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AJE - Aljazeera - ,03 Nov 2011,,UN warns of increasing use of mercenaries

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    AJE - Aljazeera - 03 Nov 2011 UN warns of increasing use of mercenaries Expert group sees major expansion in military and security companies operating without
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 2011
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      AJE - Aljazeera -
      03 Nov 2011

      UN warns of increasing use of mercenaries

      Expert group sees major expansion in military and security companies
      operating without regulation or accountability.
      Last Modified: 02 Nov 2011 02:57

      Faiza Patel, head of the UN expert group, said states need to cooperate
      to eliminate the use of mercenaries [EPA]

      http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2011/11/2011111214047782304.html


      A UN expert group warned of an alarming resurgence in the use of
      mercenaries and a major expansion in military and security companies
      operating without regulation or accountability.

      The five-member working group on the use of mercenaries said in a report
      to the UN General Assembly that mercenary forces in Libya and Ivory
      Coast reportedly were involved in committing serious human rights
      violations - as were some contractors for military and security
      companies working in Iraq and elsewhere.

      Faiza Patel, who heads the working group, told a news conference on
      Tuesday that states should cooperate to eliminate the use of mercenaries
      and regulate the activities of military and security companies.

      "Recent events in Africa clearly demonstrate that problems posed by
      mercenaries are still a live issue," she said, adding that these hired
      foreign fighters are being used in new and novel ways.

      Patel said there is considerable evidence that former Ivory Coast
      president Laurent Gbagbo used some 4,500 Liberian mercenaries to avoid
      leaving office after losing a 2010 election.

      In Libya, she said, there were widespread reports that foreign fighters
      allegedly recruited from neighbouring African countries and Eastern
      Europe by Muammar Gaddafi's government were used to crack down on
      demonstrations earlier this year.

      "Mercenaries continue to be recruited and active in several parts of the
      world," the report said. "Mercenary activities often constitute threats
      to national and even regional peace and security. They also have a
      serious impact on the right of peoples to self-determination and the
      enjoyment of human rights."

      The working group urged states to arrest and prosecute mercenaries
      alleged to have committed serious rights violations.

      Between 30 and 40 countries are parties to the International Convention
      against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries, and
      the group urged all other nations to ratify the treaty.

      As for military and security companies, Patel said their ever-expanding
      activities in an increasing number of countries around the world raise
      challenges because security is a state responsibility and outsourcing it
      to private contractors "creates risk for human rights."

      Patel, a Pakistani lawyer working at the Brennan Center for Justice and
      New York University Law School, said it's difficult to gauge the extent
      of the private military and security industry worldwide, with estimates
      ranging from $20 bn to $100 bn annually.

      In addition to governments, she said, non-governmental organizations,
      private companies and the United Nations also use their services.

      Patel said the solution is a legally binding international convention
      that makes clear what activities can and cannot be undertaken by these
      companies.
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