From Volume 7, Issue 29 of EIR Online, Published July 15, 2008
Africa News Digest

Equatorial Guinea: Another BAE 'Al-Yamamah' Scandal?

July 13 (EIRNS)—A U.S. intelligence source has reported to EIRNS that funds from the "Al-Yamamah" $100 billion slush fund set up by the British defense contractor BAE Systems, may have been used in an aborted coup attempt against the African state of Equatorial Guinea in 2004, that implicated the son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Sir Mark Thatcher. The aborted 2004 coup plot against President Teodoro Obiang Nguema has drawn recent headlines, because of the ongoing trial of former British SAS mercenary Simon Mann, the operational commander of the coup plot, which aimed to install opposition political figure Severo Moto.

Mann has named Mark Thatcher and reclusive millionaire Ely Calil as the actual architects of the coup plot, which failed, when Mann and a planeload of mercenaries were detained in Zimbabwe, while attempting to secure weapons en route to Equatorial Guinea. Mann spent four years in jail in Zimbabwe, and was deported to Equatorial Guinea earlier this year, to stand trial. Thatcher was prosecuted in South Africa, for his role in the scheme, but was given a fine and never served time in jail. Calil, whom Mann identified as the mastermind of the scheme, was never indicted, and gave a recent interview to Britain's Daily Telegraph, in which he claimed that his role in the effort to install Moto was "purely humanitarian."

According to a U.S. intelligence source intimately familiar with the coup scheme, the money for the operation came from the BAE Al-Yamamah slush fund, and was carried out on behalf of a faction of the City of London financial oligarchy that was out to grab control over the African country's rich oil reserves. Calil was indicted by South Africa for his role in the plot, based, according to the source, on information provided by Mann, during interrogations.

Calil, a millionaire with estates in London, Switzerland, and Nigeria, made his fortune in the oil business in Africa, and has cultivated close ties to powerful political figures in both the Tory and Labour camps in Britain. In addition to his longstanding relationship to Sir Mark Thatcher, Calil has been a financial patron of Peter Mandelson, a former Cabinet minister of Tony Blair; Mandelson once lived in a luxury flat owned by Calil. Calil is, according to the U.S. source, also close to Lord Levy, the central figure in the Blair-era "cash for peerage" scandal.

According to a March 14, 2008 profile of Calil in the British Daily Mail, the Nigerian-born Lebanese businessman's ties to BAE and the Al-Yamamah slush fund, run through an "equally reclusive," London-based Syrian billionaire named Wafic Said. Said was the contact point to then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1986, for the original Al-Yamamah deal with Saudi Prince Bandar bin-Sultan, which established an arms-for-oil barter deal and an off-the-books covert operations slush fund. Said was a close associate of Bandar's father, the Saudi Minister of Defense, Prince Sultan.

British Deploy To Open the Gates of Hell in Sudan

July 13 (EIRNS)—It is expected that the International Criminal Court (ICC) will issue an arrest warrant tomorrow for Sudanese President Gen. Omar al-Bashir, for "crimes against humanity" stemming for his alleged role in the complex war in Darfur, which U.S. government officials have falsely called genocide. This deployment by the ICC to arrest a sitting President—the first of its kind—while his government is involved in a delicate peace process centered on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) with southern Sudan, in order to prevent a return to war between the North and South, is itself an act of war against humanity. Over recent months there has been movement by some institutional forces in the United States to give more support to the CPA, to counter the diversion of resources and attention exclusively to the deteriorating conditions in the Darfur region. Those knowledgeable about the dangerous potential for war to be reignited between North and South Sudan, and the danger that it would spread to other regions of Africa should the CPA fail, are criticizing the ICC's decision. The ICC is a supranational court, which ignores, and works to undermine, the sovereignty of the nation-state.

Other actions by the ICC to undermine peace processes in Africa include issuing an arrest warrant for Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, hours before he was to emerge from the bush as part of an agreement to bring to an end his ugly war against the people of Uganda. Similar threats by the ICC against President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, have made it more difficult to achieve a peaceful transition there as well.

Any honest observer would question the timing of the ICC's actions, as well as ask, "Who benefits from backing Bashir into a corner at precisely the moment when many are attempting to negotiate with Khartoum?" The London Economist, a mouthpiece for the City of London-based Anglo-Dutch financial oligarchy, has predicted that Sudan will disintegrate. The financial oligarchy is using destabilization of nation-states in its desperate, but futile effort to maintain "the imperial system," as the world economy disintegrates.

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