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Recent investigation into the activities of Sandline International in Sierra Leone has rekindled interest in the role of private armies in African conflicts. Sensational references in newspaper articles, however, run the risk of emphasizing the military aspect of security at the expense of a holistic approach to an emergent security conundrum.This fascinating book is a critique of mercenary involvement in post-Cold War African conflicts. It seeks to achieve a greater understanding of the mercenary-instability complex by examining the links between the rise in internal conflicts and the proliferation of mercenary activities in the 1990s. The distinction in the methods adopted by Cold War mercenaries and their contemporary counterparts, the convoluted network between private armies, business interests, sustained poverty in Africa's poorest countries as well as the connection between mercenary activities and arms proliferation. In exploring solutions to the upsurge of mercenaries on the continent, the book seeks a political and legal redefinition of the term "mercenaries," and calls for new international legislation.The book argues that unless there are complete solutions to the root causes of conflict in a region where poverty represents the greatest threat to democracy and development, legislation will provide only temporary, rather than permanent, mechanisms for stemming this disturbing trend.
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Table of Contents

Acronyms Foreword by Lord Avebury Introduction 1. Africa in Search of Security by J. `Kayode Fayemi 2. Private Military Companies and African Security 1990-98 by Kevin A. O'Brien (University of Hull) 3. A Country Under Siege: Sierra Leone by Abdel-Fatau Musah 4. The Hand of War: Former Zaire 1996-7 by Khareen Pech 5. Mining for Serious Trouble: Jean-Raymonde Boulle by Johan Peleman (International Peace Information Service, Antwerp) 6. Mercenaries, Human Rights and the Legality by Alex Vines (Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford) 7. Africa: Civil Conflicts and the OAU Convention against Mercenaries by Kofi Oteng Kufuor (East London University) 8. The African Security Crisis by Eboe Hutchful (Wayne State University) 9. Arresting the Tide of Mercenaries in Africa by `Funmi Olonisakin (King's College, London) Conclusion Appendices Index

About the Author

Abdel-Fatau Musah was formerly the Research and Publications Co-ordinator at the Centre for Democracy & Development. J. 'Kayode Fayemi is the Executive Director of the Centre for Democracy & Development. Based in London, the Centre for Democracy & Development is an independent NGO dedicated to policy-oriented scholarship in the areas of democratic development and peacebuilding.

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