The story of Blackwater's efforts in Sudan is a tale of mixed motives that echo an earlier era of overseas empires, of evangelical Christians who offered to help defend Christian and animist Southern Sudan from the Muslim Arab military dictatorship in the north, but also sought to exploit the region's oil and mineral wealth.
According to two former senior U.S. officials, the firm headed by Prince, who's long been active in evangelical groups, at one point proposed a broad defense package that would have required the south to pledge as much as half its mineral wealth to pay for Blackwater's services.
After negotiating a $2 million draft contract to train Kiir's personal security detail, Blackwater in early 2007 drafted a detailed second proposal, valued at more than $100 million , to equip and train the south's army. Because the south lacked ready cash, Blackwater sought 50 percent of the south's untapped mineral wealth, a former senior U.S. official said.
In addition to its well-known oil and natural gas reserves, Southern Sudan has vast untapped reserves of gold, iron and diamonds.
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