An EIR team probing the causes behind the genocidal wars that have been ravaging East and Central Africa over the last four years, has uncovered a covert arms and logistical supply network run out of the U.S. State Department, which mirrors precisely the notorious Iran-Contra arms supply operation of the 1980s. As in the case of then-Vice President George Bush and Col. Oliver North’s covert Iran-Contra operations, the arms and logistical supply to marauding forces in East and Central Africa is being organized “off the books”, and in direct violation of the official, public policy of the United States government toward the conflicts involved.
The parallel to the Bush-North operations is precise: Incontrovertible evidence accumulated by EIR demonstrates that the same extra-governmental “assets” used by North in widespread illegal narcotics- and arms-trafficking, are channelling arms and military aid into Central Africa. In this new “Central African” supply operation, standing in for the drug-smuggling gangsters of the Nicaraguan Contra operation, are the African “rebels” fighting the governments of Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and any other Central African nation targetted by British intelligence’s leading warlord in the region, Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni.
The two leading operatives who have been caught red-handed in such dirty operations toward Central Africa are U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Susan Rice, and Roger Winter, executive director of the U.S. Committee on Refugees.
EIR has uncovered two, overlapping operations. First, is the covert supply of arms to the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) of John Garang, which has waged a totally unsuccessful but nevertheless genocidal war against the Sudan government since 1983. The second involves covert military logistical aid to the so-called rebel forces arrayed against the government of Laurent Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo, an operation being run directly out of the U.S. State Department with the oversight of Rice.
Drug-runners, Mossad, and mercenaries
Doing the dirty work are Israeli, American, European, and Ugandan operatives, including:
Michael Harari, a longtime top agent of Israeli foreign intelligence, the Mossad, who was a security adviser to Panamanian Defense Forces Gen. Manuel Noriega. As the Mossad station chief for Central and South America in the late 1970s and into the 1980s until the U.S. invasion of Panama, after which he returned to Israel, Harari coordinated the Mossad’s gun-running and drug-trafficking operations in South America.
Alberto Prado Herreros, a suspected drug-trafficker and confirmed director of a Miami-based arms company called Lomax International. Herreros was a prime contractor for the Bush-North Contra supply operation.
Daniel Eiffe, the coordinator for Central Africa of Norwegian People’s Aid, which poses as a relief organization. The Norwegian government cut it off from funding in May 1998 because of its overt military and logistical support for Garang’s SPLA.
Brig. Gen. James Kazini, a nephew of Ugandan dictator Museveni and the chief of staff of the Ugandan Popular Defense Forces. Kazini has been directly in charge of the Ugandan military operations against Sudan, and is now in charge on the ground of the Ugandan army invasion of the Congo. According to reports in the pro-government Ugandan daily New Vision, Kazini was last known to be stationed in Kisangani, Congo, and aided the Ugandan-Rwandan takeover of Kisangani and Bunia.
Moreover, the parallel to North’s Contra supply operation is strategic. It was after Vice President Bush permitted the British to flagrantly violate the U.S. Monroe Doctrine, by furnishing his backing of Britain’s Malvinas War against Argentina in 1982, that Bush then pursued the Contra option in Nicaragua, violating Congressional restrictions through providing the Contras’ needs “off the books.” That caper went into high gear after the Reagan administration rejected American statesman Lyndon LaRouche’s Operation Juárez solution to the South American debt crisis. LaRouche’s August 1982 plan called for a debt moratorium in the Ibero-American countries and a policy of economic development based on the export of capital goods to the Southern Hemisphere. With the rejection of LaRouche’s proposal, Bush forced through the bogus idea of the communist threat from the Sandinista regime in Managua, as justification for a policy that, in reality, supported the Contra drug-trafficking, boosted the Colombian narco-terrorist cartels, and flooded the United States with illegal drugs. This demonstrated that Ibero-America could expect nothing more from the United States than a British colonial-style policy of war, narco-terrorism, and economic exploitation.
In Africa today, the Nicaragua bogeyman has been replaced by the government of Sudan, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, or any other government or political force on the continent which stands in the way of a policy to extract every ounce of mineral wealth, with no benefit whatever to the countries possessing such wealth. This is the driving force behind the destruction of the nation-state by mercenary armies–such as Museveni’s Ugandans or Rwandan Defense Minister Paul Kagame’s forces–a policy that has cost the lives of millions of people. The architects of this policy reside in London and the boardrooms of the British Commonwealth mining companies, financial institutions, and private paramilitary-security firms.
While most of the players in this trade have been based in Britain or the Commonwealth countries, our report will focus on the channel that comes into and operates through the United States and also Israel, in the hopes that the Clinton administration will take appropriate action.
War or peace?
The evidence gathered by the EIR team, even if incomplete, tends to confirm the many rumors and allegations circulating throughout Central Africa and among those involved in Africa policy in Europe and elsewhere, that while the U.S. government’s public policy to attempt to act as the “honest mediator” in the war around the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United States is, in fact, supporting–with arms, supplies, training, and logistical support–those very forces under the control of Uganda and Rwanda, which violated international law to invade the Congo on Aug. 2, and now hold large chunks of its eastern and central territory.
Thus, while Susan Rice was engaging in highly publicized shuttling among Central African capitals, to demand that Congo allies Angola and Zimbabwe withdraw their troops from the Congo, in order to prevent a “wider conflagration,” back in Washington, EIR has uncovered, her underlings were in the process of vetting private contractors to give logistical support to the Ugandan- and Rwandan-backed rebels in the Congo.
The operation mirrors precisely that carried out for the Contra supply operation out of the Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Office in the State Department during the 1980s. In this case, according to a confidential source, under Rice’s direction, Ricardo Zuniga, operations officer for the State Department’s East African Affairs section, is seeking aid from private contractors to supply and provide an airlift to Museveni’s combatants in the Congo. Zuniga is reportedly a middle-level foreign service officer, with previous postings in Mexico and Portugal.
Within the State Department, it is widely believed that Rice’s closest adviser on Africa is Roger Winter, director of the U.S. Committee on Refugees, who has rammed through the policy of war in Central Africa as the policy of the State Department. In September 1997, Winter, along with John Prendergast of the U.S. National Security Council, declared Rice to be one of their “team” to lead the United States into support of a total war against the government of Sudan, to be waged on the ground by the Ugandan and allied armies.
Rice’s other key adviser is Philip Gourevitch, a journalist with The New Yorker, who has fashioned a career for himself in the last four years as an expert on the bloodletting in Rwanda in 1994. He is known to be personally close to Rwandan Defense Minister Kagame. Prior to joining The New Yorker, Gourevitch was the New York correspondent for the neo-conservative Jewish weekly, The Forward.
This covert operation in support of the Congolese “rebels,” and by direct implication the invasion of Ugandan and Rwanda in the Congo, contradicts the stated policy of the United States, particularly that put forward on Oct. 17 by the new U.S. Ambassador to the Congo, William Swing, who said on Kinshasa TV, “We condemned the external military interference from countries such as Rwanda and Uganda back in August. It is President Clinton who accredited me to President Kabila and his government. This should represent for you a signal and evidence of where we stand in our relations with your country. I am here to support your government.”
Whose policy is Susan Rice carrying out?
EIR is in possession of more detailed information concerning the operations uncovered than we present in this report. The file is by no means closed, and EIR is continuing to dig deeper, to uncover the real causes behind the terrible slaughter and suffering that have ravaged Africa under the regional leadership of Museveni.
Susan Rice brooks no opposition
Susan Rice, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, is reported to have won her post at the U.S. State Department through strong pressure from Roger Winter, executive director of the U.S. Committee on Refugees, who pushed for her candidacy over the appointment of Howard Wolpe, now U.S. Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region, who was also a contender for the post.
Her other known patron is Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who has been a life-long friend of Rice and her family, as Albright is quoted in the Washington Post of March 30.
She also comes to the administration with the vetting of the neo-colonial apparatus in the British Commonwealth, which is the source of the policies Rice is carrying out. A Rhodes Scholar, she received her masters and doctorate degrees in International Relations at New College, Oxford University. In 1992, she was the recipient of the first annual award given by the Royal Institute of International Affairs and the British International Studies Association for the “most distinguished dissertation in the United Kingdom in the field of International Relations.” Her topic was “The Commonwealth Initiative in Zimbabwe, 1979-80: Implications for International Peacekeeping.” In 1990, she had also been awarded the Royal Commonwealth Society’s Walter Frewen Lord Prize for “outstanding research in the field of Commonwealth History.”
Her first job was a management consultant in Toronto, for McKinsey and Company.
Her next posting was at the U.S. National Security Council, as director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping in February 1993, and then as Special Assistant to the President and as Senior Director for African Affairs, from March 1995 until May 1997, when she was appointed by President Clinton as Assistant Secretary.
War, and more war
Rice has used the clout associated with her post to ram through a policy of proxy war against Sudan by the United States through Uganda and Eritrea. She was reportedly a strong advocate of the Aug. 20 U.S. air attack on the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, on the grounds that it was housing a chemical weapons capability–charges for which the administration has not been able to present sound evidence.
In general, Rice came into the office with a policy of attaching the United States to the “new breed” of African leaders first heralded in the Jan. 14, 1997 London Times. This breed centers around Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, and included Eritrean military dictator Isaias Afwerki, Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi, Congolese dictator Laurent Kabila, and Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame. One of this coalition’s major aims was to bring down the Sudan government; however, the coalition has fallen to pieces, as war has broken out between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and between Kabila’s Congo on one side and Ugandan and Rwanda on the other. Rice’s “peace efforts” have come to naught in both cases.
Rice’s animosity toward Sudan is unyielding, as she has stated that “Sudan is the only state in sub-Saharan Africa that poses a direct threat to U.S. national security interests.” In her current post, and before that, at the NSC Africa desk, she refused to meet with Sudanese Ambassador to the United States Mahdi Ibrahim Mohamed, despite the ongoing diplomatic relations between the two countries.
She has been nearly as extreme in her targetting of Nigeria. In a speech at the Brookings Institution on March 12, Rice enunciated her policy toward Nigeria: “Let me state clearly and unequivocally to you today that an electoral victory by any military candidate in the forthcoming Presidential elections would be unacceptable”–the first time that such a policy had been so stated by Washington. Her father, Emmet Rice, was a former adviser to the Central Bank of Nigeria.
To the extent that she has any expertise, it is in peacekeeping and military operations, and Rice has been involved in the details in formulating the African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI), which calls for the formation of regional armies that would deploy at the behest of supranational organizations, such as the UN Security Council, or the Organization of African Unity.
The poverty of her knowledge of Africa itself has shocked the African diplomatic corps in Washington. Further, is the common complaint, she doesn’t want to learn. “Many of my colleagues on Africa have a degree of understanding and expertise that I can’t pretend to have”, she told the Washington Post; and, says the Post, in its adulatory March 30 profile of her, “While the top brass are enchanted, she has not captured the hearts and minds of the grunts” in the State Department. She is known for not entertaining any views contradictory to the policy that has been set for her to carry out, and for blocking the flow of information that might show that policy’s weakness or failure.
She brooks no opposition, it is said, even from the U.S. President. When President Clinton, in South Africa, on March 27 had voiced his hopes for Gen. Sani Abacha’s moving Nigeria toward democracy, the State Department was asked by a reporter if this did not contradict the policy stated by Rice on March 12, and which policy was correct. After first denying the President’s statement, State Department spokesman James Foley stood by Rice’s declaration, and stated that any other idea was “wildly hypothetical.” “What Assistant Secretary Rice said stands,” asserted Foley.
Roger Winter: boss of the warlords
On Sept. 17, Roger Winter, executive director of the U.S. Committee on Refugees, spoke at a conference of the U.S. Institute for Peace, and demanded full-scale backing from the U.S. government for a war “to bring down the Khartoum government” in Sudan, adding, “even though I know it will bring about a humanitarian catastrophe”. He reassured the assembled African policymakers present, however, that U.S. troops would not be involved in the effort; this would be a proxy war using Ugandan and Eritrean troops against Sudan, with U.S. weapons and logistical and training support.
To aid this process, Winter is known to have lobbied for the placement of Susan Rice as the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.
By all accounts, Winter is a feared person among Africans and in Washington. Not only is he seen as the man behind Rice’s appointment, but his underling at the Interaction Council, Julia Taft, is now the head of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration. Winter is head of the Interaction Council, an umbrella group for all the non-governmental organizations that deal with relief and other humanitarian matters, Winter is reputedly the political director of the entire operation. He and his sidekick John Prendergast, now ensconsed at the National Security Council, have pushed for a policy of politicization of relief agencies, and away from their expected stance of neutrality in other people’s conflicts.
Winter’s own U.S. Committee on Refugees–75% funded by the U.S. government–never delivers aid to refugees, but is the intelligence nerve center for the entire relief apparatus, and coordinates the political “attitude” to be taken toward refugees. It is also clear from Winter’s own public activities, and the most recent caper in which he has been caught, that the “political” direction of relief efforts also includes supplying military aid–that is, using “relief” efforts as the cover for partisan and deadly military support.
Winter’s longstanding demands for war against Khartoum are a classic case of such partisan and deadly mis-use of “humanitarian concerns”. In 1990, Winter published a paper “War and Famine in Sudan” which called for a complete realignment of U.S. policy in East Africa based on the winding down of the Cold War against the Soviet Union. “For many years”, Winter wrote, “Sudan has been an important geostrategic partner of the United States. For more than 15 years, Ethiopia has been viewed by the United States as the destabilizing force in the region–with good reason. Frankly, however, given the overwhelmingly negative changes that have occurred in Sudan at the hands of the Bashir government, there is no reason other than being caught in the Cold War rut to explain the U.S. pattern of tolerating Khartoum’s actions during much of the last year and a half.”
“In some ways, the pattern has been similar to our pre-August 1 pattern of cozying up to Iraq. When [Sudan President Omar al-] Bashir’s coup overthrew [Sudan leader] Sadiq [al-Mahdi], U.S. aid began to shut down, but only because our law required it. The United States continued to support assistance to Sudan through multilateral institutions. Human rights conditions in Sudan deteriorated rapidly and massively, but U.S. criticism was muffled at best; the Bureau of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs was absent. Operation Lifeline Sudan was manipulated into impotence, but the United States (and the UN, for that matter) was not aggressive about preserving Lifeline’s effectiveness and humanitarian neutrality.”
“Finally, the United States appears to have fundamentally reconsidered its posture regarding Sudan, or, more specifically, a Bashir administration in Sudan”.
Winter’s complaints against Sudan have not changed; in fact, at the U.S. Institute for Peace conference, Winter’s charges against Sudan all reverted back to 1991, even though the Sudanese government has changed major policies and made peace with large sections of the political leadership of southern Sudan, and also permitted Operation Lifeline relief agencies to continue to send food into southern Sudan, while bypassing Khartoum. Winter argued for support by the U.S. government for John Garang’s Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). His sponsorship of Garang in Washington is legendary; whenever Garang comes to the United States, the itinerary is in Winter’s control. Since 1990, Winter has argued for a U.S. policy of de facto recognition of Garang’s SPLA as the government of southern Sudan. Winter called this a “people-friendly” policy toward Sudan.
It is noteworthy, however, that since Winter wrote his policy paper of 1990, the military situation in southern Sudan has not changed. What has changed, is the death toll of this war. More than 3 million southern Sudanese, most of them Christian, have fled southern Sudan for Khartoum, to escape the war. Hundreds of thousands were killed in the 1992 fratricidal war between the Garang and Machar wings of the SPLA, not only by military means, but mostly due to the terrible famine that ensued; today millions more are at risk of starvation. In his 1990 paper, Winter predicted military victory just around the corner: “In January 1990, the SPLA began to shell Juba, the so-called capital of the South, and captured Kajo Kaji, Kaya, and Yei town. . . . Virtually all Sudan army actions to regain the military initiative have failed.”
But today, the SPLA is no closer to taking Juba than it ever was. In fact, it is not in shelling range of the “capital of the south.” The towns of Yei, Torit, and others have changed hands numbers of times, each battle leaving hundreds dead, and thousands displaced, uprooted, left with no means of subsistence.
It really cannot be expected that even if Winter were able to supply the SPLA, that it could achieve military victory, yet he and his cohorts continue a war against Sudan, a policy which, as Rep. Tony Hall accurately told Rice in Congressional hearings on July 29, “is a failure.”
Roger Winter is also patron to two other warlords in the region: Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni and his underling, Rwandan Defense Minister and former head of Ugandan military intelligence, Paul Kagame.
His sponsorship of Museveni dates backed to 1982–before the SPLA war against Sudan even began. In one of his first ventures as executive director of the U.S. Committee of Refugees, Winter traveled to Uganda, where he took up the cause of the Banyarwanda refugees–Tutsi Rwandans who had fled to Uganda in the early 1960s–against the government of Ugandan President Milton Obote. By 1983, Winter was regularly visiting Yoweri Museveni in the bush, as Museveni was leading his guerrilla war against the Obote government. Winter became an early publicist for Museveni, centered around charges that Obote was carrying out a campaign of mass murder in the Luwero Triangle–a campaign that many in central Uganda are coming to realize was carried out by Museveni himself.
Through Museveni, Winter became an early patron of Kagame and the Rwandan Patriotic Front, which was organized in Kampala, Uganda. In August 1988, Winter organized a conference of the Association of Banyarwandans in Diaspora in Washington, D.C., which brought together Rwandan Tutsis in exile to sponsor the efforts of the Rwandan Patriotic Front to come to power in Kigali. Two years later, the RPF, backed by Museveni along with troops of Uganda, invaded Rwanda in October 1990, launching the process that led to the genocide of 1994. In the 1994 RPF blitzkrieg of Rwanda, after the murder of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, Winter told Congress: “I had the great honor of travelling in Rwanda in April, in May, in June, and in July, as the war was occurring. I had the privilege of travelling with the Rwandan Patriotic Front as it gradually increased its control over Rwandan territory”.
Hence, Winter is to be found among the earliest sponsors from the United States of the British warlords–Kagame, Garang, and Museveni–who have wreaked so much havoc in East Africa. Their policy has nothing to do with the populations they claim to represent, but the British Commonwealth designs–funneled by Winter through the United States–to break up the nation-states of East Africa with the use of mercenary armies that have agreed to function as the marcher-lords for a total looting of African raw materials and mineral wealth.
It is the myth of the “bogeyman” of Sudan and the alleged national security threat from Sudan that keeps Winter and these warlords in business.
Michael Harari, the fixer
Michael Harari, the Israeli gun-runner who helped supply John Garang’s Sudanese People’s Liberation Army in a covert operation involving Roger Winter of the U.S. Committee on Refugees and Dan Eiffe of Norwegian Peoples Aid, is currently wanted for arrest by the government of Norway. The Norwegian warrant, issued through Interpol in June 1998, stems from Harari’s coordination of assassination operations against leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization in revenge for the terrorist massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. On July 23, 1973, one of Harari’s Mossad teams was dispatched to Norway, where it shot and killed Moroccan waiter Ahmed Bouchikhi. Harari had wrongly believed Bouchikhi to be PLO intelligence chief Hassan Salameh.
In June 1998, Oslo prosecutor Lasse Qvigstad issued an international arrest warrant, through Interpol, for Harari, whom he charged as an accessory to the Bouchikhi murder. The warrant’s issuance extends the statute of limitation on the murder investigation another 25 years.
Gun-running operations always need the talents of a fixer, and Harari is the right man for covertly supplying arms to the SPLA, whose fight against the Sudan government is aiding Anglo-Israeli geopolitical schemes for East Africa. In Africa, the arms dealer must circumvent arms embargoes, and/or make otherwise illegal sales to countries or organizations. The fixer must have ties to at least one national intelligence service, affording him official cover to procure end-user certificates, or extricate himself from legal jams. With cash scarce in Africa, a fixer must be able to accept anything as payment for weapons–from drugs to diamonds and gold, to such mundane commodities as coffee and smuggled cigarettes.
Michael Harari, now 71, and a legend in the Israeli Mossad, makes the ideal fixer, with his multiple connections to the underworld of illegal diamond, drugs and commodity trading.
When he finished directing Mossad death squads against the PLO in the early 1970s, Harari was transferred to Central and South America. Operating out of Mexico, Panama, and Florida, he integrated his operations with the emerging cocaine trade. His weapons-trafficking activities were intimately interwoven with the region’s drug networks, particularly those of Colombia’s Medellín and Cali cocaine cartels.
In the 1970s, Harari was trafficking weapons to a faction, run by Eden Pastora, of the Nicaraguan Sandinista rebels, who were fighting the regime of Anastasio Somoza. After Somoza’s overthrow, Pastora’s faction joined the Contras, under the name ARDE, and Harari’s Israeli-linked arms- and drug-smuggling network became the backbone of the Contra supply operation. Harari used Panama as a base and used his position as security adviser to Panamanian Defense Forces chief Gen. Manuel Noriega, to work closely with CIA officer Duane Clarridge, then in charge of the Contra resupply operation under the direction of Vice President George Bush.
Harari’s Panamanian operations always ran through his own network, which exists to this day, although Harari himself returned to Israel after Bush’s Dec. 20, 1989 Panama invasion. Much of this network is indirectly detailed in the recently released report of the CIA Inspector General regarding allegations of drug trafficking by the Contras (Allegations of Connections between CIA and the Contras in Cocaine Trafficking to the United States, Vol. II: The Contra Story). Harari is not mentioned in the report, but one of his associates is: George Morales, a major trafficker for the Medellín Cartel, who played a role in assassination threats against then-U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Lewis Tambs, in the 1980s. In 1987, Morales gave hours of testimony before the Senate’s Kerry Committee investigating Iran-Contra, and detailed how he delivered weapons and other equipment to the Contras, in return for their help in smuggling hundreds of tons of cocaine into the United States. EIR has reports that Morales is still part of the same network as Harari.
Another member of Harari’s network mentioned in the CIA Inspector General’s report is smuggler Alberto Prado Herreros, who turns up in the covert supply operations to the SPLA.
Throughout the tangled history of the Contra resupply operation, various players, such as Pastora and Morales, were dropped when it became expedient, especially after the Iran-Contra story broke in 1986. But Harari continued to enjoy a privileged status, and was unhindered when he left Panama after Bush’s invasion, in order to seek a more secure and profitable base of operations in Africa.
Africa has become an important theater of operations for Israeli intelligence, dovetailing neatly with the geopolitical aims of the British Empire. Africa has long been a key site for Israeli operations against the Arab states, and Israeli intelligence has worked hard to undermine the considerable support the PLO enjoyed in many African countries. Economically, Israelis have always reaped profit through smuggling the region’s gold, diamonds, and other gems, and are always ready to trade weapons for these valuable resources. Furthermore, the tremendous expansion of drug trafficking in the region, has made Africa an El Dorado for a man of Harari’s skills.
Harari is said to have been active where Israeli weapons trafficking, smuggling, and intelligence are operational, including in Angola, Central Africa, the Great Lakes region, as well as the Horn of Africa. The countries along the Red Sea littoral, particularly Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia, have been targets of Israeli intelligence activity. Sudan is seen as Israel’s number-one enemy in Africa.
Israel’s early sponsorship of the Idi Amin regime in Uganda, for deployment against Sudan in the early 1970s, indicates the strategic position Uganda has in Israeli schemes. Among the Israelis active there is retired Gen. David Agmon, the former chief of staff of the cabinet of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Agmon is now a personal adviser to Uganda’s Museveni and has been seen quite often in public with him. Agmon operates through the Australian mining company Russell Resources, which was granted gold-mining concessions in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo, shortly after the overthrow of Zairean President Mobutu Sese Seko. These concessions are currently in the area occupied by the Congolese rebels and Ugandan and Rwandan troops.
Alberto Prado Herreros, the gun-runner
EIR’s investigation has determined that Alberto Prado Herreros is operating in close association with Harari to set up the covert weapons supply into Central Africa. Herreros, a longtime weapons- and drug-trafficker, has been part of the Harari network since the 1970s, and is often characterized as the Hispanic rendition of Harari; Herreros and Harari are, in fact, cousins.
Herreros operates through Lomax International Inc., in Miami, Florida. Lomax markets eastern European weapons, particularly from Poland and Bulgaria. Lomax is also an agent for the Bulgarian arms manufacturer, the Arsenal Co., which is notorious for supplying weapons to all sides in several of Africa’s civil wars and conflicts. Arsenal Co. produces everything from AK-47s to heavy artillery, and sells every type of munition, including anti-personnel mines, which continue to kill civilians long after fighting has ended.
According to the CIA Inspector General’s report, Herreros was one of the “prime contractors” for the Contra supply operation. He and Michael Palmer operated through two companies–Vortex Air International and Universal Air Equipment Leasing, Inc.
The CIA IG report, in the section on “Pilots, companies and other individuals working for the companies used to support the Contra program”, Subsection “Vortex/Universal,” paragraph 858, reads: “On May 13, 1987, Customs responded to the CIA trace request. The Customs response indicated that Al Herreros, Vortex/Universal’s president, was a suspected drug trafficker. Customs records reportedly indicated that Herreros `[was] believed [in 1985] to be engaged in smuggling narcotics via aircraft’ and was doing business as Vortex Sales and Leasing, He was also reported to be associated with `documented smuggler’ John Lett.”
John Lett was a fixer for smuggling anything throughout Ibero-America, be it drugs or weapons. His services were often utilized by various national secret services, including the United States.
Paragraph 859 reads: “The DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration] and Customs trace responses also indicated that other employees of Vortex/Universal and the prime contractor–Michael Palmer, Joseph Haas, Alberto Prado Herreros, Maurico Letona, Martin Gomez, Donaldo Frixone and two pilots for the prime contractor–all of whom were affiliated with the CIA Contra support program, may have been involved in narcotics trafficking prior to their relationship with the agency.”
Paragraph 864 of the report details their relationship to the State Department’s Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Office, and its director, Ambassador Duemling.
When the Contra story broke into the press, and the evidence of Contra drug-running mounted, these individuals came under pressure, but they were never forced to cease operations. According to the Florida State Corporate Registry, Vortex Air International, the official name of Herreros’s company, was involuntarily dissolved on Nov. 14, 1986, only to be reinstated on Dec. 31, 1986.
The CIA report cites Herreros business partner Palmer as a drug trafficker and reportedly a target of three U.S. drug investigations in the 1980s; but he was also believed to have worked as an informant for the DEA. As recently as 1995, Palmer has been in business with a company called Direct Cargo, in partnership with Herreros, and based at the same address as the defunct Vortex.
On Jan. 21, 1998, Herreros founded Vortex II. On the same day Herreros founded his arms company, Lomax International, Inc. Herreros is also said to maintain a bank account on Willemstad Island, in the Netherlands Antilles under the corporate name of Lommex Investments Ltd.
Both Lomax International and Vortex are located at the same address: 8320 S.W. 83 Street, Miami, Florida, 333143. If anyone wishes to buy a consignment of Bulgarian AK-47 assault rifles, telephone orders can be made at (305) 596-0657.
Lest anyone wonder how Herreros can continue for almost three decades, despite these allegations of illegal activities, the Florida Corporate Registry reveals that Mr. Herreros might have some powerful political friends. In the 1970s, Herreros was the registered agent of a company called Contran Corp. Ltd. (Florida). Contran Corp. is the holding company of Texas billionaire Harold C. Simmons. Although we do not mean to assert that Mr. Simmons is involved in any illegal activity, or that he figures in any way in this Central African operation, we find it fascinating that Simmons, a generous contributor to political campaigns, has helped finance the political campaigns of, among many others, Bush’s arms-for drugs operative, would-be Senator Oliver North.
Daniel Eiffe, Norwegian People’s Aid
Daniel Eiffe is the operations officer for the non-governmental organization Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), which operates in southern Sudan in support of John Garang’s Sudenese People’s Liberation Army.
The NPA’s support of the SPLA has been so lurid as to cause it to be “fired” by the Norwegian government, which had funneled aid money for the famine victims in southern Sudan through the NPA. However, the Norwegian People’s Aid continues to receive large amounts of money from the U.S. Agency for International Development, up to $25 million annually, according to its own literature.
Norway was forced to suspend all aid to NPA following an official report certifying that the NPA has been assisting the war efforts of of the SPLA for at least the last ten years. This report was conducted by the Danish COWI Konsult, a consulting firm used by the United Nations. The COWI Konsult report stated that two Norwegian organizations, NPA and Church Emergency AID (Kirkens Noedhjelp), have contributed to prolonging the war in southern Sudan through pumping aid (food, medical care, transport facilities) to Garang’s SPLA.
The report states: “The NPA has provided the SPLA soldiers with food, put cars and houses under SPLA’s disposal, and built schools for the children of the SPLA officers”, as reported in the May 20 Aktuelt newspaper. The report further states that the NPA is “more preoccupied with treating wounded soldiers at the front than providing care for the civilian population.” “To establish a field hospital close to the front is something you do when your main concern is military progress”, COWI charged.
According to Aktuelt, “The [COWI] report also puts big question marks over Norsh Folkehjelp’s [NPA] positive information about the work in Sudan, provided to people who donate money and to Norway’s media. When put under greater scrutiny the reports have turned out to be unsatisfactory and full of wrong conclusions. Norsh Kokehjelp’s work in the south of Sudan is led from the organization’s office in Nairobi, that for the past years has been very turbulent, with the dismissal of two leaders, debts of millions, accusations of corruption and bitter feuds among the staff.”
To these charges, NPA Chief of Information Iva Christiansen effectively pleaded guilty, saying: “The report makes soldiarity work a problem and strives for neutrality in the aid work. We have never been neutral in the conflict in southern Sudan, we openly support the SPLA,” as reported in the May 20 Aftenposten. “The SPLA guerrillas are in control of the areas where the civilians are suffering, and without their permission it would be impossible for us to operate there.”
Eiffe himself operates out of Wilson Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, and has a forward base at Lokichoggio, Kenya, along the border with Sudan. Even in July, after the scandals around the NPA had exploded in Norway, Winter’s U.S. Committee for Refugees brought Eiffe to Washington to lobby for money, a stance that was endorsed in July 29 hearings by the Africa Subcommittee of the House of Representatives, in which Assistant Secretary of State Susan Rice called for funding non-governmental organizations operating outside of the United Nations’ Operation Lifeline–a clear reference to the NPA.
The NPA was founded by the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions in 1939 and has been active in southern Sudan since 1986. Despite its “leftist” profile, it has been cooperating closely with “right-wing” Christian fundamentalist groups led by Baroness Caroline Cox’s British-based Christian Solidarity International. The NPA’s relationship with the group around Mossad agent Michael Harari could date back to its support for the Nicaraguan Sandinistas in their struggle against dictator Anastasio Somoza in the 1970s.
Their relationship to the SPLA could be related to the fact that the public spokesman of the SPLA, Monsour Khalid, was the vice-chairman of the so-called Brundtland Commission, founded in 1987 by Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway, who now holds a high position in the United Nations.
The NPA literature claims that they only deal with the SRRA, which is suppose to be the “humanitarian aid” organization of the SPLA. Although considered a relief organization, they do not hide their politics. In a commentary in the Norwegian daily Aftenposten on Sept. 29, 1998, the secretary general of the NPA, Halle Joern Hanssen, stated in clear terms that his organization is “political” and its main goal is to support the war efforts of John Garang and his Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement. Hanssen attacked all other international aid agencies that are active in Sudan, including the international Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) and the United Nations, for working “under the dictates of the Khartoum regime”. “We have chosen a totally different position”, wrote Hanssen, who prefers to workin the “liberated areas”.
This position was official reasserted at the meeting of NPA’s national board on Sept. 13:
“Since 1986-87, we have, therefore, chosen to take sides in the conflict in southern Sudan through both our practical work and through the political expressions and impressions that we have marked. We have sided by the oppressed people of southern Sudan against the oppressors in Khartoum who are represented by a brutal military dictatorship. Our main cooperation partner is the SPRA, which is, again, the humanitarian aid organisation of the SPLM. Simultaneously, we have established a strong and continued contact with the leadership of the SPLM and the SPLA. This contact and trust is totally necessary for our practical activities in the field in the liberated areas.”
The NPA was not only accused of aiding and abetting the military wing of the SPLA, but also for “keeping the conflict going” in southern Sudan–the conflict that has cost more than 1 million lives. According to the Aktuelt daily, “It has increased the hostilities between different groups in the country. Partly by actively supporting certain factions, and partly by operating in certain parts of the country.”
Eiffe wants this war to widen, and for this reason is working to keep the SPLA alive after the defeat of its latest attempt to seize East Equatoria.
Brig. Gen. Kazini: Where is the Chief of Staff?
Brigadier General James Kazini is the current Chief of Staff of the Ugandan Army, stationed in Kisangani, the Democratic Republic of Congo, more than 300 kilometers from General Headquarters. According to a South African intelligence source, Kazini was in command of the invasion of the Congo, the source having accompanied him during the campaign in western Congo, which later failed. Kazini is the nephew of Ugandan President Museveni, and came to hold his current position as part of Museveni’s bringing his own relatives into top positions of the military in preparation for renewed war against Sudan.
Kazini’s presence in Congo is not just military, but business, it would appear. Kazini’s brother Jet Mwebaze was killed in a crash of a private plane, apparently on its way to the Congo, a crash surrounded by mystery, since the pilot was found with a bullet in his head. According to the Oct. 18 Rwandan newspaper, the New Times, when Colonel Mwebaze died, he was on a gold mission along with members of a murky international gold and money-laundering syndicate heading for the part of the Congo under the control of his brother, Brigadier Kazini, in the service of General Salim Saleh, “the overall warlord”. (Salim Saleh is Museveni’s half-brother.)
Passengers on board Jet Mwebaze’s plane included an official of the Sudanese opposition, and also an Israeli businessman, Zeev Shif, who worked for Efforte Corp., one of the companies of Salim Saleh. There was up to $1 million in cash on the plane.
Is this the gold money that is being used to finance the covert supply of arms to the SPLA and possibly other “rebels”?