Private Security: the new determinant of power tenure?

Mercenarism disproportionaly favors whoever can afford it. Although EO and other such security firms can be considered as the alternative to the United Nations or Organization of African Unity, in terms of international peace-keeping and security forces, it ultimately protects and keeps only those who can afford it in power. EO's presence in Sierra Leone, as in other African countries such as Angola, gives politicians the opportunity to privatize authority and form profitable commercial networks to enable them to increase personal power and wealth. This new configuration of power has accentuated the importance of mercenarism in the determination of power retention and the development of political processes in African countries. The result of which will be a multitude of governments lacking legitimacy of having been appointed by the majority of the populace through a democratic process. Mercenaries for hire, such as those belonging to private security companies such as EO and Sandline, only have (political) loyalties to their paymasters. Conflict resolution is not the commercial network's primary interest as this would opened up the market to other serious competitors who had been deterred by the war. This commercial basis for power has led the denial of national sovereignty and self-determination, the survival imperative of a democratic process.

 

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