Mauritania Military - 2022


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Military and security forces

Mauritanian Armed Forces: National Army, Mauritanian Navy (Marine Mauritanienne), Islamic Republic of Mauritania Air Group (Groupement Aerienne Islamique de Mauritanie, GAIM); Gendarmerie (Ministry of Defense); Ministry of Interior and Decentralization: National Police, National Guard, General Group for Road Safety (2022)

note 1: the National Police is responsible for enforcing the law and maintaining order in urban areas, while the Gendarmerie is responsible for maintaining civil order around metropolitan areas and providing law enforcement services in rural areas

note 2: the National Guard performs a limited police function in keeping with its peacetime role of providing security at government facilities, to include prisons; regional authorities may call upon the National Guard to restore civil order during riots and other large-scale disturbances 

note 3: the General Group for Road Safety maintains security on roads and operates checkpoints throughout the country

Military expenditures

2.5% of GDP (2022 est.)

2.4% of GDP (2021 est.)

2.5% of GDP (2020 est.)

2.1% of GDP (2019 est.) (approximately $440 million)

2.3% of GDP (2018 est.) (approximately $430 million)

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 16,000 active armed forces personnel (15,000 Army; 700 Navy; 300 Air Force); estimated 3,000 Gendarmerie; estimated 2,000 National Guard (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Mauritanian Armed Forces' inventory is limited and made up largely of older French and Soviet-era equipment; since 2010, Mauritania has received a limited amount of mostly second-hand military equipment from a variety of suppliers, with China as the leading provider (2022)

Military service age and obligation

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2022)

Military deployments

470 (plus about 320 police) Central African Republic (MINUSCA) (May 2022)

note: Mauritania is part of a four (formerly five)-nation anti-jihadist task force known as the G4 Sahel Group, set up in 2014 with Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali (withdrew in 2022), and Niger; it has committed 550 troops and 100 gendarmes to the force; as of 2020, defense forces from each of the participating states were allowed to pursue terrorist fighters up to 100 km into neighboring countries; the force is backed by France, the UN, and the US

Military - note

since a spate of terrorist attacks in the 2000s, including a 2008 attack on a military base in the country’s north that resulted in the deaths of 12 soldiers, the Mauritanian Government has increased the defense budget and military equipment acquisitions, enhanced military training, heightened security cooperation with its neighbors and the international community, and built up the military’s special operations and civil-military affairs forces (2022)

NOTE: The information regarding Mauritania on this page is re-published from the 2022 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Mauritania 2022 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Mauritania 2022 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 01 Dec 23, Copyright © 23 ITA all rights reserved.