SANAA – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is relying heavily on mercenaries in its wars in Libya and Yemen, and has deployed them in a number of ports in countries along the Red Sea coast, The Eurasian Times said in a report.
According to the report, in 2011 the UAE signed a $529 million contract with the mercenary company Reflex Response Security Consultants, which is managed by infamous Eric Prince, founder of the infamous Blackwater “private security” corporation.
The report confirmed that Palestinian former political official and ousted former member of the Fatah party, Mohammed Dahlan, has been working with the UAE crown prince as a security consultant.
Dahlan is wanted in Palestine on allegations of corruption, and is suspected of having been involved in the assassination of Palestinian president Yasser Arafat. The disgraced former official is also reportedly involved in collaboration with UAE assassination plots in Yemen, as well as with the Egyptian government of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Abraham Golan, an Israeli-Hungarian veteran of the French Foreign Legion and infamous assassin.
Furthermore, around 450 mercenaries from Latin American countries, dressed in UAE military uniforms, were reportedly deployed in Yemen in 2015 to fight alongside the Saudi-led coalition against the Yemeni army and Popular Committees, according to a New York Times report.
The report said fighters were trained in UAE deserts before being deployed.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has increasingly sought to expand its influence in the Middle East. Experts believe that the UAE has vested interests in the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa, and has not shied away from using mercenaries in its regional endeavours.
With a small population of around 2.7 million, the UAE has not been able to get enough recruits from within its own citizenry to take part in external wars in the region. As a result, it was forced to recruit mercenaries to do “dirty work” on its behalf.
BuzzFeed News reported in 2018 that the UAE even hired US mercenaries to kill politicians belonging to the Islah Party, the Yemeni branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, despite the fact that Islah is officially allied to the Saudi and UAE invaders of Yemen.
The report said the UAE seeks to eliminate individuals that have challenged its separatist policies in southern Yemen, its control over the resources of southern Yemen and its military presence on the strategically located Socotra island.
Earlier this year, the UAE-based Black Shield Security company was accused of deceiving Sudanese youth by offering contracts as security guards in the UAE, only to take them for training at a military camp and then forcefully deploying them in Libya and Yemen.