What is a Private Army?

Introduction A private army or private military is a military or paramilitary force consisting of armed combatants who owe their allegiance to a private person, group, or organisation, rather than a nation or state. Refer to Private Military Company and Private Defence Agency. Brief History Private armies may form when land owners arm household retainers… Read More


What is ISO/PAS 28007:2012?

Introduction ISO/PAS 28007:2012 was developed as an initiative by the maritime industry and based on a request by the International Maritime Organisation to provide guidelines for ISO 28000-certified companies deploying Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP) on board ships. Outline It was specifically developed for organisations operating in the Piracy High Risk Area in the… Read More

An Overview of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers

Introduction The International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (the Code) is a set of principles for private military and security providers, created through a multi-stakeholder initiative convened by the Swiss government. This process involved and continuously involves representatives from private security companies, states, and civil society organisations. The code reinforces and articulates… Read More

What is the Montreux Document (2008)?

Introduction The Montreux Document is an agreement between signature countries obligations regarding private military and security companies in war zones. It was ratified in Montreux, Switzerland, in September 2008. The document lists some 70 recommendations for good state practices such as verifying companies track record, examining procedures used to vet staff, correct prosecution when breaches… Read More

An Overview of the UN Mercenary Convention

Introduction The United Nations Mercenary Convention, officially the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries, is a 2001 United Nations treaty that prohibits the recruitment, training, use, and financing of mercenaries. At the 72nd plenary meeting on 04 December 1989, the United Nations General Assembly concluded the convention as its resolution… Read More

What is a Private Military Company?

Introduction A private military company (PMC), private military and security company (PMSC) or mercenary organisation is a private company providing armed combat or security services for financial gain. PMCs refer to their personnel as “security contractors” or “private military contractors”. Refer to Private Army and Private Defence Agency. The services and expertise offered by PMCs… Read More

What was 5 Commando (DRC)?

Introduction 5 Commando was a mercenary unit of the Congolese National Army (Armée Nationale Congolaise, ANC; Democratic Republic of the Congo) formed in response to the Simba rebellion. It was active from 1964 to 1967. Need for Mercenaries In December 1963, a Communist-inspired rebellion broke out in the Congo province of Kwilu. It was initially… Read More