UN Monitoring Group on Somalia & Eritrea raises human rights concerns about Sterling Corporate Services operations in Somalia

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25 September 2012

From Sandline to Saracen: Time to hold the private security industry to its human rights commitments

Author: James Cockayne, Institute for Human Rights and Business

In July 2012 a UN Monitoring Group alleged that [a] private military and security company...Saracen International, closely linked to Sterling Corporate Services...may have spent much of the last two years involved in activities that breach UN sanctions in Somalia, with several Somalis apparently ending up dead in the process...Saracen is a signatory to the International Code of Conduct (ICoC) for Private Security Providers...With the multi-stakeholder oversight mechanism that the Code promises still not yet established, there is a danger that certification against the new industry ‘standard’ will offer the industry increased legitimacy without increased accountability...[However, the] ICoC may offer a neat way for the government to discharge its Duty to Protect human rights, and the best way to provide effective remedies – but only if the oversight mechanism meets the standards set in the UN Guiding Principles. [refers to Sandline International]

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31 July 2012

[PDF] Sterling Corporate Services re allegations in Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group report

Author: Stephen Heifetz, Steptoe (Counsel to Sterling Corporate Services)

The report alleges numerous falsehoods with regard to Sterling Corporate Services (SCS)'s involvement in developing the Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF), a counter-piracy project in the Puntland State of Somalia. Many Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) allegations are not only false but outrageous and even vindictive...Other international groups have diverged sharply from the SEMG regarding the virtues of the PMPF...The SEMG report – as it concerns SCS, AAGI, and other PMPF-supporting entities – should be seen for what it is: a collection of unsubstantiated and often false innuendo assembled by a group with extreme views regarding participants in Somali politics. It does not reflect the reality on the ground, which is this: the PMPF initiative was transparent, responsive to UN Security Council resolutions, compliant with UN rules, and supported by national governments.

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