The Working Group on the use of mercenaries - Members
Gabor Rona (United States) - Chairperson-Rapporteur
Mr. Gabor Rona (United States), is a graduate of Vermont Law School and Columbia Law School. He is a Visiting Professor of Law at Cardozo Law School, where he teaches international human rights law and humanitarian law. He formerly served as the International Legal Director of Human Rights First and before that, was a Legal Advisor in the Legal Division of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva. He has published extensively on human rights and humanitarian law applicable to terrorism and counterterrorism.
Ms. Jelena Aparac (Croatia)
Ms. Jelena Aparac (Croatia) holds an LLM from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and is a final-year Ph.D. candidate in International Law for which she received award from the Balafenn Fondation. Her Ph.D. research explores the involvement in and legal liability of corporations for international crimes occurring in the context of non-international armed conflicts and the application of international human rights law and international humanitarian law to economic actors. She has lectured on subjects such as international humanitarian law, fundamental freedoms, corporate liability, sexual violence in armed conflicts and protection of refugees. As field worker and Legal Advisor for Médecins sans Frontières she worked in conflict areas such as South Sudan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic. She has been an Academic Friend of the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council since 2016 and her previous experience includes an internship with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Ms. Aparac has advised civil society organizations, academic institutions and law cabinets on topics of refugee protection, humanitarian action and contributed to the indictments on corporate liability. She has participated in numerous conferences and published a number of articles and research on private military companies and corporate liability in armed conflicts.
Ms. Lilian Bobea (Dominican Republic)
Ms. Lilian Bobea (Dominican Republic) is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Behavioral Science and Criminal Justice, at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts. She is also the Chairperson for the Latin American Studies Association‘s section and Track on Defense, Public Security and Democracy. She is an occasional consultant in the area of police and military reform and on judicial systems. Ms. Bobea has a Bachelor in Sociology from the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo and a Master in Sociology from the State University of New York, Binghamton. She also has a Ph.D from Utrecht University. Some of the main activities she engages in include international conferences on the topics of security, human rights, civil and military relations, police and justice systems reform. She is also a pro-bono advocate for the rights of deportee’s immigrants and is a publisher of a monthly column for a local newspaper in the Domincan Republic. She has multiple publications on various issues including violence, criminal justice and on the war on drugs.
Mr. Chris M. A. Kwaja (Nigeria)
Mr. Chris M. A. Kwaja (Nigeria), Ph.D., is currently a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Centre for Peace and Security Studies (CPSS), Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria. Prior to joining the CPSS, he lectured at the Centre for Conflict Management and peace Studies, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria. He is a Visiting Research Fellow with the Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja, Nigeria. In 2008, He was an exchange fellow of Dispute Resolution at the University of Massachusetts, United States. He is also a recipient of several research awards such as the CODESRIA Governance Institute on Private Military and Security Companies, 2009; United Nations Mandated University for Peace Doctoral Research Award, 2009; as well as the Peace Fellow Award of the West Africa Research Centre, 2010. He has worked on the activities of corporate non-corporate mercenaries in Africa, with specific reference to Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Darfur.
Mr. Saeed Mokbil (Yemen)
Mr. Saeed Mokbil holds a Masters Degree from college of International law and international relations of Kiev University and diploma in journalism from International Institute of Journalism - Berlin with 25 years of experience in human rights, including in monitoring, reporting and submitting communications on human rights violations and country reports to United Nations mechanisms. His professional experience includes positions with OHCHR, International Service for Human Rights as well as posts in diplomatic missions in Geneva and Ethiopia, and in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Yemen and lastly as Executive Director of the International Organization for the Least Developed Countries (non-governmental organization). He has taken part in country missions related to the mandate and has field experience from Darfur, Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen.