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 (2023)
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
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.)
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 (2022)
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)
18-26 years of age for compulsory and voluntary male and female military service; conscription is not enforced (2023)
850 Mali (MINUSMA) (2022)
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)
the International Maritime Bureau reported one product tanker hijacked and one product tanker boarded in the territorial and offshore waters of Cote d'Ivoire in 2022; in both cases the ship's cargo and valuables were stolen; the territorial and offshore waters in the Niger Delta and Gulf of Guinea remain a very high risk for piracy and armed robbery of ships; past incidents have been reported where vessels were attacked and crews kidnapped; these incidents showed that the pirates / robbers in the area are well armed and violent; pirates have robbed vessels and kidnapped crews for ransom; in the past, product tankers were hijacked and cargo stolen; the Maritime Administration of the US Department of Transportation has issued a Maritime Advisory (2023-001 - Gulf of Guinea-Piracy/Armed Robbery/Kidnapping for Ransom) effective 3 January 2023, which states in part, "Piracy, armed robbery, and kidnapping for ransom continue to serve as significant threats to US-flagged vessels transiting or operating in the Gulf of Guinea"
NOTE: The information regarding Cote d'Ivoire on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Cote d'Ivoire 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Cote d'Ivoire 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.
This page was last modified 10 Nov 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.