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OAU Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa. Libreville, 3rd July 1977.

The African Convention on Mercenarism was signed in Libreville on 3 July 1977 and entered into effect on 22 April 1985. This is an important regional instrument given the real and supposed threat posed by mercenarism to many African states since the beginning of decolonization. This text was adopted less than one month following adoption of the 1977 Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and provides an extensive definition of the mercenarism but does not contain a "safeguard clause" applicable to international humanitarian law. While the African Convention condemns mercenaries and mercenarism (Article 1), these activities are not considered to be a "grave breach" by Protocol I of 1977. The United Nations International Convention "against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries" considers mercenarism as an offence (Article 2 and foll.), has entered into force (20.10.2001).
Organization of African Unity



July 1977, Libreville


Organization of African Unity (OAU)


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Organization of African Unity, CM/817 (XXIX), Annex II Rev. 1

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