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regulating private military companies
options for the UK Government
Chaloka Beyani and Damian Lilly

International Alert is an independent non-governmental organization which analyses the causes of conflict within countries, enables mediation and dialogue to take place, sets standards of conduct that avoid violence, helps to develop the skills necessary to resolve conflict non-violently, andadvocates policy changes to promote sustainable peace. The International Alert Policy and Advocacy department has three programmes on security and peacebuilding: light weapons, the privatisation of security, and security sector reform. Each promotes the development and implementation of policies and works to enhance the capacity of governments, non-governmental organizations and civil society toaddress the causes of insecurity in regions of conflict.



The Light Weapons and Peacebuilding programme was established in 1994. It focuses on identifying ways by which to control the proliferation and misuse of conventional arms, especially light weapons.



The Privatisation of Security programme, established in 1998, focuses on the development and promotion of policies and practiceswhich will ensure that the activities of private and security and military companies have a positive impact on preventing conflicts and building sustainable peace.



The Security Sector Reform programme seeks to develop policy and practice which contributes to the effective implementation of security sector reform programmes.

© International Alert, August 2001

Designed @www.thepowerstation.com

Contents

Abbreviations & Acronyms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 About the Authors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . 3 Executive Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 I Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 II Lack of Accountability and the Need for Regulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 2.1 Traditionalmercenaries and the emergence of private military companies . . . . . . . 11 2.2 Responding to the rise of private military companies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 2.3 The importance of accountability and a framework for regulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 2.4 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 III Distinguishing Between the Actors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 3.1 Mercenaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 3.2 Private military companies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 3.3 Private security companies .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 3.4 Distinguishing between mercenaries and private military companies . . . . . . . . . . . .18 3.5 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 IV State Responsibility and Obligations under International Law . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 21 4.1 The responsibility of governments in supplier countries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 4.2 Obligations under international law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 4.3 The law of neutrality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 4.4 The prohibition on the use of force . . ....
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