Cote d'Ivoire Military - 2021


SOURCE: 2021 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

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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 (Armee de Terre), Navy (Marine Nationale), Cote Air Force (Force Aerienne Cote), Special Forces (Forces Speciale); National Gendarmerie (under the Ministry of Defense); National Police (under the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection); Coordination Center for Operational Decisions (a mix of police, gendarmerie, and FACI personnel for assisting police in providing security in some large cities) (2020)

Military expenditures

1.1% of GDP (2019 est.)

1.4% of GDP (2018)

1.3% of GDP (2017)

1.7% of GDP (2016)

1.7% of GDP (2015)

country comparison to the world: 118

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Armed Forces of Cote d’Ivoire have approximately 25,000 active troops (23,000 Army, including about 2,000 Special Forces; 1,000 Navy; 1,000 Air Force); est. 5-10,000 Gendarmerie (2020)

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; since 2016, it has received limited amounts of mostly second-hand equipment from a variety of countries, with Bulgaria as the leading supplier (2020)

Military deployments

800 Mali (MINUSMA) (Jan 2021)

Military service age and obligation

18-25 years of age for compulsory and voluntary male and female military service; conscription is not enforced; voluntary recruitment of former rebels into the new national army is restricted to ages 22-29 (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

the military has mutinied several times since the late 1990s, most recently in 2017, and has had a large role in the country’s political turmoil; currently, the FACI is focused on internal security and 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 UN maintained a 9,000-strong peacekeeping force in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) from 2004 until 2017

NOTE: The information regarding Cote d'Ivoire 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 Cote d'Ivoire 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Cote d'Ivoire 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

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