SAHAN’s Mercenarization of “Research” and “Consultancy” in the Horn

by Isaac Mintah
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sahan’s mercenarization of “research” and “consultancy” in the horn

“Research” and “Consultancy” and “Analyst” are some of the most abused trades in the Horn of Africa. Armed with some “English” and diverted donor funds, mercenaries such as Matthew Bryden pitch tent in the Horn of Africa and engage in the destabilization of the states in the Horn guised as researchers, consultants and analysts. As mercenaries, there is nothing stopping them from being hired by anyone with some good cash to harm the other one. As a result of overplaying their hands, especially on social media, lots of different people have started asking the right questions about their activities and motivations.  

In their November 11 issue of “Somali Wire,” they are ranting about Sovereignty for the right reason. As its through sovereignty that Mercenary Matthew Bryden and his behemoth commercial espionage vehicle, SAHAN Research have been facing dwindling profits, threatening to drive them out of business in their criminal enterprise. A court in Somalia had found Matthew Bryden guilty of espionage charges and sentenced him to a jail term of several years, in absentia, while declaring his privately-owned commercial espionage firm out of bounds in Somalia. The sad thing for Matthew Bryden and company is that, whoever assumes Somalia’s leadership in the elections that have been long coming, it can only get worse for him from here. And nothing scares him and his fellow mercenaries more as seen from their panicky reactions: his lamentations and resignation as he poured his heart out on the Elephant and Somali Wire.

Since SAHAN (Espionage) Research learned to infringe on the sovereignty of Horn of Africa states with or without detection, so have Horn of Africa states learned to use sovereignty with or without one. And since mercenaries at SAHAN (Espionage) Research continue hiding in plain sight trying to camouflage their subversive activities inside Somalia, Horn of Africa states too have been shone the light on them to expose them for the ugliness of their cruel enterprise.

Mercenaries are, by adaptation, filthy opportunists in their internal wirings. Aging SAHAN (Espionage) mercenaries, no longer unable to hide themselves because of thrashings and trashing from the current administration in Somalia and for draining the swamp on them, have started wiring themselves up to fight for relevance. From “Somali Wire” in recent months, they now got “Ethiopia Cable.” There have already emerged obvious forecasts that, as opportunistic anarchists, it’s only a matter of time before they start “wiring up” other Horn of Africa states as they have done with Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan.

True to form, they had already publicly sounded their doomsaying, about Kenya by predicting electoral-related violence in 2022. Because they have been wrong about their predictions of doom in Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan, they will be wrong about Kenya. For anarchists, peace and stability means less or no profit. Since they thrive in chaos, they either create one, contribute to it or exaggerate it.

As in the case of the pot calling the kettle black, so is Matthew Bryden and his SAHAN mercenary outfit  mouthing others on human rights abuses while they continue being forces for bad in the Horn of Africa. For anyone who, openly or secretly, sides with, supports or sympathizes with any party to a conflict in which both parties are responsible for atrocities against non-combatants/civilians is guilty as the warring sides. Only judging from their warmongering in the public domain, SAHAN mercenaries are as culpable of rights abuses as ENDF and TPLF. What they do under the darkness of secrecy is definitely worse. It’s worse that they are paid for their atrocious work.

Sadly, for SAHAN Espionage and Mercenaries, the answer to their self-fulfilling following questions which they asked in their November 11 issue of “Somali Wire” is an emphatic YES:

And they ask: Can it credibly claim sovereignty?

1.1.                                          “If a government is illegitimate in the eyes of its *people (post-coup Sudan, post-2007 and 2017 elections Kenya, post-2021 elections Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania);                                2.      2.       If a government that has become even more acutely indebted in the wake of economic slowdown caused by COVID-19 pandemic and which relies on international loans and/or  grants,  3.       3.       If  a country is unable to cover its own bills (which is the case for much of Africa) in terms of its security and economy,


Somalia’s international partners refused to ride Matthew Bryden’s rage and vendetta against the nascent Somali government. Because they are not anarchistic and short term about Somalia as Mercenaries would be, it’s insulting to the US and UK to bring down a whole government or play highhanded game with it for the expulsion of UN diplomat who can be promoted and posted anywhere in the world. The principle of proportionality is not something a mercenary would be amenable to. The US, UK and other like-minded international partners, who Matthew Bryden is unfairly flogging for their lenience on Somalia administrations, know very well that they brought Somalia from very far with heavy investments in its dangerous and arduously protracted peace and statebuilding process. If Somalia’s traditional partners didn’t mean well for Somalia, like Mathew Bryden and his intricate web of mercenaries, they would have followed his advice and thrown the baby with the bath water.

No amount of donor handouts and loans for infrastructure, security, democratization and human rights can take away SOVEREIGNTY from African states. It doesn’t make a difference that it’s what SAHAN Mercenaries wish and live for. In fact, none of the P5 countries or EU want to take away SOVEREIGNTY from the recipients of their aid, be it loan or grants! Thank goodness SAHAN Espionage is not a P5 member state and Mercenary Matthew Bryden its president. That is when the world would have seen what a dictator and what repression it was capable of.

About SAHAN Espionage’s whipping itself over the membership of UN Human Rights Council, let them keep lashing out. It’s their “body.” The architects of the world body, UN, had a purpose for it and its been serving its purpose—plus, minus. And if the qualifications for either the Security Council or Human Rights Council were pegged on “excellent record of preserving human rights,” there will be no institutions to talk about. From the standards set by the mercenaries at SAHAN Espionage (making it legitimate for rebels to take up arms and overthrow governments as they publicly lobby for in Ethiopia and Somalia), then the threshold to declare a state human rights violator is pretty lower to live out any member of the P5.

What Matthew Bryden wants is chaos, which explains his unrealistic prescriptions and public support for rebel groups and violence against the people the rebels see as threat or enemy. Which is why we tell Matthew Bryden and his SAHANA Espionage, “HANDS OFF OUR SOVEREIGNTY.” “ The sovereignty of Horn of Africa states is inviolable.”

By: Aydid Guled

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