The following is an archived copy of a message sent to the CASI Analysis List run by Cambridge Solidarity with Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of Cambridge Solidarity with Iraq (CASI).
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [CASI Homepage]
[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ] PRESS RELEASE 18th May 2004 Voices in the Wilderness UK [A] tel. 0845 458 2564, 07952 354 722 ROLE OF MERCENARIES IN IRAQ 'RECONSTRUCTION' ONE OF MANY CONCERNS FOR SHAREHOLDERS AT BRITISH COMPANY AMEC'S AGM Concerns are increasing about British construction giant AMEC and the role played by mercenaries in the company's "reconstruction" work in Iraq. This is just one of the disturbing issues that shareholders would be wise to raise at its Annual General Meeting this Wednesday. In particular there are questions around which "security" firms AMEC will be employing; how much they will be spending on "security"; and who will be held responsible if and when these employees kill Iraqis. According to recent reports AMEC has roughly 100-150 people in Iraq and is likely to employ three times that number of "security personnel" [B]. There are currently an estimated 15,000 private bodyguards operating inside Iraq, including Chilean commandos trained under Pinochet and former soldiers from Apartheid South Africa [C]. Private security companies have also been implicated in the recent Abu Ghraib torture scandal [D]. Earlier this year a joint venture between AMEC - which was convicted of fraud on three federal construction projects and banned from U.S. government work during 2002 [E] - and the US-based Fluor corporation was awarded $1.6 bn worth of contracts for work in Iraq in the sewage, electricity and water sectors following hard lobbying by the British Government. It is expected that shareholders will want to find out how much of this $1.6bn will reach Iraqis or whether the AMEC-Fluor contracts prohibit most Iraqi companies from participating in this "reconstruction". It would also be in shareholder's interests to try and obtain a commitment from AMEC not to purchase any Iraqi businesses in the future, following the illegal privatisation measures imposed by the US last year [F]. Speaking for Voices UK, Gareth Evans said: "AMEC seems to have few qualms about working in an illegally invaded - and now militarily occupied - Iraq under the barrels of US and British guns, so it is no surprise that they will also be hiring private mercenaries to protect their operations there. And as the occupation continues and becomes ever more bloody, one has to ask how much in the way of genuine reconstruction can actually take place under such circumstances or is this just another case of a large corporation making a killing out of Iraq." AMEC's AGM is taking place on Wednesday 19 May at the Radisson Hotel, Portman Square, London W1 NOTES [A] Voices in the Wilderness UK has been campaigning on British policy towards Iraq since 1998. See www.voicesuk.org for more info. [B] Observer, 2 May [C] Guardian, 17 April; Guardian, 5 April; New York Times, 29 April [D] Guardian, 17 May [E] www.warprofiteers.com/article.php?id=11268 [F] www.voices.netuxo.co.uk/library/briefing_oct2003.html -- Emma Sangster _______________________________________ Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-analysis All postings are archived on CASI's website at http://www.casi.org.uk