Djibouti Armed Forces

1. Order of battle
2. Overview
3. Defence economics
4. State of military forces
5. Country threat report
6. External deployments

1. Order of Battle

Total force strength Army: 3 500
Air Force: 140
Navy: 220
Gendarmerie: 680
Republican Guard: 600
Total: 5 000
Reconnaissance 10: M-11 VBL
20: Ratel
4: AML-60
16: AML-90
18: AML-245
12: Ratel 90 (second-hand, received in 2004)
AIFV 10: BTR-60
8: BTR-80
9: Casspir Mk III (received in 2000 following refurbishment)
Towed artillery 6: D-30 122 mm
M56 105 mm
Mortar 20: 120 mm
25: 81 mm
Recoilless rifle 16: M-40A1 106 mm
Rocket launcher ?: RPG-7 Knout 73 mm
?: LRAC 89 mm
Air defence gun 5: M-693
5: ZU-23 23 mm
5: L/70 40 mm (in reserve)
Structure 1 armoured regiment
1 artillery regiment
1 rapid action regiment
3 combined arms regiments
1 inter-arms battalion
Air Force
Transport aircraft 1: An-28 Cash
1: U206G Stationar
1: Cessna 208 Caravan
2: L-410UVP Turbolet (VIP)
1: Falcon 50
Combat helicopter 2: Mi-24 Hind (Reportedly in storage. Two delivered from Belarus in 2005)
Transport helicopter 1: Mi-17 Hip
1: Mi-8 Hip (Reportedly in storage)
1: AS 355F Ecureuil II
Patrol/Strike boat (Gun/Missile/OPV/IPV) 6: Sawari class IPV
6: fast launches (Zodiac and Avon types)
1: EDIC landing craft (Ex-French, received 2012)
2: Metal Shark 28 Defiant (coastal patrol; donated by US in April 2013)

2. Overview
Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces: President Ismail Omar Guelleh
National Defence Minister: Hassan Darar Houffaneh
Defence Chief of Staff: General Zakaria Sheikh Ibrahim
Armed Forces Chief of Staff: Major General Fathi Ahmed Houssein
Member of: UN, AU, AfDB
3. Defence economics
Defence budget percentage per GDP (2000-2010)

Defence budget per US$ Mil (2000-2011)

Defence budget percentage growth (2000-2011)

4. State of military forces

Djibouti has a small military, with one of the smallest armies in the region. However, its security is supplemented by a formal security agreement with France, which guarantees Djibouti’s territorial integrity against foreign incursions. France has one of its largest foreign military bases in the Horn of Africa country and has several thousand troops stationed in the country, as well as aircraft and other assets. The United States also has its largest presence on the continent at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, with several thousand personnel stationed there.

As Djibouti is located next to one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, it is an important location in the fight against Somali piracy and its port is used by foreign navies patrolling shipping lanes in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. Due to its key location, Djibouti’s small navy has received training, equipment and assistance from foreign countries.
5. Country threat report

Threat type Overview
External • Djibouti is currently facing no external military threat.
• Maritime piracy in the Gulf of Aden is presenting a serious security challenge to Djibouti’s maritime security.
Internal • Al Shabaab operating within the greater Eastern Africa region may present a terrorist threat to Djibouti since the country’s decision to join the AMISOM peacekeeping mission in Somalia.
Regional • Internal instability within Somalia and Ethiopia may affect Djibouti’s foreign security policy making.
Political • Djibouti is currently considered to be politically stable.
Economic • Djibouti’s economic wellbeing is largely dependent on its strategic maritime location between the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea and income generated by this. Any disruption to the country’s sea lanes would severely affect its economy.

6. External deployments

Operation Country Personnel/assets
African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Somalia (since December 2011) 960 troops


Ministry of National Defence

P.O. Box 42 Djibouti

Tel +253 35203