High Politics
Strange Rumblings in the Heart of Africa.

A pair of ex-soldiers from Norway have been condemned to death in a Congolese courtroom, in a bizarre case that focuses on the murder of their guide – while both Norwegians allegedly took part in covert military actions against the Congolese Government. Though Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that the Congolese Foreign Ministry assured the Norwegian Government that the two men would not be executed in relation to the incident, it made no statements as to the original charges of espionage against the two Norwegians. Tjostolv Moland, 28, and Joshua French, 27 - both former soldiers - were convicted Tuesday, September 15th, by a military court in the Congo city of Kisangani for killing their driver on May 5, 2009. The two were also found guilty of illegal arms possession and armed robbery. One of the pair was also found guilty of the attempted murder of two other people.
According to a security industry related website named the Private Military Herald, the plot around the two Norwegians thickens – they were apparently contracted by a private security firm (read: mercenaries) to conduct operations in Africa. The company in question is SIG or Special Interventions Group, that consists mainly of Norwegians. As the blog reports, there is a lot more going on in this story that a simple story of a safari gone wrong:
The evidence against the two is summed up in a very concise quote: “Evidence seized recently at the apartment the two men shared in Uganda could play a large role in the eventual outcome of the trial.” During the police raid, authorities found Norwegian military ID cards, counterfeit United Nations hats, employee ID badges with both the correct and false names of the two men. The employee badges are from a heretofore little known security company named Special Interventions Group (SIG) which is owned by and mostly staffed by Norwegians. During the raid on the apartment authorities also confiscated at least one rifle and a camera containing pictures of the two men on their recent travels in Africa. In one grainy image, believed to have been taken by Mr. French, Mr. Moland is seen smiling as he washes the blood believed to be that of Mr. Kasongo from the inside of the hired car.”
It’s not hard to decipher that fake United Nations ID, and various identity badges bearing different names and different organizations, leads to the obvious conclusion that there is a lot more to the story than is being reported. The fact that the Congolese Government is suing the Norwegian Government for about 60 billion US dollars in damages, related to espionage involving this case, underlines just how bizarre and underreported these kinds of stories are.

Aaron Bolus

Enjoy it? Share this on Facebook


© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: editor@capilanocourier.com