Private Military Companies as "new peacemakers" in Africa : is regulation sufficient?

Van Jaarsveld, Aldri (2007-03)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis evaluates and explores the function of Private Military Companies (PMCs) on the African continent. The phenomenon of PMCs evolved after the end of the Cold War. This study focuses on the relevant international and national legislation regulating PMCs that conduct active military assistance operations. These PMC operations have a strategic impact on the political, social, economical and security environments of the areas in which they are contracted to operate. The purpose of the thesis is to assess whether PMCs are efficient and cost effective, can be held accountable and to whom, and if current legislation (national and international) regulating PMCs is sufficient. This thesis is a literature survey that seeks descriptive and comparative information relevant to the purpose of this study. It deals with that information qualitatively. No empirical research has been conducted. It is therefore not an opinion survey as no questionnaires have been completed, although interviews with knowledgeable people have been conducted. The thesis focuses on the operations conducted by the now defunct Executive Outcomes (of the Republic of South Africa), a combat type PMC in Angola and Sierra Leone and Military Professional Resources Incorporated (of the United States of America), a non-combat type PMC in Equatorial Guinea. The study concludes that PMC operations through legitimate government contracts at international level are indeed legitimate. The regulations (international and national, if they exist) regarding PMCs are not sufficient, and allow for many grey areas. PMCs that operate in this sphere of grey areas are unacceptable for the international community in the current milieu. PMCs are, however, operating in a vacuum of accountability and regulation (international and national). With sufficient legislation, PMCs could be the new peacemakers.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis evalueer en ondersoek die funksionering van Privaat Militêre Maatskappye (PMM’e) en hul werksaamhede in Afrika. Die PMM-verskynsel het voortgespruit uit die stilstand van die Koue Oorlog. Die tesis fokus op die relevante internasionale en nasionale wetgewing rakende PMM’e wat aktief in een of ander formaat by militêre operasies betrokke is. Hierdie PMM-operasies het ’n beduidende strategiese impak op die sosio-politiese, ekonomiese en sekuriteitareas van die gebiede waartoe hul gekontrakteer is. Die doel van die tesis is om die effektiwiteit en koste-effektiwiteit van PMM’e te evalueer, asook om uit te vind of hulle aanspreeklik is en aan wie hulle verantwoording moet doen. Daar is ook gefokus op huidige wetgewing (internasionaal sowel as nasionaal) rakende PMM’e om die doeltreffendheid van sodanige wetgewing te bepaal. Hierdie tesis is ‘n opname van beskrywende en vergelykende literatuurstudies, relevant tot die doel van die tesis. Inligting is kwalitatief aangewend. Geen empiriese navorsing is onderneem nie. Hierdie tesis is ook nie gebaseer op ‘n meningsopname nie. Geen vraelyste is ingevul nie, maar daar is wel onderhoude met kenners van die betrokke vakgebied gevoer. Die tesis fokus op die vroeëre werksaamhede van die ontbinde “Executive Outcomes” as Suid-Afrikaanse PMM wat aktief betrokke was by oorlogvoering in Angola en Sierra Leone en ook op die steeds aktiewe Amerikaanse PMM “Military Professional Resources Incorporated” wat in Ekwatoriaal Guinieë werksaam is en wat nie aktief by oorlogvoering betrokke raak nie. Die tesis kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat PMM-kontrakte wat bekom word deur legitieme regeringskontrakte op internasionale vlak wel legitiem is. Daar is bevind dat wetgewing (internasionaal en nasionaal, waar wel beskikbaar) rakende PMM’e egter nie voldoende en effektief is nie. Daar is steeds baie grys areas rakende verantwoordbaarheid en wetgewing van PMM’e. Dit is in hierdie grys areas waarin baie PMM’e funksioneer en waardeur hulle onaanvaarbaar vir die internasionale gemeenskap in die huidige klimaat is. Doeltreffende wetgewing kan moontlik verseker dat PMM’e die nuwe vredemakers kan word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/18710
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