The bloody truth of the world's most successful army of mercenaries.
A new kind of mercenary is stalking the globe. British based mining companies are using South African mercenaries - Executive Outcomes - as their advance army. The operations are seemingly condoned by Western Intelligence Services. Journeyman found the bloody truth of Africa's big business mercenaries, with a unique video diary filmed on the battlefield of EO's Angola campaign.
At face value the idea is a winner. Identify a war zone with mineral potential, invest in it, then send in the mercenaries. They subdue the local rebellion and forcibly install peace. The investors then sit back and watch their from diamond, oil and minerals profits rocket. It's a formula which British business tycoon, Tony Buckingham, has successfully put into practice in Sierra Leone and Angola. His companies have received diamond concessions from these governments, unable to pay EO's exorbitant fees. Using battle hardened veterans of South Africa's apartheid era Buckingham has built up a force which will tackle security situations which would otherwise tie up the UN for many years. Buckingham is an ex-British special forces operative who operates from the posh King's Road area of London. He shares offices with Colonel Tim Spicer, OBE, also ex-Special Forces, who masterminded the recent (failed) attempt to send the mercenaries to recapture the Panguna mine in Papua New Guinea. The mine is currently held by the BRA, a rebel group pressing PNG for autonomy. The plan fell apart when the story became public. Buckingham denies any link with the PNG scandal, but the government inquiry found different. We have reconstructed the PNG courtroom drama. At the IDEX arms fair in Abu Dhabi, the largest in the world, the Executive Outcomes stand is doing vibrant business. A secretly filmed sequence shows Eeben Barlow, the South African leader of the mercenaries, negotiating with a French general. They discuss the possibility of working together in the future. But just how does EO operate in the field? In South Africa we speak to mercenaries who fought for them. They talk of commando operations and even shooting fleeing civilians from helicopters. A letter from a horrified recruit tells his fiancee of a killing spree and torture. Angolan victims on the UNITA side of the mercenaries' front-lines tell of a vicious killing campaign, often from helicopters and jets, into the heart of small African villages. They describe phosphorous bombs dropped on market places from Mig jets flown by EO. In Huambo we see both unexploded phosphorous bombs and the distinctive wounds they leave behind. Unique footage and photos of EO pilots with the Angolan Migs confirm that EO was indeed flying for the Angolan airforce. Exclusive video 8 footage filmed by a mercenary shows EO in the field retaking the diamond town of Cafunfo in Angola. Mercenaries speak of killing 80 people in one day. Pictures show EO troops looting the burning town. There are signs that Executive Outcomes have allies in Western Intelligence circles. All the key English players come from the special forces. The founder of the South African Special Forces, Jan Breytenbach, speaks of MI6 links. How was the $36 million PNG operation kept quiet for so long? Systematic brutality and tacit government approval in the West has opened the door for a new breed of corporate mercenary. The UN is decidedly worried about EO, but who is listening to those concerns? Can it be right that British business is still sending apartheid's killers out to do their bloody work?FULL SYNOPSIS