Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Mercenaries are the scourge of poor areas of the World

Though the U.S. has lost its moral compass it does not mean that others have done so.

The quote below comes from the NY Times

August 29, 2006
South Africa Assembly OKs Mercenary Bill
Filed at 3:48 p.m. ET

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) -- South Africa moved closer Tuesday to a sweeping anti-mercenary law that critics said would also undermine legitimate security work in countries like Iraq and threaten humanitarian activities.

''Mercenaries are the scourge of poor areas of the world, especially Africa,'' Defense Minister Mosiuoa Lekota told a parliamentary session before the new law was approved. ''Anybody that has money can hire these human beings and turn them into killing machines or cannon fodder.''

By a 211-28 vote, the National Assembly approved the Prohibition of Mercenary Activity and Regulation of Certain Activities in Areas of Armed Conflict Bill, thanks to the large majority of the ruling National African Congress.

The legislation now must go to the second parliamentary chamber, the National Council of Provinces, but that is expected to be a formality because of the ANC majority.

Opposition lawmakers and independent analysts said the legislation would have a direct impact on thousands of South African security workers abroad.

There are an estimated 2,000 to 4,000 South Africans in Iraq alone, helping guard oil installations, hotels and foreign residents. Thousands more are in other countries such as Nigeria and Afghanistan. Many of them are white veterans of the apartheid-era armed forces.

All South Africans wanting to work in security and military sectors abroad will now have to register with an arms control committee. Len Le Roux, an analyst with the Institute for Security Studies, said this would likely lead to long bureaucratic delays and dissuade foreign companies from hiring South Africans....