• Germany's news in English
 

German mercenaries en route to Somalia

The Local · 23 May 2010, 11:12

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

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)

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.....
Today's headlines
German court: Ban on refugee demos must stay
Anti-refugee demonstrators carry a sign accusing Chancellor Angela Merkel of being a "traitor to the nation" this week in Heidenau. Photo: DPA

German court: Ban on refugee demos must stay

1 day ago

Update: A German court on Friday night reinstated a ban on rallies in an eastern town hit by violent anti-migrant protests, overturning an earlier decision that found the restriction to be "illegal".

Footballers gone wild
Neuer's 'glass palace' angers idyllic village
Tegernsee is a famous beauty sport. Photo: DPA

Neuer's 'glass palace' angers idyllic village

1 day ago

Villagers in the picturesque Bavarian region of Tegernsee are bristling at World Cup-winning Germany goalkeeper and Bayern Munich star Manuel Neuer's plan to build a huge glass villa on the shores of their beautiful lake.

Interview
'Berlin is kind of like the best American city'
Canadian composer and performer Owen Pallett. Photo: Brian Vu

'Berlin is kind of like the best American city'

1 day ago

The Local speaks with Oscar-nominated Canadian musician Owen Pallett about performing at legendary Berlin club Berghain - and just why the world's artists are so fascinated with the German capital.

Germany name squad for crunch Scotland match
Liverpool's Emre can has been called up to the Germany squad to face Scotland and Poland. Photo: DPA

Germany name squad for crunch Scotland match

1 day ago

Liverpool's uncapped defender Emre Can was on Friday called up to the Germany squad for the world champions' forthcoming key Euro 2016 qualifiers against Poland and Scotland.

How Brits in Germany are facing Brexit fears
How will life for Brits in Germany change if the Brexit happens? Photo: DPA

How Brits in Germany are facing Brexit fears

1 day ago

Greece is the talk of the town this year. But in 2016, it will be Britain questioning its EU membership. The referendum outcome could be life altering for many Brits living in Germany.

Honest senior rewarded for handing in €12,000
An 87-year-old pensioner found the cash in the bin. Photo: DPA

Honest senior rewarded for handing in €12,000

1 day ago

After throwing away €12,000 this week, a landlord in North Rhine-Westfalia thought he'd made one of the most expensive blunders of his life. But the money made it home safely, police said on Friday – and all thanks to an honest pensioner.

Elite cops' hazing ritual: eat ice cream off thighs
A Cologne SEK unit on deployment in 2013. Photo: DPA

Elite cops' hazing ritual: eat ice cream off thighs

1 day ago

Officers from Cologne's elite Spezialeinsatzkommando (SEK) police unit should be punished for hazing practices they inflicted on new members, an official in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) said on Thursday.

Knut autopsy could help human disease sufferers
Knut died in front of visitors at Berlin Zoo in 2011. Photo: DPA

Knut autopsy could help human disease sufferers

1 day ago

Four years after Berlin's celebrity polar bear Knut died, a neuroscientist has discovered the cause of death - an autoimmune disorder which affected his brain.

Army buys in new guns to replace defective G36
A German soldier armed with a G36 rifle during training exercises in Poland. Photo: DPA

Army buys in new guns to replace defective G36

1 day ago

Some German soldiers will be carrying different weapons within a year as the Defence Ministry scrambles to replace standard rifle which loses accuracy under hot temperatures.

Climate change
Sweltering summer has climatologists sweating
Dried out soil in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Sweltering summer has climatologists sweating

1 day ago

Heat over 40 degrees, weeks without rain, sudden storms and flash floods – in the summer of 2015 Germany experienced all these things. Are these extremes set to become the norm?

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

National
Weekend of anti-refugee violence shocks Germany
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,058
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd