Experts warn of resurgence of mercenary activities

Faiza Patel

There is an alarming resurgence of the use of mercenaries in armed conflicts which poses what has been described as "serious risks to human rights".

This warning has come from a United Nations panel of experts on the use of mercenaries.

It says it is difficult to gauge the extent of the private military and security industry worldwide, with estimates varying from $20 billion to $100 billion per year.

The head of the UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries, Faiza Patel, says her message is that mercenary activities are not the thing of the past as some people might think.

"It's very much a real phenomenon today and we look at the situation in Côte d'Ivoire, and you look at the situation in Libya, you see that particularly on the African continent, mercenaries are very much an issue. My second message would be that private military and security companies, because of the nature of their activities, continue to pose pretty serious risks to human rights. And so we need to be vigilant and make sure that they are properly regulated both at the national level and internationally."

Duration: 26"

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