June 25th, 2009
NewsRescue- Indicators are pointing toward a possible breakup within the next few years of several African nations, which include- Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia. The CIA made a prediction of Nigeria’s breakup within a few years, and similar predictions are the likely inevitable outcome of other African failed states.
On the prospects of these breakups, a US businessman backed by former CIA and state department officials says he has secured a vast tract of fertile land in south Sudan from the family of a notorious warlord, in post-colonial Africa’s biggest private land deal as reported below from the Financial Times:
Philippe Heilberg, a former Wall Street banker and chairman of New York-based Jarch Capital, told the Financial Times he had gained leasehold rights to 400,000 hectares of land – an area the size of Dubai – by taking a majority stake in a company controlled by the son of Paulino Matip.
Related: NewsRescue- War rages in Post secession South Sudan, hundreds feared dead- UN
Mr Matip fought on both sides in Sudan’s lengthy civil war but became deputy commander of the army in the autonomous southern region after a 2005 peace agreement.
The deal, between Mr Heilberg’s affiliate company in the Virgin Islands and Gabriel Matip, is a striking example of how the recent spike in global commodity food prices has encouraged foreign investors and governments to scramble for control of arable land in Africa, even in its remotest parts. . . .
Jarch Management Group is linked to Jarch Capital, a US investment company that counts on its board former US state department and intelligence officials, including Joseph Wilson, a former ambassador and expert on Africa, who acts as vice-chairman; and Gwyneth Todd, who was an adviser on Middle Eastern and North African affairs at the Pentagon and under former president Bill Clinton at the White House.
Laws on land ownership in south Sudan remain vague, . . .
Mr Heilberg is unconcerned. He believes that several African states, Sudan included, but possibly also Nigeria, Ethiopia and Somalia, are likely to break apart in the next few years, and that the political and legal risks he is taking will be amply rewarded. . . .
The company was embroiled in a dispute with the south Sudan government over its claims to exploration rights for oil. Read full article