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1 Nov 2011

Talk Radio News Service [USA]

UN Panel Wants Iraq to Address Military Contractor Immunity

With the role of security contractors set to increase in Iraq, UN experts want the Iraqi government to settle their legal status once and for all. Contractor numbers are expected to grow once American troops leave the country at the end of the year...In 2009, the Iraq-US Status of Force Agreement (SOFA) ended the legal immunity for certain types of contractors. [UN Working Group's] Patel says that while SOFA was an improvement, it was also unclear about which “category” of military contractors were exempt from prosecution in Iraq. But with US troops scheduled to withdraw from the country before the end of the year and SOFA no longer expected to be enforced, Patel says the immunity question needs to be addressed. “The status of foreign contractors in Iraq is quite unclear and this is a matter to which the working group believes the Iraqi government should pay urgent attention.”