Burundi Military - 2023


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Military and security forces

National Defense Force of Burundi (Force de Defense Nationale du Burundi or FDNB): Land Force (Force Terrestre), the Navy Force (Force Marine), the Air Force (Force Aerienne) and Specialized Units (Unites Specialisees) (2023)

note 1: the Specialized Units include a special security brigade for the protection of institutions (aka BSPI) and military police

note 2: the Burundi National Police (Police Nationale du Burundi) are under the Ministry of Interior, Community Development, and Public Security

Military expenditures

2.3% of GDP (2022 est.)

2% of GDP (2021 est.)

2.1% of GDP (2020 est.)

3% of GDP (2019 est.)

2.3% of GDP (2018 est.)

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 25-30,000 active-duty troops, the majority of which are ground forces (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the FDN has a mix of mostly older weapons and equipment typically of French, Russian, and Soviet origin, and a smaller selection of more modern secondhand equipment from such countries as China, South Africa, and the US (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary military service (2022)

Military deployments

760 Central African Republic (MINUSCA); 5,400 Somalia (ATMIS) (2022)

Military - note

the FDNB is responsible for defending Burundi’s territorial integrity and protecting its sovereignty; it has an internal security role, including maintaining and restoring public order if required; the FDNB also participates in providing humanitarian/disaster assistance, countering terrorism, narcotics trafficking, piracy, and illegal arms trade, and protecting the country’s environment; the FDNB conducts limited training with foreign partners such as Russia and participates in regional peacekeeping missions, most recently in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia; these missions have provided the force some operational experience and funding; in recent years the FDNB has conducted operations against anti-government rebel groups based in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that have carried out sporadic attacks in Burundi, such as the such as National Forces of Liberation (FNL), the Resistance for the Rule of Law-Tabara (aka RED Tabara), and Popular Forces of Burundi (FPB or FOREBU)

the Land Force’s primary units are 4 regionally based divisions which are comprised mostly of light infantry complemented by a few battalions of artillery, light armored forces, and commandos; the FDNB also has a separate special security brigade for protecting key facilities; the Air Force is lightly equipped with a handful of combat helicopters, while the Naval Force has a few patrol boats for monitoring Burundi’s 175-km shoreline on Lake Tanganyika

the Arusha Agreement that ended the 1993-2005 created a unified military by balancing the predominantly Tutsi ex-Burundi Armed Forces (ex-FAB) and the largely Hutu dominated armed movements and requiring the military to have a 50/50 ethnic mix of Tutsis and Hutus (2023)

NOTE: The information regarding Burundi 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 Burundi 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Burundi 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.