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Cote Divoire Military - 2024


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Military and security forces

Armed Forces of Cote d'Ivoire (Forces Armees de Cote d'Ivoire, FACI; aka Republican Forces of Ivory Coast, FRCI): Army (Land Force), National Navy, Air Force, Special Forces; National Gendarmerie (under the Ministry of Defense)

Ministry of Security and Civil Protection: National Police, Coordination Center for Operational Decisions (a mix of police, gendarmerie, and FACI personnel for assisting police in providing security in some large cities), Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (2024)

note: the National Gendarmerie is a military force established to ensure public safety, maintain order, enforce laws, and protect institutions, people, and property; it has both territorial and mobile units; the Directorate of Territorial Surveillance is responsible for countering internal threats

Military expenditures

0.9% of GDP (2022 est.)
1.1% of GDP (2021 est.)
1.1% of GDP (2020 est.)
1.1% of GDP (2019 est.)
1.2% of GDP (2018 est.)

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 25,000 active troops (23,000 Army, including about 2,000 Special Forces; 1,000 Navy; 1,000 Air Force); 5-10,000 Gendarmerie (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the inventory of the FACI consists mostly of older or second-hand equipment, typically of French or Soviet-era origin; Cote d'Ivoire was under a partial UN arms embargo from 2004 to 2016; in recent years it has received limited amounts of mostly second-hand equipment from a variety of suppliers, including Bulgaria, China, and France (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18-26 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service for men and women; conscription is reportedly not enforced (2023)

Military - note

the military (FACI) was established in 1960 from home defense units the French colonial government began standing up in 1950; the FACI has mutinied several times since the late 1990s, most recently in 2017, and has had a large role in the country’s political turmoil; it is responsible for external defense but also has a considerable internal role supporting the National Gendarmerie and other internal security forces; the operational focus of the FACI, as well as the Gendarmerie and other security forces, is the growing threat posed by Islamic militants associated with the al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) terrorist group operating across the border in Burkina Faso; AQIM militants conducted significant attacks in the country in 2016 and 2020; Côte d’Ivoire since 2016 has stepped up border security and completed building a joint counter-terrorism training center with France near Abidjan in 2020

the FACI’s Land Forces are assigned to regions, and its combat units are organized into approximately 10 battalions, most of which are infantry or security forces, complemented by artillery, armored, and air defense battalions; the separate special forces branch has a commando/paratrooper battalion; the Air Force has a few operational combat helicopters, while the Navy operates a handful of patrol boats and two offshore patrol vessels acquired since 2022; the National Gendarmerie has seven “legions” deployed throughout the country (Abidjan has two assigned legions) and is organized into mobile and territorial forces; the Mobile Gendarmerie is responsible for maintaining and restoring order and is considered the backbone of the country’s domestic security; the Territorial Gendarmerie is responsible for the administrative, judicial, and military police; the Gendarmerie also has separate specialized units for security, intervention (counterterrorism, hostage rescue, etc), VIP protection, and surveillance

Cote d’Ivoire has close security ties with France, which maintains a military presence; the UN had a 9,000-strong peacekeeping force in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) from 2004 until 2017 (2023)

NOTE: The information regarding Cote Divoire on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Cote Divoire 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Cote Divoire 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.