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Vol 37 No 15

Published 19th July 1996

Soldiers for sale

Their critics call them mercenaries but some regimes find they cannot do without them

Africa's private armies are growing in power and influence. Hired guns are intervening in almost every conflict on the continent, in some cases supplanting, rather than just assisting, government military capacity. Usually, the private armies come with their own intelligence and surveillance operatives and are linked, overtly or covertly, to mining or oil interests.

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