Benin Military - 2023


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Military and security forces

Beninese Armed Forces (Forces Armees Beninoises, FAB; aka Benin Defense Forces): Army, Navy, Air Force; Ministry of Interior and Public Security: Republican Police (Police Republicaine, DGPR) (2023)

note: FAB is under the Ministry of Defense and is responsible for external security and supporting the DGPR in maintaining internal security, which has primary responsibility for enforcing law and maintaining order 

Military expenditures

0.7% of GDP (2022 est.)

0.7% of GDP (2021 est.)

0.5% of GDP (2020 est.)

0.5% of GDP (2019 est.)

0.7% of GDP (2018 est.)

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 7,000 active-duty troops; estimated 5,000 Republican Police (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the FAB is equipped with a small mix of mostly older or secondhand French, Soviet-era, and US equipment; in recent years, France has provided it with limited amounts of newer military hardware such as armored vehicles and helicopters (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18-35 years of age for voluntary and selective compulsory military service for men and women; a higher education diploma is required; conscript service is 18 months (2023)

Military deployments

260 (plus about 160 police) Mali (MINUSMA) (May 2022)

Military - note

a key focus for the security forces of Benin is countering infiltrations into the country by terrorist groups tied to al-Qa'ida and the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) operating just over the border from northern Benin in Burkina Faso and Niger; in May 2022, the Benin Government said it was "at war" after suffering a series of attacks from these groups; later that same year, President TALON said his government would spend more than $130 million to recruit up to 4,000 additional military personnel, modernize military equipment, and build and fortify operating bases; in addition, the FAB participates in the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) along with Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria against Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa in the general area of the Lake Chad Basin and along Nigeria's northeastern border

the FAB has a close working relationship with the Belgian armed forces; the Belgians offer military advice, training, and second-hand equipment donations, and deploy to Benin for limited military exercises (2023)

Maritime threats

the International Maritime Bureau reported no incidents in 2022 in the waters off Benin; 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 Benin 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 Benin 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Benin 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.