MERCENARIES AND SOUTHERN AFRICA: For the adoption of an International Convention against Mercenaries
Notes and Documents
by Deborah A. Jackson, National Conference of Black Lawyers, United Nations Centre Against Apartheid
New York, New York, United States
The report consists of the statement made by the co-chairperson of the International Affairs Task Force of the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL) at a meeting of the Special Committee Against Apartheid held on February 11, 1980. The report says that progressive forces throughout the world struggling to throw off the yoke of neo-colonialism and imperialism are struggling against not only direct military aggression from within their respective countries but also against military aggression from without through paid intermediaries. The report says the use of mercenaries and its impact on world peace have taken on increased legal and political significance particularly since the post-colonial period in Africa, and mercenaries are being used in Angola, Benin, the Sudan and Zaire to maintain governments that rule without popular support. The NCBL notes that, as the liberation struggles in southern Africa intensify, the impulse to recruit and employ mercenaries to extend the meager manpower of the minority regimes will continue and increase. The NCBL therefore urges the Special Committee against Apartheid to take appropriate steps that would lead to the development of a convention on the use and activities of mercenaries.