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Senegal Forces Armees

The mission of the Armed Forces of Senegal is to ensure national defense, which is to ensure at all times, in all circumstances and against all forms of aggression, the security and integrity of the territory and the life of population. It also provides for respect for international alliances, treaties and agreements.

The implementation of defense policy is determined by the President of the Republic who is responsible for national defense, the general direction and the military direction of defense. Each minister is responsible for preparing the execution of the defense measures that fall to the Department of which he is responsible. The Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces (CEMGA) assists the Minister in charge of the Armed Forces for the general organization, strengthening of forces and joint coordination. He is responsible for the preparation of military plans and operations.

Laws that came into effect as Senegal achieved independence were designed to ensure supremacy of the civil components of government in military matters. The constitution named the president as commander in chief of the armed forces and empowered him to appoint all military officers. He presided over the Supreme Defense Council, which was the senior policymaking body in military matters and was composed of the principal cabinet ministers and ranking military chiefs.

Most of the provisions relating to the military establishment in Senegal's first constitution were retained when the constitution was revised in 1970. Law No. 70-23 of June 1970 updated the legal basis for the general organization of the national defense structure. Law No.72-42 of June 1972 reaffirmed much of the existing structure but added other provisions.

The president of the republic was reaffirmed as supreme commander of the national military and police forces. The Supreme Defense Council was retained by the 1972 law, and the prime minister was given the responsibility for implementation of military policy decided upon by the council. The minister of state for the armed forces was given responsibility for maintaining the services in a state of readiness and for executing decisions on military matters handed down by the president. He was to be assisted by a senior military staff of the army, to which the commander's of the engineer battalion, airforce, and navy were subordinated.

Membership of the Supreme Defense Council was to include the president of the republic as chairman; the secretary general of the office of the president; an official known as the secretary general of the government; the prime minister; the minister of state for the armed forces and his military chief of staff; the ministers Of foreign affairs, interior, and finance; and the heads of several other cabinet-level agencies. The law provided for specialized working groups to support the needs of the Supreme Defense Council and for a permanent secretary to assist it.

The June 1972 decree authorized the minister of state for the armed forces to maintain a staff of military and civilian technical advisers and a section to handle organization, budgets, and logistics; a central administrative agency for the armed forces and another for the national police; and an agency to handle the affairs of veterans and war victims. An office of planning and operations, authorized by the June 1972 decree, included a document and security section that was directed to maintain information on the capabilities and deployment of military forces of neighboring countries that were capable of intervention on Senegalese Territory. This section was also directed to keep informed on groups that were hostile to the government or threatened the unity of the armed forces.

The 1972 reorganization divided responsibilities formerly residing in one military commander. Its practical effect was to make the inspector-general the senior officer in the military services. The minister of state for the armed forces and the military chief of staff handled routine management problems andeexecuted the decrees of the president, who received much of his support and advice from the inspector general,his personal staff, and a senior French officer assignedas adviser. As president and commander in chief of the military forces, Senghor retained full authority over military developments, assignments,and promotions. The armed forces ministry was also the president's channel for controlling the National Gendarmerie. Although it was a separate structure with its own commandant, its activities were coordinated by the minister of state for the armed forces.

Law 84-62 of 16 August 1984 supplemented by Law 89-02 of 17 January 1989 The Armed Forces include:

At the level of the Presidency of the Republic:

  • A Chief of Staff of the President of the Republic (Senegal)
  • An Inspector General of the Armed Forces (Senegal)
  • A military house

At the level of the Ministry of the Armed Forces

  • The Armies ( General Staff of the Armies (Senegal) )
  • The Gendarmerie Nationale (High Command of the Gendarmerie Nationale)
  • Service Directions

The Minister of the Armed Forces consists of:

  • Cabinet
  • Organizations
  • Service Directions
  • General Staff of the Armed Forces
  • High Command of the National Gendarmerie

The General Staff of the Armed Forces is organized as follows:

  • Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces
  • Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces
  • Deputy Chief Operations
  • Logistics Assistant
  • Deputy Chief Administration
  • Deputy Head of Human Resources
  • Training Command

The nation's military forces were patterned after those of France and had been trained and equipped through French aid programs. By the early 1970s most of the senior positions in the military and internal security forces, which had been filled by French officers during the early years of independence, had been taken over by Senegalese. Almost all of the French officers remaining in senior staff positions were scheduled to be replaced by Senegalese by the end of 1974, but French military personnel continued to have considerable influence as advisers in all of the military and other security forces. By agreement French military forces also had the use of facilities for naval, air, and ground forces in Senegal, including docks and repair facilities for large naval units at the port of Dakar. This arrangement enabled France to maintain a military presence in the western most area of Africa, a site of considerable strategic importance.

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