Gabon - Military Doctrine
Gabon has a small, professional military of about 8,000 personnel, divided into army, navy, air force, gendarmerie, and national police. Gabonese forces are oriented to the defense of the country and have not been trained for an offensive role. A well-trained, well-equipped 1,500-member Presidential Guard provides security for the president. French troops also remain stationed in the country.
The Defence ministerial mission, integrates its implemented all of the components of the defence forces:
- The National Gendarmerie;
- The Gabonese Armed Forces;
- The Directorate General of military Health Service;
- The military engineers;
- The Republican Guard.
The major issue is the defense by any means, in any place under any circumstances, and against all the forms of aggression, the integrity of our territory and the lives of our people. A safe pan related to the protection of people, property, natural resources, maintaining and restoring public order and road safety is also ensured by a part of this mission, in this case the Gendarmerie national in the context of the implementation of the security Mission under the Department Minister in charge of security.
- The Constitution: the basic law in its article 22 paragraph 1 stipulates " defence of the. Nation and the protection of public order are provided mainly by the Defence Forces and National security ".
- The project 'The future with confidence' axis n°4 of this project has the following: "the Forces of Defense and security will be our full attention. I know indeed how their role is crucial in the maintenance of peace, territorial integrity, security and stability of the Gabon. "
- The Decree 000848/PR/DNACSP setting assignments and on the Organization of the Ministry of defence National, veterans and public security.
- The 0330/PR/DND Decree powers and organization of the Department of national defence. Essentially, include military territorial administrative organisation of the State which aims to distribute the whole of the national territory, in two (2) areas of defence structures of Defence Forces
- Defence North Zone: it covers the provinces of the Middle Ogoouee, Ogoouee Ivindo, Ogoouee Maritime, Woleu Ntem, estuary.
- Defence South Zone: covers the upper Ogooue, Ngounie, Nyanga, Ogooué-Lolo provinces. The Defense is the superior military structure. As such, it is responsible for the control of education, of the operational readiness of the maintenance in physical, moral and heritage conservation military of all units of the Defence Forces stationed on its territory of competence.
The State of affairs and strategic analysise identified the following force ideas in the field of the program:
- the priority threats are: piracy, terrorism, illegal immigration, poaching, the proliferation of SALW. The sea with a very long coastline appears as the major vulnerability. There is also a long border with the Congo, but it is in some ways made inextricable in the rainforest
- there is now a certain blurring on strategies for action in the face of each threat and in every force system, a blur of forces employment doctrine. Missing inter work forces on the action strategies in the face of threats and a common doctrine for the use.
- the current intelligence apparatus is only centered against interference.
- the Gabonese armed force is not yet able to play the leading role to which it aspires in the subregion of the fact of political stability even if the installation of the FOMAC in Libreville reinforces the position of Gabon in the defense system of the subregion. Gabon to a real capacity to project forces outside the borders but in remaining dependent on Allied logistics
- there is a pretty big blur on standards for equipment of each force, of each company, every soldier
- the availability of a lot of equipment and material rate is still poor.
- there is a strong aging of military personnel; from 2015, significant waves retirement will intervene. This has been anticipated and has led to a strong increase in staff during the last 3 years but that military personnel must be trained, specialized, motivated, seasoned. However, there is a lack of exercises, training within each force. It is also noted the lack of exercise and training international forces, the lack of technical facilities to the forces for fighting companies operational training. These companies are losing their operational capability due to the age and the heterogeneity of their arms.
- the logistics companies are non-existent outside military health.
This is all that the operationalization of the units are long in case of repelling an intervention. Gabon is concerned about the future of the MICOPAX peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, maritime security, potential Hezbollah activity in West and Central Africa, and other issues.
The Lebanese community in Gabon has changed from twenty years ago. The first Lebanese in Gabon were Christian. At present, however, the community is predominantly Shiite and there are elements within it sympathetic to Hezbollah. Gabon would welcome closer cooperation with the United States to better understand the nature of the Hezbollah presence and threat in West and Central Africa.
By 2009 Gabon had been expected to withdraw its 120-person contingent in the MICOPAX peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic (CAR), but it would not do so in the current situation. Gabon led the small peacekeeping operation from its inception in December 2002 to July 2008, when command passed to a military officer from the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) under the auspices of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS, or CEEAC in its French acronnym).
Gabon has worked hard to promote political reconciliation in CAR, but some elements there are still tempted to "follow the example of President Bozize" and seize power in a coup. Bozize proved obdurate in negotiating with his adversaries. However, some of Bozize's adversaries are also not willing to come to the table.
Gabon has joined its neighbors Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe (STP) in an initiative to better coordinate maritime security strategy. Operating as CEEAC's maritime "Zone D", the four countries were at the very earliest stages of cooperation by 2009. Nevertheless, he argued, you have to start somewhere. West and Central Africa already had problems with piracy, maritime banditry and the drug trade. Unless there is effective and concerted regional action, these problems will only get worse.
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