The Use of Private Military Companies to Counter the Insurgency in Northern Mozambique

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Since the emergence of the IS-linked insurgent group Ansar al-Sunna in Cabo Delgado, the Mozambican government has made use of private military companies to combat the group. It has principally employed the Dyck Advisory Group from South Africa and the Wagner Group from the Russian Federation. This chapter examines the need for international regulation of PMSCs in the context of the conflict in Cabo Delgado. It is this issue that forms the focus of the chapter, in particular in view of the renewed efforts by the UN Human Rights Council to arrive at a workable regulatory framework for PMSC activities and to ensure the effective enforcement of international and national law and accountability in case of transgressions. The chapter departs with an overview of existing treaty-based and voluntary regulatory frameworks aimed at regulating the activities of mercenaries and PMSCs. It then considers the work of certain UN bodies in creating a regulatory framework for the activities of PMSCs and their accountability for violations under international human rights and humanitarian law. Against this background, the chapter concludes with an assessment of the Mozambican government’s responsibility for the conduct of PMSCs and the need for UN bodies to avoid treating PMSCs as just another manifestation of mercenarism, which ultimately requires the finalisation of a workable definition of PMSCs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMozambique’s Cabo Delgado Conflict
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Humanitarian Law and Regional Security
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781040011638
ISBN (Print)9781032329895
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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