2010 by Frenemy
@DavidtheNorseman:

Our kung-fu (amphetamines) is chemically better/more potent than their khat :-p

Trust me, the last thing you want is a bunch of trigger-happy mercs with considerable firepower running around all hopped up on stims...
13:34 May 24, 2010 by dbert4
Come on, if it were Blackwater mercs you would be claiming what a fine thing it is. They will provide, leadership.
16:22 May 24, 2010 by Henckel
@ Frenemy: I can't imagine anyone actually wanted to go to Somalia, for any amount of pay. It's "Afghanistan Southwest" as far as chaos is concerned.
18:29 May 24, 2010 by Prufrock2010
I hate to say it, but they deserve whatever brutal fate awaits them. And it will be brutal.
19:08 May 24, 2010 by Frenemy
@Henckel:

If I were currently deployed in Afghanistan, I would go to Somalia for peaceful/relaxing vacations...
20:49 May 24, 2010 by danceswithgoats
Couple 100 Germans with 500 trained Somalis and I think they could take over the country. With some logistics and properly apportioned bribes and they will be a force to be reckoned with.
00:52 May 25, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Yeah, what could go wrong with that?
05:38 May 25, 2010 by danceswithgoats
A lot. I don't support the notion of foreign mercenaries being hired to get involved in civil wars. Especially in Africa.
08:15 May 25, 2010 by Frenemy
Pal, when it comes to armed conflict on the dark continent, there ain't any other type of war but civil war....

(ethnic conflict is the natural result of poverty being in close proximity to an instant source of wealth [gold, diamonds, oil, etc]! thats life....
09:21 May 25, 2010 by danceswithgoats
Frenemy - normally yes but I don't think gold diamonds, or oil have anything to do with Somalia.
09:40 May 25, 2010 by Frenemy
true. but geographic proximity plays a significant role (yemen, saudi, diego-garcia, etc). just think of the possibilities....
20:59 May 25, 2010 by Henckel
@ Frenemy: Yes, it's sort of like the choice in 1943-44 between static, relatively "quiet" Italy or stupendously chaotic Russia.
03:30 May 26, 2010 by derExDeutsche
WOOOT!!

LOL. Come home alive, jungs! And keep it in the trousers! Bring a Camera!
07:18 May 26, 2010 by Frenemy
@Henckel: hmmm, personally I think Italy was dynamically (not statically) stupid at the time, hence the military misadventure in Ethiopia circa 1935-36.....
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