From SAS to Blood Diamond Wars
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Even by SAS standards this is the story of an outstanding warrior.
On the point of being demobbed from the SAS, Fred Marafono was recruited by David Stirling for his private security company. After Stirling’s death, Fred found himself in the midst of Sierra Leone’s Blood Diamond wars, and formed an unbreakable bonding with the country’s champion of democracy, Chief Hinga Norman, whose leadership and tragic death are integral to the story.
Fred was recruited by Simon Mann for the finest of all private military companies in Africa, Executive Outcomes. Fewer than two hundred of them defeated the rebels in their strongholds. Through political weakness, Executive Outcomes were made to leave the country, and chaos ensued. Committed men like Hinga Norman and British High Commissioner Peter Penfold saw that in the absence of military commitment from the west, only high caliber mercenaries would win the fight to restore democracy: three of them kept a vital air bridge open - ‘What God abandoned, these defended’. Fred’s final action was supporting the SAS in their brilliant hostage release, ‘Operation Barras.’
Peter Penfold sums it all up in the book’s foreword, writing of the, ‘confidence, trust and admiration I have for this remarkable man.’
of the Netherlands, 5, 7 Binkolo, 142 Bio, Brig Julius Maada, 42,48, 199 Blair, Benjamin, 179–80 Blair, Prime Minister Tony, 104 Bloodsong, 33, Blume, Joe, 23, 202 Bo, 10–14, 37,44, 69,92, 98, 143, 166, 191 Bockerie, Sam, 53, 173 Bokkie, 77–102, 106, 112–13, 120, 122, 124, 126–9, 194, 207 Bonthe, 84, 93, 156–7, 159, 163, 176 Borneo, 14 Botswana, 7 Boutet, Justice, 174 Branch Energy, 28, 60, 62, 68 Brimah, 17, 196 British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), 64, 87, 93, 98, 101, 113,
light of that background, he was able to offer advice; and eventually, after he got to know him better, he went on write the biography of David Stirling. He asked me to look at his company and, being brutally honest, I thought that the future looked gloomy. Whilst he had some superb guys there: he had Ian Crooke, Sekonaia Takavesi (Tak), Fred Marafono, Peter Flynn and Andris Valters – all of whom had enjoyed good careers in the SAS; they were still soldiers, very enthusiastic soldiers and they
Mandela of South Africa had adopted a hostile attitude to the company – this was a factor to bear in mind if Kabbah wished to keep good relations with other African leaders.14 Shortly afterwards, Peter Penfold went on leave to the UK, where he was contacted by Tim Spicer of Sandline who explained that Kabbah had phoned him and requested that he brief the British High Commissioner. The two met for lunch and Tim Spicer outlined more of his proposal. This led to another meeting among a series that
investment). Brig Bert Sachse, formerly of Executive Outcomes, and now of Lifeguard, was in attendance; and during the meeting Hinga Norman asked Fred to take notes. Khobe wanted to know how many men of the CDF he could count on to back up his force. Hinga Norman read out figures from twenty-one chiefdoms, chiefdom by chiefdom; and Fred’s notebook contains the numbers: Bumpe could muster 2,500; Gerihun’s figure amounted to 800; Tongo produced one of the largest numbers at 7,000. The total came to
waiting for him along with a Mr Walt Collins; he requested a phone call to his daughter Teteh; and then they waited. Around 10.30, the surgeon confirmed what they had already begun to suspect, that it was impossible to go ahead with the operation, ‘because of an unannounced strike today by all the hospital nurses of Senegal.’ So the operation was rescheduled for the following day. It was now almost four years since he had been arrested in his office at the Ministry of the Interior; the Court’s