| Sandline International |
|Extinction||16 April 2004|
Sandline International was a private military contractor based in London, established by Tim Spicer after he left the UK Army in 1994. It was involved in conflicts in Papua New Guinea in 1997 (having a contract with the government under the then Prime Minister Julius Chan) causing the Sandline affair, in 1998 in Sierra Leone (having a contract with ousted President Kabbah) and in Liberia in 2003 (in a rebel attempt to evict the then-president Charles Taylor near the end of the civil war).
Sandline International was managed by former British Army Lt Col Tim Spicer. It billed itself as a "Private Military Company" (PMC) and offered military training, "operational support" (equipment, weapons procurement and limited direct military activity), intelligence gathering, and public relations services to governments and corporations.
1997-99 Papua New Guinea
1998-? Sierra Leone
Craig Murray, as Deputy High Commissioner of the British High Commission (West Africa Branch) facilitated the exposure of the group.
The commercially-controlled media often described Sandline as a mercenary company and the company expended considerable PR effort to promote the new more acceptable and official sounding description.
An Unorthodox Soldier
Tim Spicer recounted his experiences with Sandline in the book An Unorthodox Soldier.
Sandline ceased all operations on 16 April 2004. On the company's website, this reason for closure is given:
- "The general lack of governmental support for Private Military Companies willing to help end armed conflicts in places like Africa, in the absence of effective international intervention, is the reason for this decision. Without such support the ability of Sandline to make a positive difference in countries where there is widespread brutality and genocidal behaviour is materially diminished."
It is likely that many, if not most of Sandline's former personnel, are now part of Aegis Defence Services company.
- Licensed to Kill, Hired Guns in the War on Terror by Robert Young Pelton (Crown, Sept 1, 2006)
- Tim Spicer, An Unorthodox Soldier, Mainstream Pub Co Ltd, 2000, ISBN 1-84018-349-7
- P. W. Singer, Corporate Warriors, The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry, Cornell University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-8014-8915-6
- Michael Bilton "The Private War of Tumbledown Tim", Sunday Times Magazine, 2 July, 2000.
- Simon Mann
- Tony Buckingham
- Spicer calls Sierra Leone affair 'ethical' - BBC News 5 November 2005
- Mercenaries in Africa's conflicts - BBC News 25 March 2004