While Europe is unable to cope with the hundreds of thousands of African migrants who are fleeing the region, none other than the founder of the private military contractor Blackwater, Erik Prince, has suggested how the influx could be stopped.
Prince has come with a strategy for stopping the Libyan refugee inflow into Europe. His plan suggests building three police bases in Libya and deploying 250 of his “foreign trainers” (similar to those he sent to Afghanistan). They would provide “leadership, intelligence, communications support, surveillance aircraft, and a couple of helicopters” to track migrant traffickers, locate their truckloads of migrants and intercept them.”
The scheme, he says, would be more “humane and professional” than the methods which are currently applied by both Libya and Europe. They would also cost Europe just a “fraction of what it spends to intercept them in the Mediterranean,” the former US Navy Seal said in his interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
Blackwater’s “Notorious” Legacy
Prince’s former company, the private military contractor Blackwater, now known as Academi, was set up in 1997 for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, countries which were left in chaos following US invasions.
Its stated purpose was rendering of training support for military and law enforcement agencies in foreign countries. However it draw the worldwide attention and outrage in 2007, after Nisour Square massacre in Baghdad, when several Blackwater mercenaries unjustifiably killed 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians and wounded more than 10. Four of the organization’s guards were sentenced in a US court. One of them, Nicholas Slatten, has been sentenced to life in prison.
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The company is also believed to be the biggest beneficiary of counter-narcotics expenditures in Afghanistan, while failing to eradicate opium production in the country.
Prince himself has been under investigation by the US Department of Justice for alleged money laundering while attempting to broker military services to foreign governments.
He sold Blackwater in 2010, has then founded another company, Frontier Services Group, which is operating in East Africa and Asia, according to its official website. Prince is now working in the United Arab Emirates as a security consultant.
The former serviceman came up with his plan following the latest news of turmoil in Libya: the UN is considering sanctions following the exposure of the country’s slave trade. It has also criticized the EU for its policies of intercepting would-be migrants departing from Libya and sending them back.