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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Mercenaries fill the vacuum
Author:Olonisakin, FunmiISNI
Year:1998
Periodical:The World Today: Chatham House Review
Volume:54
Issue:6
Pages:146-148
Language:English
Geographic terms:Sierra Leone
Nigeria
Subjects:regional security
mercenaries
Abstract:Revelations about the alleged role of Sandline International in the Nigerian-led efforts to reinstate the democratically elected government in Sierra Leone raise serious questions. On the surface, restoring to power President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah appears to be an altruistic mission, but this conceals deeper security concerns. Failure to control mercenary activity may worsen the plight of States like Sierra Leone, which spend meagre resources on huge fees. In addition, private security firms may contribute to the problem of arms proliferation in an already volatile region. Nigeria's credibility problem, as a result of continued human rights abuses at home and a heavily politicized army, is a stumbling block to the development of an enduring regional security framework. The real danger, however, is that an unchecked Nigerian military regime may one day remove a democratically elected leader. Permitting private armies and international pariah States like Nigeria a free hand in determining when and where to 'create stability' may set a dangerous precedent, which may be hard for the international community to reverse. Effective controls must be put in place to make these private and regional actors accountable. Ref.
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