RealNews

S. Africa strains to keep lid on mercenaries

Under the former apartheid government, Carl Alberts, a combat helicopter pilot, was awarded South Africa’s highest military honor for his service battling guerrillas in Angola. Last month, the 49-year-old retired pilot was arrested by South Africa for fighting rebels in Ivory Coast, this time as a mercenary for Ivory Coast’s government. A decade after the end of apartheid and cessation of South Africa’s numerous border wars, the country has some of the best-trained soldiers in the world. The problem is many of them are working for the highest bidder, in conflict zones from Iraq to Sierra Leone. “We don’t like the idea that South Africa has become a cesspool of mercenaries,” Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma, South Africa’s foreign affairs minister, said last week after more than 20 alleged South African mercenaries were arrested in Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea as part of an apparent coup plot against Equatorial Guinea. Full Story

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