Bloomberg News

UN Sends Mission to Libya to Investigate Use of Mercenaries

May 18, 2012

The United Nations will send a fact- finding mission to Libya next week to probe allegations that mercenaries were used in the conflict that ousted Muammar Qaddafi from power and subsequent steps taken by the government.

“In addition to the question of mercenaries, we intend to obtain direct and first-hand information on the activities of private companies offering military assistance, consultancy and security services on the international market, the type of activities they undertake in Libya and their effect on the enjoyment of human rights,” Faiza Patel, who heads the group, said today in an e-mailed statement from Geneva.

Members of the mission, the first to the North African country by independent experts designated by the UN Human Rights Council, will speak with Libyan authorities and representatives of civil society about the regulation of such companies “with special regard to permits, licensing, vetting and accountability for human-rights violations,” according to the statement.

The three-day mission starts on May 21.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer M. Freedman in Geneva at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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