Mercenary Troops in Sierra Leone
The most I found out about mercenaries in Sierra Leone was about a man who had a mercenary army named Colonel Roelf. Roelf was a South African soldier and assassin and he spent a lot of his life trying to end the black African liberation movements at the time of the apartheid-era in South African defense forces. He gained his power by stating that the nations of Africa should not rely on the help of the UN. Roelf promised peace, but in reality, he was only trying to load his bank accounts with the diamonds of Sierra Leone. According to Elizabeth Rubin, "The village chiefs didn’t care whether Roelf was a mercenary, an Afrikaner, a UN peacekeeper, or what, so long as he continued to protect the people with his soldiers and helicopter gunships." This meant that Roelf could gain access to insane amounts of money for his "protection". Eventually, international laws made it illegal for warring parties to use mercenaries in war and considered it a war crime if found out that a country had hired mercenaries. This is because mercenaries are bound to no nation and will sell their, "protection" to the highest bidder around. They also do not care who is in their crossfire because they are only their for their payments. Because mercenaries were not bound to any nation and did not respect international or national laws they were considered blood thirsty beasts who would do anything for their salaries. Long story short, because of Roelf and his mercenaries abusing the human rights of the people that were paying them to "protect" them, it led to the banning of mercenaries by warring countries and making it a war crime.
Mercenaries in Africa
Of the mercenaries in the other parts of Africa, the ones I am choosing to talk about are the South African mercenaries hired by Nigeria to fight a war on Boko Haram Jihadists. The leader of the mercenary group in Nigeria was named Eeben Barlow. His private army has been secretly fighting one of the most aggressive African insurgencies to date, Boko Haram Jihadists. The Boko are a group of radical Islamic terrorists who use assassinations, bombings, and abductions as a way to try and overthrow the current government of a state to create an Islamic one. Six years ago the Boko Islamic terrorists invaded Nigeria and had taken a hold of many cities. The Nigerian Army could not defeat the group so they called on Barlow's private army to help end their struggle in January of 2015. Barlow accepted the Nigerian presidents call for help and successfully helped push the terrorists out. this was accomplished with only about 100 white and black South African mercenaries from Barlow's army called, STTEP, which stands for Specialized Tasks, Training, Equipment and Protection.
|A picture of STTEP marching to fight Boko Haram Radical Islamic Terrorists.|