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Investigation into damaging allegations in sensitive African country

In November 2021 a client came to CbI requesting help with some complex research needs in a fragile African country. The client was concerned about a recent report by an NGO which made adverse media allegations against them, including that the client had a security arrangement with an armed militia, accused (by the NGO) of human rights abuse.

This was a particularly difficult case as the country in question is one of the hardest in Africa in which to do enquiries on the ground.

The client wanted to CbI to investigate three men connected to the militia – its chief of staff and military coordinator, a government official and a local trader. They wanted full background information on the three including citizenship, date and place of birth, ID numbers, professional backgrounds, business interests, networks and links with public officials and foreign countries.

They also requested we look into the allegations made by the NGO and ascertain if they were credible.

For this case we worked with a former colleague who had spent time in the country in question and had several contacts on the ground and in the diaspora. We carefully scoped each of the client’s requirements, and told them what we could and couldn’t do before we went ahead with the project.

We delivered three reports (initial – based more on open source, interim and final) concluding in February 2022. We spoke to 25+ sources including diplomats, retired government ministers, civil servants, NGO workers, people in the community where the client’s assets were located, intelligence officials, journalists and sources in the UN.

To find out how we can carry out a similar service for your company, please contact Eleanor Gillespie at [email protected]