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US, French firms ready to kill for
- Subject: US, French firms ready to kill for
- From: mbeer@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 11:40:00
Subject: US, French firms ready to kill for "their" petroleum.
Here are reports about mercenaries hired to "protect" the pipeline.
Looks like French and US firms are willing to kill Burmese for gas.
S. Africa is thinking of outlawing mercenary firms.
Maybe others should follow suit.
(Michael Beer, Nonviolence International)
Copyright 1997 Asiaweek Limited Corp.
April 11, 1997
SECTION: FRONTLINES; Intelligence; Pg. 8
HEADLINE: Pipeline Pathway Cleared
Myanmar's military authorities doubt that there is a single Karen guerrilla
within seven km of Ban-I-Thong, at the Thai border. That is the crossing point
for the controversial natural gas pipeline under construction that will make its
way from Myanmar's Yadana offshore natural gas field into Thailand. And in the
frontier provinces to the north, Karen fighters are holed up, considering their
options. This dry season's particularly harsh government offensive against their
49-year-old insurgency hit them harder than in previous years (see EDITORIAL, p.
In 1995, five civilian workers were killed and 11 others injured when the
Karen National Liberation Army attacked the joint Franco-American Total-Unocal $
1.06-billion pipeline project. Now, another major U.S. player, Texaco, as part
of another international consortium, is surveying the route with an eye to
laying its own parallel pipeline from a second field in the Andman Sea, called
Yedagun. But Texaco is playing it safe -- or at least safer -- than Total or
Unocal did at first. IT HAS HIRED A U.S. COMPANY, ORDSAFE, TO CONTROL SECURITY
in the area in which it is working. Ordsafe's orders are to evacuate all Texaco
company personnel at the first hint of trouble. At least half a dozen former
members of the South African military make up the 20-plus Ordsafe team. The U.S.
oil companies have also called on their friends in high places. In Bangkok,
Karen representatives were summoned by U.S. diplomats and advised that any
further attacks on U.S. commercial interests will be viewed as acts of war.
Copyright 1995 Indigo Publications
June 29, 1995
SECTION: THREAT ASSESSMENT; GUERILLA WARFARE; No. 267
HEADLINE: Total Squares up to Karens
The French oil group Total is beefing up security on the pipeline it is
building to carry gas from Burma's offshore Yadana field to the Thai frontier.
Workers setting out to choose a route for the pipeline fell victim to a first
attack by the Karen National Liberation Army in March. While denying it is
doing so, Total has been striving ever since to make contact with French
mercenaries who helped Karen guerillas for a number of years and also with a
French arms merchant installed in Thailand who supplied them with weapons.
Total also plans to install passive security systems with infrared sensors along
the entire length of the pipeline. Curiously, however, the oil company won't
send technicians to the site for the present, asking them to work exclusively
from maps and blueprints. There is some detailed evidence (including video film)
that Karen political prisoners in leg-irons have been "employed" to work on the
gas pipeline. France's DGSE is also closely studying security on the pipeline,
on which many French technicians and engineers are expected to work.
Copyright 1995 Indigo Publications
December 21, 1995
SECTION: BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE; BURMA; No. 278
HEADLINE: French "mercenaries" to protect Total worksite
Around 10 French "mercenaries" left about Nov. 20 for Burma to see to the
protection of a 63-km-long gas pipeline that the French oil company Total is
building close to the Thai border (IN 267). The security companies hired by
Total to recruit the mercenaries found it hard to find volunteers. Indeed, a
lot of French mercenaries took up cause over the years with the Karen rebellion
and some even lost their lives in doing so. The work to be carried out by
Total will be conducted under the "protection" of the Burmese army, and thus
against Karen rebels. As a result, the mercenaries who accepted the job are
mainly young men who recently quit the French army. Among them are two mine
disposal experts who served under UN colors in former Yugoslavia.