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Sié Chéou-Kang CenterPrivate Security Monitor

An expert from ArmorGroup (left) trains local members of the Nepal and Maoist Armies on the safe removal of unexploded devices.
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The New Unknown Soldiers of Afghanistan and Iraq 
Foreign Policy |  29 May 2015
> This past Monday, as on every Memorial Day, American political and military leaders paid tribute to the sacrifice of service members who gave their lives for their country. The day of remembrance is not only to honor the past dead, but also to recognize the tens of thousands of service members still deployed in combat zones today, regardless of whether politicians label them as “wars” or whether these operations are in the forefront of Americans’ minds.

US Counter-piracyTeam Earns Panama's Approval 
MarineLink |  27 May 2015
> Meridian’s counter-piracy teams may now operate aboard vessels flying the Panama flag, following a vetting process that validated the quality of the US-based private maritime security company. The final decision was made this week by the Panama Maritime Authority, which administers the world’s largest flag State.

Israeli offers counter terror expertise to Kenya as police seek new equipment 
Defence Web |  25 May 2015
> Ten Israeli security firms have offered to provide security consultancy, intelligence and counter-terrorism expertise to Kenyan government and private security following a series of deadly raids which culminated in the killing of at least 147 university students two months ago.

Soldiers for hire: SA’s great security risk 
The Daily Maverick |  25 May 2015
> Boko Haram began its terrorism and insurgency seven years ago. They also released a video, pledging allegiance first to al-Qaeda and then to the Islamic State. Before the elections, which had to be postponed owing to terror threats, Boko Haram controlled an area compatible to the size of Belgium inside the territory of Nigeria and her neighbours. What is extremely curious is the involvement of South African private military contractors who have been training the Nigerian elite force and have also joined the actual war, with units reportedly joining combat operations against Boko Haram.

Here’s how states can improve the security industry 
Reveal News |  25 May 2015
> Oklahoma flags applicants who are considered mentally unstable and may need treatment before receiving a license. In 2008, Oklahoma regulators intervened in the case of one guard, already licensed, who had attempted suicide and appeared to be on the edge of a mental break. He lost his license. In addition, the state monitors substance abuse problems. In another case, an Oklahoma guard overdosed on a painkiller and muscle relaxer while on duty. Regulators eventually persuaded the guard to voluntarily surrender his license.

Minister warns SA mercenaries in Nigeria 
iOL News |  21 May 2015
> Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has issued a stern warning to South African mercenaries battling Boko Haram in Nigeria that they face serious consequences for their actions. While the former South African Defence Force soldiers have been enlisted by the Nigerian government to help them fight the terrorist group, Mapisa-Nqakula said on Wednesday the Foreign Military Assistance Act prohibits South Africans from fighting outside the country for financial gain.

Polish camp trains security contractors for mission impossible 
Bangkok Post |  21 May 2015
> Five men, armed to the teeth, have just stormed a home and it did not go well, not well at all. "You killed a kid!" screamed the instructor. Security operatives train in a replica of part of the Somali capital Mogadishu at Poland's European Security Academy on April 24, 2015, which prepares people from around the world for missions in danger zones A glance at the bullet marks on the child-sized mannequin leaves no doubt -- the drill must be repeated. The men are training at Poland's private European Security Academy (ESA), in the western countryside, which prepares security and military contractors from around the globe for missions in danger zones.

How South Africans trained Nigerian military to fight Boko Haram 
Weekly Trust |  16 May 2015
> Boko Haram has since 2009 been Nigeria’s scourge and in early 2015, after the terror group took over major towns, they lost most of those territories within weeks as Nigerian troops fought and won them back. The gains of the Nigerian Army reportedly relied on the support of Private Military Contractors, led by a former South African Lieutenant-Colonel called Eeben Barlow.

Time for a private-sector pivot on military technology 
War on the Rocks |  14 May 2015
> The Department of Defense’s pivot to Asia has been well documented and debated, but the department is also pursuing a less discussed pivot toward commercial technology. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s recent visit to Silicon Valley highlights this growing anxiety throughout the defense community — that the commercial sector is the locus of cutting edge technology with military importance, but the department is poorly positioned to capitalize on this development.

More on Nigeria’s South African Mercenaries 
Council on Foreign Relations |  13 May 2015
> After almost five years of reverses, the Nigerian federal government largely cleared Boko Haram fighters from the territories they occupied in Borno state–in about five weeks. The Nigerian government has given most of the credit to an allegedly invigorated Nigerian army. There has also been some acknowledgement of the contributions of Chadian and Nigerien forces. There has, however, been little recognition of the role of South African mercenaries, though they are likely to have been crucial to military success against Boko Haram.

The last report of murdered Russian opposition politician claims Putin spent billions on mercenaries to fight in Ukraine 
Business Insider Australia |  12 May 2015
> Prominent Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was gunned down on the streets of Moscow in February, has had his final report published today by his former colleagues. It promises to be explosive. The 64-page report, titled simply “Putin. War”, contains all of the evidence collected by Nemtsov in the final months of his life as he looked into Russia’s role in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine that has so far cost over 6,000 lives.

South African guns-for-hire deployed in Boko Haram fight – UK report 
eNCA |  12 May 2015
> South African mercenaries have been quietly instrumental in helping the Nigerian military turn around its fight against the Boko Haram terror group, according to a weekend report in the Daily Telegraph newspaper. After just three months in the west African country, a squad of predominantly white mercenaries, with a background in the apartheid-era SA Defence Force, have helped to end the terror group’s six-year reign in northern Nigeria.

Security guard unlawfully killed by colleague in Iraq, coroner rules 
itv News |  11 May 2015
>A Scottish security guard was unlawfully killed by his colleague who had not been properly vetted to work in Iraq, a coroner has ruled. Paul McGuigan, 37,and Australian Darren Hoare, 37, were murdered by Danny Fitzsimons within hours of him arriving in Baghdad on August 9 2009.

Police warns private security firms 
New Vision |  11 May 2015
>The director of special duties, Andrew Sorowen has warned that the police force will revoke licences of private security firms if they do not stick to professionalism. Security firms are partly licenced to help the police to curb crime. However, some private guards have been named in various crimes, among them is theft in areas under their jurisdiction.

Hiring young security guards 
The Hindu |  11 May 2015
>The demand for young security guards is on the rise as corporate and industries seek young, energetic, agile and able bodied educated youth to guard their premises. The demand over the last four to five years has reset the trend that only retired persons come for security jobs.

Rajitha misfires again, but Nigeria discloses deals with Avant Garde 
the Sunday Times |  10 May 2015
>Rambukwella’s successor, Minister Rajitha Senaratne, has not only outdone his predecessor as official spokesperson. He has also added one more dubious achievement, creating an international furore of sorts. In the process, other lesser known secrets have also come out. At a news briefing, Minister Senaratne charged that the private maritime security firm Avant Garde Maritime Security Limited (AGMSL) had supplied weapons to Nigeria and that the arms had ended up in the hands of Boko Haram, the rebel group fighting in that country. The remark incensed the new Nigerian Government of military strongman Muhammadu Buhari who was elected President at the April 5 election.

In Ukraine, private armies take fight to Russian separatists 
The Nation |  7 May 2015
>While the ceasefire agreement between the Ukrainian government and separatist rebels in the eastern part of the country seems largely to be holding, a recent showdown in Kiev between a Ukrainian oligarch and the government revealed one of the country's ongoing challenges: private military battalions that do not always operate under the central government's control.

Liberia: Supreme Court Hears Appeal Hearing in Mercenary Case 
AllAfrica |  6 May 2015
>The Supreme Court of Liberia has finally held an appeal hearing in the case of 13 Liberians tried, found guilty and convicted to life imprisonment for their alleged role in mercenary activities in the Ivory Coast during that country's post- election violence 2010 and 2011 respectively.

In the battle between Ukraine and Russian separatists, shady private armies take the field 
Reuters |  5 May 2015
>While the ceasefire agreement between the Ukrainian government and separatist rebels in the eastern part of the country seems largely to be holding, a recent showdown in Kiev between a Ukrainian oligarch and the government revealed one of the country’s ongoing challenges: private military battalions that do not always operate under the central government’s control.

5 ways the armed-guard industry is out of control 
Reveal News |  4 May 2015
>Reveal reporter Shoshana Walter worked with CNN to uncover chaos in the armed security guard industry. Companies have hired felons and people with mental health issues. They have hired former police officers accused of abuse.

G4S abuses in South African prison still ignored 
openSecurity |  1 May 2015
> On 17 December 2013, former inmate Tebogo Meje was called to the office of the unit manager in Mangaung prison, a South African jail run by British security behemoth G4S. There, members of the Emergency Security Team (EST)–a team of warders also known as the ‘ninjas’, armed with electrically charged shields and other non-lethal weapons–interrogated Meje.

Controversy over pros and cons of Escobal silver mine development divides rural Guatemalan region 
Business Vancouver |  1 May 2015
> Escobal mine in the southern Guatemalan department of Santa Rosa is the world’s third-largest silver mine. It’s only been in commercial operation since 2014, and this year the company’s target is to produce 20 million ounces of silver. But the mine has had a conflict-riddled start.

Confronting Britain's military-industrial complex 
OurKingdom |  1 May 2015
> After killing fourteen unarmed civilians in Baghdad’s Nisour Square in September 2007, four ex-Blackwater security guards were sentenced to lengthy prison terms on April 13: one to a life sentence, the other three thirty years. The Nisour Square massacre was one of a long list of scandals involving private contractors in Iraq, unique in the sense that there has been some semblance of accountability and legal process. Blackwater – since re-branded as Academi – has been seen by many as the ultimate expression of the blurred lines between war and profiteering; of the excesses of American military power; and the “military-industrial complex” which Dwight Eisenhower famously warned against when departing office in 1960.

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