Erik Prince in Fun City, Abu Dhabi

In 2015 Newsweek assigned me to track down billionaire Navy SEAL and founder of Blackwater Security Erik Prince in South Sudan. 

Personnel from his new logistics company Frontier Services Group were rumored to have been arming both sides of the conflict in the nascent war-torn country. 

I didn’t find Prince himself but signs of FSG in Juba, and near the oil fields in the Upper Nile state, were aplenty. 

More on that later. 

In September, I passed through UAE and found Erik Prince’s “Blackwater” (note logo) catamaran docked in front of his two villas in a gated enclave in Abu Dhabi. A local realtor said they were valued at $5 million – and one was for sale. 

A view of Abu Dhabi from one of Prince’s two villas
Ferrari parked in villa garage
Catamaran with Blackwater logo

Categories: Conflict In Context - Field NotesTags: , , , , , , , ,

Margot Kiser | Conflict in Context

I am a Kenya-based American correspondent, focusing on conflict in East Africa. I have contributed to Newsweek, Al Jazeera, The Daily Beast, among others.

Follow me on Twitter: @margotkiser1

Best long read ByLiner 2011 for my Newsweek feature, 'Pirates in Paradise'


  1. Janna-Neen Cunningham

    Love your website. And knowing the author makes it all the more exciting. We all loved your visit, too. And your comments and verbal descriptions make your website all the more enriching because we KNOW someone in that part of the world. Much love, Janna-Neen

    • Janna——Neen Love your comment. I note you wrote it after my mother supposedly had a “heart attack” [she didn’t, according to the hospital doctors].
      What kind of best friend doesn’t inform her best friend’s daughter of such a severe health setback? A narcissist’s proxy, that’s who.
      I hope to learn one day how she manipulated friends like you into stalking me on the internet, withholding the truth, and of trying to guilt me [once again] into subsidizing her lifestyle of overspending.
      The answer is NO. Full stop.
      My mother neglected to give me the time of day. Even if she were the loving nurturing mother I deserved and craved I don’t owe her a damn thing – except to make sure she is safe and sound and in good capable professional hands. Which is not her proxies. That said, I hope she’s paying you well because it’s unclear to me what you get out of such meddling other than a little excitement.
      When I’m in Tucson I do not want to engage with either you, Susan Beeswax, or the mean realtor lady.
      You might want to take a look at the following:
      1. ….”many people are unfortunately not prepared for the task of raising children. Many parents have a negative self-image which they unwittingly extend to their children”.
      (In the case of my mother I’d say wittingly. She knew exactly what she was doing).
      My mother also told me had Castro not come to power in ’59 Cuba (the fashionable place to get abortions then) she’d planned to abort me. I’m all for pro-choice; what’s astounding is she told me that at all let alone when I was in my early teens.
      Much love, Margot


        Your Mama had a lot of friends, including the one’s who got her to the hospital who could have notified you, if they had your contact info, but why? Would you have come running back? Frankly, the important person was Margot, getting her help as quickly as possible, and arranging to have her pets taken care of, and her neighbors in the loop as far as taking care of the house was concerned. Margot has a lot of friends, and, in an informal manner, we’ve been picking up what slack there might be when we see it. I also would suggest some checking into the paranoia that seeps into your message. Most of my friends are widowed, now, and have children and grandkids who live away. I am an anomaly with my Ann-Eve across town, and a brother within bicycle distance. Margot is home, with friends, part-time caretaker, and neighbors looming in or calling. We do her shopping when we do our own, and I and a couple of others pick up prepared meals from Tucson Country Club, as carry out for her. She has done the same for us over the years. Feel assured that your Mom is getting the best of care and attention from her Doctors and her friends. She has been a good friend to us over time, and it is a good time for us to return the favor.

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