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Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa

PREAMBLE

We, the Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the Organisation of African Unity;

Considering the grave threat which the activities of mercenaries present to the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and harmonious development of Member States of the Organisation of African Unity;

Conscious of the threat which the activities of mercenaries pose to the legitimate exercise of the right of African People under colonial and racist domination to their independence and freedom;

Convinced that total solidarity and co-operation between Member States are indispensable for putting an end to the subversive activities of mercenaries in Africa;

Considering that the resolutions of the UN and the OAU, the statements of attitude and the practice of a growing number of States are indicative of the development of new rules of international law making mercenarism an international crime;

Determined to take all necessary measures to eliminate from the African continent the scourge that mercenarism represents;

Have agreed as follows:

ARTICLE 1
DEFINITION

The crime of mercenarism is committed by the individual, group or association, representatives of a State and the State itself with the aim of opposing by armed violence a process of self-determination or the territorial integrity of another State that practices any of the following acts:

Shelters, organises, finances, assists, equips, trains, promotes, supports or in any manner employs armed forces partially or wholly consisting of persons who are not nationals of the country where they are going to act, for personal gain, material or otherwise;

Enlists, enrols or tries to enrol in the said forces;

Allows the activities mentioned in paragraph (a) to be carried out in any territory under its jurisdiction or in any place under its control or affords facilities for transit, transport or other operations of the above mentioned forces.

Any person, natural or juridical who commits the crime of mercenarism as defined in paragraph 1 of this Article commits an offence considered as a crime against peace and security in Africa and shall be punished as such.

ARTICLE 2
AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES

The fact of assuming command over or giving orders to mercenaries shall be considered as an aggravating circumstance.

ARTICLE 3
STATUS OF MERCENARIES

Mercenaries shall not enjoy the status of combatants and shall not be entitled to the prisoners of war status.

ARTICLE 4
SCOPE OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY

A mercenary is responsible both for the crime of mercenarism and all related offences, without prejudice to any other offences for which he may be prosecuted.

ARTICLE 5
GENERAL RESPONSIBILITY OF STATES AND THEIR REPRESENTATIVES

When the representative of a State is responsible by the virtue of the provisions of Article 1 of this Convention for acts or omissions declared by the aforesaid article to be criminal, he shall be punished for such an act or omission.

When a State is responsible by virtue of the provisions of Article 1 of this Convention for acts or omissions, declared by the aforesaid article to be criminal, any other State may invoke such responsibility:

In its relations with the State responsible, and

Before competent international organisations or bodies.

ARTICLE 6
OBLIGATIONS OF STATES

The contracting parties shall take all necessary measures to eradicate all mercenary activities in Africa.

To this end, each contracting State shall undertake to:

Prevent its nationals or foreigners on its territory form engaging in any of the acts mentioned in Article 1 of this Convention;

Prevent entry into or passage through its territory of any mercenary or any equipment destined for mercenary use;

Prohibit on its territory and activities by persons or organisations who use mercenaries against any African State member of the Organisation of African Unity or the people of Africa in their struggle for liberation;

Communicate to the other Member States of the Organisation of African Unity any information related to the activities of mercenaries as soon as it comes to its knowledge;

Forbid on its territory the recruitment, training, financing and equipment of mercenaries and any other form of activities likely to promote mercenarism;

Take all the necessary legislative and other measures to ensure the immediate entry into force of this Convention.

ARTICLE 7
PENALTIES

Each contracting State shall undertake to make the offence defined in Article 1 of this Convention punishable by the severest penalties under its laws including capital punishment.

ARTICLE 8
JURISDICTION

Each contracting State shall undertake to take such measures as may be necessary to punish, in accordance with the provisions on Article 7, any person who commits an offence under Article 1 of this Convention and who is found on its territory if it does not extradite him to the State against which the offence has been committed.

ARTICLE 9
EXTRADITION

The crimes defined in Article 1 of this Convention, being deemed to be common crimes, are not covered by national legislation excluding extradition for political offences.

A request for extradition shall not be refused unless the requested State undertakes to exercise jurisdiction over the offender in accordance with the provisions of Article 8.

Where a national is involved in the request for extradition, the requested State shall take proceedings against him for the offence committed if extradition is refused.

Where proceedings have been initiated in accordance with paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Article, the requested State shall inform the requesting State or any other State member of the OAU interest ed in the proceedings, of the results thereof.

A State shall be deemed interested in the proceedings within the meaning of paragraph 4 of this Article if the offence is linked in any way with its territory or is directed against its interests.

ARTICLE 10
MUTUAL ASSISTANCE

The contracting States shall afford one another the greatest measure of assistance in connection with the investigation and criminal proceedings brought in respect of the offence and other acts connected with the activities of the offender.

ARTICLE 11
JUDICIAL GUARANTEES

Any person or group of persons on trial for the crime defined in Article 1 of this Convention shall be entitled to all the guarantees normally granted to any ordinary person by the State on whose territory he is being tried.

ARTICLE 12
SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES

Any dispute regarding the application of the provisions of this Convention shall be settled by the interested parties in accordance with the principle of the Charter of the Organisation of African Unity.

ARTICLE 13
SIGNATURE, RATIFICATION AND ENTRY INTO FORCE

This Convention shall be open for signature by the Members of the Organisation of African Unity. It shall be ratified. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Administrative Secretary-General of the Organisation.

This Convention shall come into force 30 days after the date of the deposit of the tenth instrument of ratification.

As regards any signatory subsequently ratifying the Convention, it shall come into force 30 days after the date of the deposit of its instruments of ratification.

ARTICLE 14
ACCESSION

Any Member State of the Organisation of African Unity may accede to this Convention.

Accession shall be by deposit with the Administrative Secretary-General of the Organisation of an instrument of accession, which shall take effect 30 days after the date of its deposit.

ARTICLE 15
NOTIFICATION AND REGISTRATION

The Administrative Secretary-General of the Organisation of African Unity shall notify the Member States of the Organisation of:

The deposit of any instrument of ratification or accession;

The date of entry into force of this Convention.

The Administrative Secretary-General of the Organisation African Unity shall transmit certified copies of the Convention to all Member States of the Organisation.

The Administrative Secretary-General of the Organisation of African Unity shall, as soon as this Convention comes into force, it pursuant to Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations.

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IN WITNESS WHEREOF, We, the Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the Organisation of African Unity have appended our signatures to this Convention.
    
    
    

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