Corporate warriors : scourge or solution in African conflict resolution

Johnson, Jade Nichole (2010-12)

Thesis (MA (Political Science. International Studies))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Bibliography

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) are fast becoming a permanent structure in international security. PMSCs are made up of two groups, namely Private Military Companies (PMCs) and Private Security Companies (PSCs). Antagonism towards their existence and involvement in African civil wars is the result of some damaging effects of PMSCs- more specifically PMCs- including misconceptions. Both PMCs and PSCs are compared to mercenaries and definitional issues plague the private security industry. Private Military and Security Companies however are legal entities, different to mercenaries. This is why PMCs are sometimes referred to as "corporate warriors". As private companies PMCs often fill the security gaps left by international responses to African civil wars. Their contracts with legitimate governments offer a cheap and effective end to the violence of civil war. In recent years the use of PMSCs has increased among both weak and strong states. Antipathy however remains the prominent attitude in the international community, thus challenging the use of PMSCs. From this point of view, they are a ¡°scourge¡± because PMCs are not only likened to mercenaries of old who fight for private gain, but the arguments are also that they undermine the sovereignty of weak states, that they are unaccountable to the citizens of these states, that they violate human rights, that they don't solve root causes and that they contribute to militarization. The increase of civil conflicts in Africa and the surplus of military professionals after the Second World War meant that mercenaries became involved in African liberation struggles. By the end of the Cold War however- in an era that favours liberal economic practices and privatisation- professional legal Private Military and Security Companies were established to supplement the security gap left at the end of the Cold War. As mentioned, these are legal companies that don.t breach international conventions; are accountable to some home state legislation's and brought peace to Angola and Sierra Leone. International responses to security concerns- especially those in Africa- are burdened by the plethora of complex civil conflicts that simultaneously demand attention from the United Nations. PMCs may be equipped to execute Chapter VII mandates of the UN Charter, as these deal with robust enforcement functions at a time when the West is reluctant to intervene. What is perhaps required is more accountability (also to host state legislation) and oversight. The services of PMCs are beneficial to a number of stakeholders. These include the states in which they are registered, the states in which they operate, the citizenry that they protect, and they are profitable to the shareholders of the PMCs and diamond and oil companies they are contracted to. It is thus the conclusion of this thesis that Private Military Companies provide a faster and more cost- effective option for peacemaking in Africa. As private companies they are not bound by protocols and conventions but they must satisfy the company and its shareholders. And although the use of Private Military Companies is not dependent on the regulation of the industry, the PMSC industry would benefit from more self- regulation in the market place. Thus with relevant and more effective regulation, PMCs could become Africa's solution to her civil conflicts. Unlike in the Ballesteros report, the UN has to recognise this role.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Private Militere- en Sekuriteitsmaatskappye (PMSMe) is vinnig besig om 'n permanente struktuur in privaatsekuriteit te word. Skadelike uitwerkings van hierdie PMSMe, wanpersepsies ingesluit, is 'n gevolg van die antagonisme teenoor die maatskappye en hul betrokkenheid in burgeroorloë. PMSMe word met huursoldate vergelyk en gevolglik word die privaatsekuriteitsindustrie met kwessies rondom definiering gekwel. PMSMe, anders as huursoldate, is egter wettige entiteite. Om hierdie rede word PMSMe dikwels as "korporatiewe krygsmanne" (corporate warriors) beskryf. PMSMe, as private maatksappye, vul dikwels die sekuriteitsgapings wat deur die internasionale reaksies tot burgeroorloë in Afrika gelaat is. Hul kontrakte met legitieme regerings bied 'n goedkoop en effektiewe middel om die geweld van burgeroorloë te beëindig. Die gebruik van PMSMe het, gedurende die afgelope jare, in beide swak- en sterk state toegeneem. Antipatie dien steeds as in vername afkeur in die internasionale gemeenskap. Dit daag dus die gebruik van PMSMe uit. Hulle word steeds met huursoldate in die internasionale gemeenskap verwar. Terselfdertyd word geargumenteer dat PMSMe die soewereiniteit van swak regerings ondermyn, dat hulle nie verantwoordbaar aan die burgers van hierdie state is nie, dat hulle inbreuk maak op menseregte, dat hulle nie die kernoorsake van konflik oplos nie, en dat hulle tot militarisering bydra. Die toename in burgerlike konflikte in Afrika, tesame met die oorskot militêre vakkundiges na die Tweede Wereldoorlog, het gemaak dat huursoldate in Afrika se vryheidstryde betrokke geraak het. Teen die einde van die Koue Oorlog - gedurende 'n tydperk waar liberale ekonomiese praktyke en privatisering voorrang geniet het - was professionele wettige PMSMe byderhand om die sekuriteitsgaping aan te vul. Hierdie is dus wettige maatskappye wat nie internasionale konvensies skend nie, wat verantwoordbaar is aan sekere tuisstaatwetgewing, en wat vrede in Angola en Sierra Leone meegebring het. Internasionale reaksies tot sekuriteitskwessies - veral die sigbaar in Afrika - word deur 'n oormaat van komplekse burgerlike konflikte, wat gelyktydig aandag van die Verenigde Nasies (VN) verg, belas. Hiervolgens is dit moontlik dat PMSMe wel toegerus mag wees om Hoofstuk II-mandate van die VN Handves uit te voer. Die rede hiervoor is dat die PMSMe wel toegerus is om robuuste toepassings funksies te verrig. Dit het veral vorendag gekom gedurende 'n tydperk toe die Weste huiwerig was om by sekuriteitskwessies in te meng. Hoer vlakke van verantwoordbaarheid en oorsig word moontlik meer vereis. Die dienste van PMSMe is voordelig vir vele belanghebbendes. Hierdie sluit die state in waar hul gekontrakteer het, die state waarin hulle optree, die burgers wat hulle beskerm, die winsgewendherd vir aandeelhouers van die PMSMe en die diamant- en oliemaatskappye deur wie hul gekontrakteer mag wees om installasies te beskerm. Die gevolgtrekking van hierdie tesis is dus dat PMSMe 'n vinniger en meer koste-effektiewe opsie vir vredemaking in Afrika bied. Al is die gebruik van PMSMe nie afhanklik van die regulering van die industrie nie, sal die PMSMe-industrie by 'n verhoging in self-regulering in daardie sektore baat vind. Met relevante en meer effektiewe markregulering, kan PMSMe dus as 'n oplossing in Afrika se burgerlike konflik dien. Anders as in die Ballesteros verslag, sal die VN dit moet erken.

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