“If there’s somethin’ strange in your neighborhood, Who you gonna call?” Boko Haram busters. Or Boer “bush warfare experts” form South Africa. Yes, “Mercenaries from South Africa have proved quietly decisive in helping the Nigerian military turn around its campaign against Boko Haram,” writes Colin Freeman from Abuja. Note the dainty disclaimer offered by the Telegraph writer:
With their roots in South Africa apartheid-era security forces, they do not fit the standard image of an army of liberation. But after just three months on the ground, a squad of grizzled, ageing [sic] white mercenaries have helped to end Boko Haram’s six-long year reign of terror in northern Nigeria.
That’s in case you dare think Boers have ever fought for anything noble—unlike mass murdering commies like Che, Castro, Stalin, Lenin, the cuties of the Khmer Rouge, on and on.
… Run by Colonel Eeben Barlow, a former commander in the South African Defence Force, the group of bush warfare experts were recruited in top secrecy in January to train an elite strike group within Nigeria’s disorganised, demoralised army.
Some of the guns-for-hire cut their teeth in South Africa’s border wars 30 years ago. But their formidable fighting skills – backed by their own helicopter pilots flying combat missions – have proved decisive in helping the military turn around its campaign against Boko Haram in its north-eastern strongholds. …
… “The campaign gathered good momentum and wrested much of the initiative from the enemy,” said Col Barlow, 62. “It was not uncommon for the strike force to be met by thousands of cheering locals once the enemy had been driven from an area.”
He added: “Yes, many of us are no longer 20-year-olds. But with our age has come a knowledge of conflicts and wars in Africa that our younger generation employees have yet to learn, and a steady hand when things get rough.”
During apartheid, Col Barlow served with the South African Defence Force … Col Barlow’s new company is known as STTEP, which stands for Specialized Tasks, Training, Equipment and Protection. It is thought to have sent around 100 men to Nigeria, including black troopers who previously served in elite South African units. Others even fought as communist guerrillas against the South African Defence Force. …
“Into the Cannibal’s Pot,” that gift that keeps giving, addresses the early and prescient awakening of the Boers to the dangers of Islam. “Into the Cannibal’s Pot” documents how Afrikaner (and English) clergy—missionaries, as opposed mercenaries—went door-to-door in an attempt to convert South Africa’s Muslims to the religion of peace, Christianity.
UPDATE (5/13): FACEBOOK THREAD:
* US news reports are crediting these victories to the Nigerian government and military.
* If reader like the history of the Boers, which is exciting, read “Into the Cannibal’s Pot,” in which there is a fast-paced chapter. In fact, in the Intro, I note that men love heroic history and are being deprived of it—and of manhood.