Benin Military - 2021


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Military and security forces

Benin Armed Forces (Forces Armees Beninoises, FAB): Army, Navy, Air Force; Ministry of Interior and Public Security: Republican Police (Police Republicaine, DGPR) (2021)

Military expenditures

0.7% of GDP (2019)

0.9% of GDP (2018)

1.3% of GDP (2017)

1.1% of GDP (2016)

1.1% of GDP (2015)

country comparison to the world: 140

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Benin Armed Forces (FAB) are comprised of approximately 7,000 active duty troops; est. 5,000 Republican Police (2021)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the FAB is equipped with a small mix of mostly older French and Soviet-era equipment (2021)

Military deployments

250 Mali (MINUSMA) (Jan 2021)

Military service age and obligation

18-35 years of age for selective compulsory and voluntary military service; a higher education diploma is required; both sexes are eligible for military service; conscript tour of duty - 18 months (2019)

Maritime threats

the International Maritime Bureau reports 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; in 2020, there were 98 reported incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea region; although a 24% decrease from the total number of incidents in 2019, it included all three hijackings and 9 of 11 ships fired upon worldwide; while boarding and attempted boarding to steal valuables from ships and crews are the most common types of incidents, almost a third of all incidents involve a hijacking and/or kidnapping; in 2020, a record 130 crew members were kidnapped in 22 separate incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, representing 95% of kidnappings worldwide; approximately 51% of all incidents of piracy and armed robbery are taking place off Nigeria, which is a decrease from the 71% in 2019 and an indication pirates are traveling further to target vessels; Nigerian pirates are well armed and very aggressive, operating as far as 200 nm offshore; the Maritime Administration of the US Department of Transportation has issued a Maritime Advisory (2021-002 - Gulf of Guinea-Piracy/Armed Robbery/Kidnapping for Ransom) effective 9 January 2021, 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.”

Military - note

Benin participates in the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) against Boko Haram along with Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria; the Benin military contingent is in charge of MNJTF garrison duties (2020)

NOTE: The information regarding Benin on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Benin 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Benin 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.