Diplomatic missions play a crucial role in facilitating international relations, promoting trade, and safeguarding the interests of their respective countries abroad. Africa, in particular, presents a unique set of security challenges that require special attention to ensure the safety and security of diplomatic missions.
The Omega Group has been involved in providing security services to more than 35 embassies, consulates, and entities such as United Nations organizations.
Threats to Diplomatic Missions in Africa
Omega’s approach to diplomatic mission security starts with a thorough threat analysis. We recognise that one of the most significant threats to diplomatic missions in Africa is terrorism. The continent has been the site of several terrorist attacks, including the 1998 bombings of the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which resulted in over 200 deaths and thousands of injuries. The 2012 attack on the United States embassy in Benghazi, Libya, is another example of the dangers that diplomatic missions face in Africa.
Another significant threat identified by us, is political instability. Many countries on the continent have experienced civil wars, coups, and other forms of political violence that have targeted diplomatic missions. In 2011, the British embassy in Tehran was attacked following a UK-led coalition’s military intervention in Libya, while in 2014, the US embassy in South Sudan was targeted during a violent conflict in the country.
Other security threats that diplomatic missions face in Africa and which Omega build into its model of providing services, include cyberattacks, espionage, and crime. Cybercriminals and hackers can target embassies to steal sensitive information or disrupt their operations. Diplomatic missions are also vulnerable to espionage by foreign governments seeking to obtain classified information or influence decision-making processes. Criminal activity such as theft, fraud, and kidnapping can also pose a threat to diplomatic missions, especially in countries with high crime rates.
The Importance of Security for Diplomatic Missions in Africa
Ensuring the security of diplomatic missions in Africa is essential for several reasons. First and foremost, it is necessary to protect the lives of diplomats, staff, and visitors who work and visit these missions. Diplomats often work in high-risk environments and can be targets for terrorist attacks, political violence, or other forms of violence. Providing adequate security measures such as secure buildings, trained security personnel, and robust security protocols can help to mitigate these risks.
Secondly, security is essential to maintaining diplomatic relations between countries. Diplomatic missions play a crucial role in promoting international cooperation, facilitating trade, and resolving disputes between countries. Any disruption or attack on a diplomatic mission can have significant consequences for bilateral relations between countries, leading to the deterioration of diplomatic ties.
Finally, ensuring the security of diplomatic missions is critical to protecting the national interests of countries. Diplomatic missions often collect sensitive information on political, economic, and social developments in host countries, and any breach of this information can be detrimental to national security. Maintaining the security of diplomatic missions can help to prevent espionage, cyberattacks, and other forms of security breaches that could compromise national interests.
Current and Past Diplomatic Mission Contracts of Omega
For security reasons the manpower numbers and specific security related information cannot be provided.
South African Embassy
Omega was awarded the contract to the South African Embassy in Luanda in March 2006. Following a tender process we unfortunately lost the contract on 1 September 2022.
This contract started on 1 March 2008.
The contract commenced in July 2022 as a joint venture between Continuity Global Solutions (a USA based company) and Omega Risk Solutions Angola Lda.
Omega started service at the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia on 15 January 2022.
South African High Commission
On 1 October 2018 the former South African High Commissioner to Ghana, Her Excellency Lulu Xingwana, approved Omega as the new security supplier to the South African High Commission and residence in Accra as the first diplomatic office of Omega in Ghana.
Embassy of Angola
In January 2022 Omega took over as new security service provider for the Embassy of Angola, responsible for access control and protection of the Embassy of Angola in Accra.
US Peace Corps
Omega was selected as the preferred security provider by the US Peace Corps in September 2021 at their offices in Kumasi, Tamale and Dodowa.
Namibia High Commission
On 1 September 2022 Omega was selected as the new security provider for the Namibia High Commission and the residence in Accra.
Embassies and High Commissions
On 1 October 2007 Arkhê started with its first diplomatic contract in Mozambique, namely the Royal Embassy of the Netherlands. Soon after that the contract for the Delegation of the European Union followed. Since then, Arkhê added numerous Embassies/High Commissions and are currently doing the security for 19 Diplomatic Missions, including:
- US Embassy
- French Embassy
- Irish Embassy
- Italian Embassy
- Korean Embassy
- Japanese Embassy
- Spanish Embassy
- Finland Embassy
- Kenya High Commission
- Portugal Embassy
- Thailand Embassy
- Moroccan Embassy
- Turkish Embassy
- Venezuela Embassy
- South African High Commission
- British High Commission
- Botswana High Commission
- Canadian High Commission
UN Agency Contracts
Arkhê also provides security services for 17 UN Agencies, namely:
UN / Department of Safety and Security
UN/ Development Program
UN – Volunteers
UN / Population Fund
UN / Habitat
UN / International Organization for Migration – IOM
UN / UNESCO
UN / UNICEF
UN / Women
UN / World Food Program
UN / World Health Organization
UN / FAO
UN / ILO
UNOPS/ United Nations Office Project Services
UN / High Commission for Refugees
Largest Embassy Contract and first JV Partnership:
US Mission Maputo
From 2012 the joint venture between Continuity Global Solutions and Arkhê Risk Solutions has been successfully providing a range of security services to the U.S. Mission in Mozambique. We provide security for the U.S. Embassy Chancery, USAID, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Peace Corps, the American Cultural Center, U.S. Mission warehouse and many diplomatic residences throughout Maputo. The local security officers are extensively vetted and must pass a rigorous training program before being accepted on the contract.
South African High Commission
Omega was awarded the contract to the South African High Commission in Namibia with effect from 1 October 2021.