British Army robbed of vital frontline soldiers!!

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by armchair_jihad, Aug 4, 2006.

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  1. Envoy fights anti-mercenary Bill
    Paul Boateng, the British High Commissioner to South Africa, has urged the country to exempt nationals serving in the British armed forces from a draft law potentially making their deployment illegal.

    He made his request to a parliamentary committee in Cape Town. The bill aims to tighten laws preventing South Africans from becoming mercenaries by forcing them to gain authority to enlist in foreign armies. Mr Boateng said there were more than 700 South Africans in the British armed forces who could be criminalised by a retrospective application of the law. Some had enlisted more than a decade ago.

    “They would either have to abandon their careers in the British armed forces or renounce their South African citizenship,” Mr Boeteng said in the Business Day newspaper.

    Between 4,000 and 20,000 South Africans were thought to be selling military skills abroad, including in Iraq.,,3-2298133,00.html
  2. The Times August 05, 2006

    'Dogs of War' ban will rob British Army of vital frontline soldiers
    From Fred Bridgland in Johannesburg and Michael Evans, Defence Editor

    SEVEN HUNDRED South Africans serving in Britain’s Armed Forces will have to abandon their careers or surrender their citizenship under draconian new anti-mercenary legislation being enacted by South Africa’s Parliament.
    The new Bill, designed to scotch South Africa’s reputation as a rich recruiting ground for “dogs of war”, was approved by 11 votes to one by the Parliament’s defence committee this week despite an impassioned appeal from Paul Boateng, the British High Commissioner.

    If the Bill is approved by the full assembly, as now seems probable, it will end a tradition of South Africans serving with the British military that goes back to the First World War, and leave Britain’s Armed Forces overstretched.

    It was the activities of a former British soldier, Simon Mann, that inspired the Bill. In 2004 Mann, a former SAS officer, began an unsuccessful coup against President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasago of Equatorial Guinea using 70 mercenaries recruited in South Africa. He is now in prison and Sir Mark Thatcher, the son of the former British Prime Minister, was fined £265,000 for helping to finance the attempted coup
    Britain’s Ministry of Defence yesterday sent the 700 South Africans warnings that they may have to return home.

    The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said that it was making urgent representations to the South African Government in a last-ditch effort to have the Bill amended.

    “We don’t think the South African Government is ideologically opposed to their citizens serving in the British Army,” one official said. “It’s just that their legislation aimed at banning mercenaries has drawn us into the dragnet.”

    Britain’s Armed Forces have become increasingly dependent on Commonwealth citizens over the past 20 to 30 years, and in the past seven years the number recruited by the Army has risen by 3,000 per cent. The sweeping new legislation will also criminalise between 5,000 and 10,000 South African hired guns serving in various capacities in Iraq.,,3-2299853,00.html

    Be interesting how the British government reacts with regard to the 700 British soldiers - and to the 5,000 to 10,000 ''hired guns'.
  3. I have changed the title of this thread as this is a fast moving issue and effects our South African brothers and sisters, I will not use the 'Dog's of War' title in the latest Times article because THAT does not refer to SA citizens serving in Her Majestys Armed Forces.

    However if they are banned and choose UK Citizenship expect a major Guardian / Independent led campaign to not allow them in instead of more 'deserving' African immigrants like Somalian car jackers.
  4. I believe the Times has it wrong. As far as im aware there is a clause in the bill for commenwealth countries to allow SA's to continue serving.
  5. I have some questions.

    Can the UK form its armed forces using only British citizens?

    The legislation is not an international issue. It is a strictly internal business of S.Africa. Why does British government interfere in internal affairs of foreign state?

    I don't understan the problem. Grant them British citizenship and that's all.

    What does British Law say on this matter? Suppose that a Briton would be in Saddam's army. Would it be lawfull?
  6. Its one of the Legacies of Empire Sergy, as ours was willingly dismantled there is no 'firebreak' as such. Many such situations arise and as UK law based on established precident proven in the courts, not decree, it usually takes a court case to clear things up. Which is what the left wing will try here.
  7. Hi Sergy,

    In addressing this particular question, the Foreign Elistments Act 1870 makes it an offence for an British Subject to enlist in a Foreign Army.

    Although that is still the position legally, the Act is regarded as almost impossible to enforce and convictions under it extremely rare since the main difficulty is in securing sufficient evidence.

    Regards and best wishes
  8. Thanks Iolis!

    Frankly speaking I suspected that something like Foreign Elistments Act 1870 exists in the UK. No matter is it effectively being used. It exists. So the UK protests that another country tries to pass similar legislation. Yes, a democracy is a strange matter. Something that is good for us is not so good for others.

    Warmest regards from Moscow!
  9. Really? Does this mean that those joining certain Commonwealth militaries are breaking the law, or are there exemptions?

  10. There have been previous threads on the issue of uk citizens serving in foreign armies. It is not illegal if they are not currently in hostilities with us or allied nations.
    If a uk citizen wanted to jon the SA armed forces, they could. reciprocity would seem to be appropiate.
  11. sheldrake

    sheldrake RIP


    Utter nonsense. This bill was already in its nascent stages when Mann was caught. It was not designed to stop mercenary activity, it was designed to stop RSA soldiers and ex-SWAPO guys working in Iraq as a fop to the growing muslim voice in RSA.

    Additionally, you are hopelessly out of touch. This bill was thrown out by the SA parliament 3 days before this article.
  12. It sounds as though the British Press, true to form have not allowed the facts to get in the way of a good story!
  13. Firstly, I did not write the quote you attribute to me, it's a direct quote from the Times article.
    Secondly, I think you may find that the Bill has not been thrown out, try this ....

    Business Day (Johannesburg)
    August 4, 2006
    Posted to the web August 4, 2006
    Wyndham Hartley
    Cape Town
    South Africa: Parliament Rejects UK Plea On Mercenary Bill

    Parliament's defence committee has rejected a plea from British high commissioner Paul Boateng for South Africans serving in the British armed forces to be exempted from the anti-mercenary bill. This may raise some diplomatic heat.

    During debate in the committee ANC MPs, including committee chairwoman Thandi Tobias, rejected Boateng's suggestion that the transitional clause which will compel those already in the service of the armed forces of another country to apply for authority to do so was "retrospective".

    Boateng had argued that the proposed legislation placed the 700 South Africans in the position where they either have to give up their careers with the British armed forces or renounce their SA citizenship. He said the clause in the bill had the "potential" to criminalise the 700.

    It is understood that the high commissioner will pursue the matter on a bilateral basis with the South African government.

    Director of the Helen Suzman Foundation Raenette Taljaard urged the committee to get clarity on the constitutionality of the need for those already serving to apply retrospectively for authorisation. She agreed that the constitution allowed rights to be limited but stressed that the limitations had to be reasonable.

    The committee also backtracked on an earlier decision to excise a clause which revokes any authorisation should the individual see active service.

    It was earlier suggested that the authority to serve in a foreign force should be revoked only under certain conditions such as if the active service was in conflict with a UN resolution or an international agreement. But the committee decided to keep the automatic revocation should the individual engage in combat.

    Acting head of the legal department at the defence department Siviwe Njikela said the department was satisfied that by allowing a period of grace for those already enlisted to legitimise their positions the legislation was not retrospective.

    Full article:-
  14. Could it not be argued that this proposed bill is little more than an attempt on the part of the ANC to settle old scores with former members of 32 Battalion, the Recces etc.?
  15. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    Bloody right Gallowglass !

    Now the third echelon are up at comd level they'll be champing at the bit to attack those they didn't have the balls go for on the border.