Eeben Barlow, a former lieutenant-colonel in the Permanent Force of the South African Defence Force (SADF), served in the Engineer Corp, the Reconnaissance Wing of the elite 32-Battalion, Military Intelligence and in the shadowy Civil Co-operation Bureau (CCB) division of Special Forces.
When the government arbitrarily disbanded the CCB Barlow found himself on the street. Taking advantage of his exceptional military skills he formed Executive Outcomes (EO), a private company under whose aegis he was invited to train the SADF’s Special Forces in intelligence skills and to stem the flow of stolen diamonds from the De Beers Corporation’s properties.
He was then invited to recruit a force of ex-servicemen retrenched from the SADF to assist an oil company in the recovery of equipment that they had been forced to abandon at Soyo in north-western Angola after it was overrun by UNITA rebels. EO’s successes resulted in a contract to re-train the Angolan army and lead it in a fight to defeat the UNITA rebels.
A contract to restore order in Sierra Leone and other like contracts followed, including one to rescue Western hostages taken by separatist rebels in Indonesia.
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