Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Press Conference by Working Group on Mercenaries

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York  November 1, 2011

Faiza Patel, Chair of the Human Rights Council’s Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination, told correspondents today about the Working Group’s visits to Equatorial Guinea, South Africa and Iraq.

During a press conference at Headquarters, Ms. Patel explained that the Working Group, which consists of five independent experts, covered the activities of mercenaries, as well as those of private military and security companies. Yesterday, she had presented the Working Group’s report to the General Assembly’s Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural). She said the Working Group had visited Equatorial Guinea and South Africa in 2010 and Iraq in 2011. (See Press Release GA/SHC/4023.)

Equatorial Guinea had been the site of a coup by mercenaries in 2004, many of whom had come from South Africa, she said, which had led to prosecutions in Equatorial Guinea, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The Government of Equatorial Guinea had also alleged an attempted coup in 2009. The Working Group had been unable to verify those claims, but found that that there were credible reports that those arrested had been tortured and were denied fundamental due process rights in their trials. Four convicted persons were summarily executed one day after the Working Group left.

Please read the entire press release here

November 2, 2011 Posted by | Mercenaries, United Nations | , , , | Leave a comment

Balkan mercenaries in Libya risk lives for gain

By Biljana Pekusic for Southeast European Times in Belgrade — 22/09/11

 

 

”]He has not chosen to fight for Moammer Gaddafi, or for the Libyan rebels. But Zoran G, a northern Kosovo resident and former soldier of fortune, says he understands why others may have done so.

 

“I would go to Libya or any other country to fight for a good salary,” he told SETimes.

 

Ever since turmoil erupted in February, there have been reports of Balkan mercenaries in the north African country. Media reports last week claimed that rebel fighters executed a large group of fighters-for-hire in the city of Misrata, including nine Croats, 12 Serbs and an unknown number of Bosniaks.

 

That story remains unconfirmed, and details about the overall number of Balkan mercenaries active in the country are hard to come by. Still, military operations experts say they have enough data to form a rough estimate.

 

“According to my information, about 250 persons from Serbia are located in Libya,” military analyst Ljubodrag Stojadinovic told SETimes. He said several hundred well trained troops emerged from the Balkan wars, and are willing to use their expertise.

 

The mercenaries are driven by the promise of monetary gain, and not by politics or ideology, Stojadinovic added

Please read the entire article here

 

September 22, 2011 Posted by | Balkans, Civilian Contractors, Libya, Mercenaries, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

France says it has no mercenaries in Libya

(Reuters) September 19, 2011

France denied on Monday that it had mercenaries in Libya, after Muammar Gaddafi’s loyalists said they had captured 17 foreigners — some British and French — in the fight for a town still held by the ousted leader’s followers.

The claim by Gaddafi’s spokesman Moussa Ibrahim that foreign security personnel had been captured in the battle for the pro-Gaddafi bastion Bani Walid could not be verified and no immediate proof was presented.

It comes as the new authorities are facing stark reversals on the battlefield and in the political arena.

Nearly a month after Gaddafi was driven from power, his loyalist holdouts have beaten back repeated assaults by National Transitional Council forces at Bani Walid and Gaddafi’s home city of Sirte. NTC fighters have been sent fleeing in disarray after failing to storm Gaddafi bastions.

The NTC, still based in the eastern city of Benghazi, has faced questions about whether it can unify a country divided on tribal and local lines. A long-promised attempt to set up a more inclusive interim government fell apart overnight.

“A group was captured in Bani Walid consisting of 17 mercenaries. They are technical experts and they include consultative officers,” Gaddafi spokesman Ibrahim said on Syria-based Arrai television, which has backed Gaddafi.

“Most of them are French, one of them is from an Asian country that has not been identified, two English people and one Qatari.”

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, in New York to attend a U.N. meeting, told journalists: “We have no French mercenaries in Libya.”

Please read the entire article here

September 19, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Libya, Mercenaries | , , , , | Leave a comment

Libya: Rebels ‘execute 85 mercenaries, including 12 Serbs’

adnkronos International  Belgrade, 13 Sept. (AKI)

Belgrade, 13 Sept. (AKI) – Libyan rebels who control most of the country after defeating Muammar Gaddafi’s military, have executed 85 foreign mercenaries, including 12 Serbs, in the city of Misrata alone, Serbian media reported on Tuesday.

Belgrade daily Press said the executions took place in the state insurance building in Misrata after it was taken by the forces loyal to rebels’ National Transitional Council (NTC). Among the killed mercenaries, who fought on Gaddafi’s side, were also nine Croats, 11 Ukrainians and ten Colombians, the paper said.

The report was also confirmed by Zagreb daily Vecernji list whose correspondent in Misrata, Hasan Hajdar Dijab, said many mercenaries had been killed in fighting, but those arrested were shot in the head.

It quoted a rebel commander in Misrata Abdelaziz Madini as saying “those killed weren’t soldiers but executioners who came here to kill for money”. He said other mercenaries who surrender would have a fair trial.

Balkans military analysts said they were not surprised by the report, because hundreds of veterans of 1990s Balkans war have sought engagement abroad after the end of the Balkan wars in 1995 and fought for money in various African and Asian countries.

In a related development, the human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) said in its latest report that both sides in the Libyan conflict committed crimes, especially Gaddafi’s forces, but “crimes committed by rebels weren’t negligible either”, it added.

Amnesty International has called on Libya’s National Transitional Council to take steps to prevent human rights abuses by anti-Gaddafi forces


September 13, 2011 Posted by | Libya, Mercenaries | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GORDON DUFF: LIBYA, A WAR OF LIES The “Conspiratorial Veil” of Western Racism

In the last 24 hours, we learned that Gaddafi’s claimed victims of the UN bombing campaign included victims of traffic accidents and recently dead, gleaned from hospitals and mortuaries around Libya.  The secret he is trying to hide is that the real dead, and their are dozens, aren’t from Libya at all.  Libya’s entire air defense command is “rented” from Belarus and the dead are mercenaries.

By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor Veterans Today

ISRAEL'S AFRICAN MERCENARIES, DEAD IN LIBYA..ARMOURED VEHICLE IN THE BACKGROUND DOES NOT EXIST IN OFFICIAL LIBYAN WEAPONS INVENTORY

“They” are coming out of the woodwork, claiming to be “liberals” or “anti-war.”  Any Arab uprising must be a Western plot.  Those “brown people” can’t really be seeking democracy and freedom and certainly can’t stand up to the “globalist plotters” of the west.  I have one reminder for those who think this way.

Afghanistan

On February 25, 2011, Veterans Today recommended immediate intervention in Libya.  Few had died, Israel had shown its hand as Gaddafi’s backer and the writing was on the wall.  Waiting would lead to civil war and large scale

intervention, led by France, bringing the potential for the movement for democracy to be pushed off track, as Iraq and Afghanistan are dark reminders of.  Arms and mercenaries flowed in, key media powers and the Israel lobby kept Obama sitting on his hands and, at the last minute, maybe beyond the last minute, there is a call to action.

Should be be suspicious?  Damned right!

Should we forget the right of self determination by the Libyan people being crushed, not only by their own government but Israel’s African mercenary armies as well and every resource Gaddafi could buy with the west’s oil money, yes, money from Halliburton and BP?  One only need to see the forces arrayed against the rebels, not just GLOBAL CST’s mercenaries but forces from Belarus and Georgia as well.

Please read the entire post here

March 21, 2011 Posted by | Libya, Propaganda | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

British are no strangers to guns for hire

Ben Macintyre The Times The Australian March 8, 2011

MUAMMAR Gaddafi lost his few remaining shreds of legitimacy in many eyes when he turned to mercenaries to shore up his regime. As many as 6000 “dogs of war”, hired guns recruited from Chad, Congo, Liberia and other parts of Africa brutalised by war may have been flown in by the Libyan dictator in the past few weeks.

Reports of mercenaries firing on the insurgents have become a leitmotif of the conflict, proof of Gaddafi’s ruthlessness, desperation and weakness. Machiavelli (Gaddafi’s mentor in so many ways) warned: “He who holds his state by means of mercenary troops can never be solidly or securely seated.”

What kind of government brings in hired guns to back up its own troops? Answer: the British government.

New figures reveal that contracts worth a record pound stg. 29 million ($46.4m) were awarded last year to British private security firms operating in Afghanistan, many of them fulfilling functions that would formerly have been performed by the military.

In the past 10 years, there has been an astonishing growth in private military and security companies (PMSCs), a boom created by the war in Iraq, sustained by the conflict in Afghanistan, and operating around the world. The annual revenue for British PMSCs leapt from pound stg. 320m in 2003 to more than pound stg. 1.8 billion in 2004. At the height of the Iraq war, there were estimated to be three private security employees for every British soldier.

Please read the entire article here

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Libya, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , | Leave a comment

Libya’s ordeal shows it’s time to police the mercenaries

The Guardian UK

Libyan civilians display a machine gun they claim to have taken from mercenaries during conflict in Baida. Photograph: KeystoneUSA-Zuma/Rex Features

The UN has spent decades trying to solve the mercenary problem in Africa, but the bloody trade continues unchecked

One of the most odious revelations about the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is his reliance on sub-Saharan African mercenaries as a loyal fighting force against the Libyan people. Yet given the long historical and contemporary use of mercenaries, the world must do more than feign surprise. This week’s revelations force us to consider whether or not we are really doing enough to control mercenaries and private security companies.

The prospect of a tyrant like Gaddafi using mercenaries to suppress dissent is frightening enough, but the fact that goodwill and good leadership are the only factors that currently prevent a well-trained UK-based private security firm from taking the job ought to be very worrying indeed.

Mercenaries are as old as war itself, and they have always been useful to rulers because they are attached to the regime that employs them, rather than to the people. Gaddafi’s reasons for relying on foreign fighters would make perfect sense to medieval kings or rulers of the Italian city-states in the 15th century. Historically, hiring foreigners as soldiers meant they did not have a stake in local disputes, and were not related to people they might have to suppress. Mercenary armies meant that subjects would not have to learn the arts of war themselves, arts they could use against their rulers.  Please read the entire article here

March 1, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Libya, United Nations | , , , | Leave a comment

Foreign Policy: How To Hire A Mercenary

by Joshua Keating at Foreign Policy

As Libya cracks down on the ongoing protests against Moammar Gadhafi’s government, reports have surfaced of African mercenaries attacking protesters and massing to defend the capital city of Tripoli.

“They are from Africa, and speak French and other languages,” said Ali al-Essawi, the Libyan ambassador to India who resigned this week. Libyan police in the town of Benghazi who have turned against the Gadhafi regime have reportedly captured foreign soldiers who are “black, spoke French and were identified by wearing yellow hats” stated an ABC News report. According to varying reports, the foreign mercenaries employed by Gadhafi may be from Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Mali, Sudan and, even Eastern Europe. So how does one go about hiring mercenaries on such short notice these days?

It helps to have friends in the right places. Al-Jazeera has reported that advertisements have been appearing in Guinea and Nigeria offering would-be mercenaries up to $2,000 to come to Gadhafi’s aid. The reports are vague so far, but if the Libyan strongman has indeed been shopping for mercenaries, West Africa would be a good place to start. Recent conflicts in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Ivory Coast have generated a steady supply of unemployed ex-fighters willing to move from conflict to conflict for the right price. Foreign mercenaries, often paid in diamonds, kept Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war going for years. U.N. peacekeepers have reported that the electorally ousted but defiant Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo has brought in mercenaries from Liberia to aid him in his conflict against internationally recognized President Alassane Ouattara.

Please read the entire article here

February 27, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Libya, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , | Leave a comment

African mercenaries in Libya: Fact or racism?

afrol News, 26 February 2011 Protesters in Libya insist that “African mercenaries,” mostly from Niger and Chad, are used against them. Other sources deny this, fearing a possible racist origin of the claim.

Since the beginning of the Libyan revolution, protesters from all over the country have reported of extreme force being used against them by the Libyan army, police forces, plain-cloth regime agents, snipers and – more and more – “black African mercenaries”. The last group increasingly is described as the most brutal group.

Protesters are publishing photos and videos on the internet, with a strong message that “this documents the use of African mercenaries.” Some of these videos indeed show armed groups of dark-skinned persons, with and without uniforms.

February 26, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Libya | , , | Leave a comment

Qaddafi’s Private Thug Army

Saga of the Mercenary soldier Part II at Stormbringer

Sean Linnane Frum Forum

Mercenaries are in the headlines again, this week in the madness and insanity that is Qaddafi’s Libya.

My initial thoughts when I first saw this was that the north African nutjob had a cadre of Eastern European professional soldiers as a sort of Varangian Guard, but as it turns out Qaddafi’s personal foreign legion are basically a pack of thugs from Zimbabwe

If these guys are anything like any and every African soldier I ever trained, worked with or encountered on the battlefield; they’ve all got malaria, half of them can’t read or write, and their only understanding of the Law of Land Warfare is that they’re breaking every law in the book. No matter how hard you train them, in contact they revert to the “spray-and-pray” school of gunfighting and the safest place to be when they’re shooting at you is right out in the middle of the street because they can’t hit the broad side of a barn from the inside.

Please read the entire post here

February 26, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Libya | , , | 1 Comment

Code for security firms reins in violence, mercenaries

By Peter Capella (AFP)

A Blackhawk helicopter flies over Baghad

GENEVA — Officials said on Tuesday a landmark US and British-backed code of conduct signed by private security operators, including some operating in Iraq and Afghanistan, would stop the firms being used as mercenaries.

Britain announced at the signing that it intended to make the code, which is aimed at preventing abuse and reining in excess violence in lawless conflict zones, compulsory for security providers it contracts.

About 58 companies, including US firms Triple Canopy, Xe Services — formerly Blackwater — and Britain’s G4 Security signed up, while the code has the backing of 35 countries, said Swiss officials who brokered the deal.

“We are turning the page,” Swiss state secretary for foreign affairs Peter Maurer told journalists.

“You have to choose whether you are going to be a private security contractor or engaging in warfare,” he added, underlining that a pledge to restrict firearms to self defence only would rule out offensive operations or mercenaries.

“You are not allowed to be a mercenary and take part” in the international code, said Andrew Clapham, director of the Geneva academy of international humanitarian law, who helped draw it up.

The 15-page code, which took 14 months to negotiate, emerged amid concern about the “exponential growth” of contractors providing security in conflict areas and their role in guarding embassies, officials, company executives and aid agencies.

The UN working group on mercenaries this year pressed for stronger binding regulation of the private military security industry.

It warned that such firms, often run by ex-troops, were in a legal grey area that sometimes strayed from protection duty into “new forms of mercenary activities” with the “privatisation of war.”

Diplomats and company executives argued that the voluntary code would fill a gap by setting a minimum standard and marked a step towards greater accountability.

“This code has the potential to be a monumental step forward,” said Devon Chaffee of campaign group Human Rights First.

Maurer warned that it “will only be credible if it is followed by short, medium and long term change in behaviour.”

Michael Clarke, director of public affairs for G4S, which generates 11 billion dollars a year, acknowledged that security providers “didn’t always get it right” in highly insecure areas where staff worked under threat.

“Local institutions may not be strong enough to ensure that people operating there, including our people, are properly held to account. That is, as we see it, the rationale for this code,” he explained.

Blackwater became notorious in 2007 when its guards protecting a convoy opened fire in a busy Baghdad square, killing as many as 17 civilians.

Two former security guards also went on trial in the United States in September accused of the murder of two Afghan citizens in a 2009 shooting.

Afghanistan’s government has ordered private security firms to disband and leave the country amid anger among ordinary Afghans who regard them as private militias acting above the law.

Guy Pollard, a diplomat at the British mission in Geneva, acknowledged that the use of private security services on armed duty carried “significant risks.”

Pollard said the British government would incorporate the code “into each contract we have with a private security company.”

“We will only give contracts to companies that can show they meet the minimum standard we have set for this industry,” he added.

US State Department legal adviser Harold Koh welcomed the code as an opportunity to raise standards and “address gaps in oversight.”

The companies agreed to standards in recruitment, vetting personnel, training, control mechanisms, compliance with local and international laws and protection of human rights.

The code includes limits on the use of force and an assurance that staff cannot invoke contractual obligations or “superior orders” in a conflict zone to justify crimes, killings, torture, kidnappings, detentions.

Please go here for the rest of the story

November 9, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

U.N. group investigates mercenaries

UPI Asia.com

UNITED NATIONS, July 26 (UPI) — More oversight and monitoring at the national and international level are needed for private military contractors, a U.N. group said.

A U.N. working group on the use of mercenaries and private military and security companies is briefing U.N. delegates on the international mechanisms needed to regulate such activity during a weeklong conference at U.N. headquarters this week.

Private security and military contractors are under fire for their role in combat zones.

Erik Prince, the founder U.S. private security company Xe, told an audience in Holland, Mich., in May that security forces working for his company in Afghanistan called in NATO support during operations in 2009.

Critics say contractors like Xe are operating outside of international law.

Prince during his Holland speech responded to accusations that his contractors were potentially violating the Geneva Conventions by acting as unlawful combatants in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said militants there were “barbarians,” adding, “They don’t know where Geneva is, let alone that there was a convention there.”

Members of the working group, the U.N. news center reports, are expected to call for tighter regulations at the national and international level to monitor the work of mercenaries and private security contractors.

July 27, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contingency Contracting, Contractor Oversight, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, United Nations | , , , , , | Leave a comment