Mali Military


Mali military

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: 6 900
Naval Service: 70
Air Force: 800
Paramilitary (Gendarmerie, Republican Guard, National Police): 4 800
Militia: 3 000
Armour 12: T-55
21: T-34
18: Type-62
Reconnaissance 20: BRDM-2
APC 20: BTR-40
53: BTR-60
8: BTR-152
5: RG-31 Nyala
Towed artillery 6: M-1944 100 mm
8: D-30 122 mm
Multiple Rocket Launcher 2: BM-21 122 mm
Mortar 20: M-43 82 mm
30: M-43 120 mm
Anti-armour AT-3 Sagger
Recoilless rifle 6: D-44 85 mm
Rocket launcher RPG-7 Knout 73 mm
Air defence gun 6: M-1939 37 mm
6: S-60 57 mm
Air defence missile 12: SA-3 Goa (Obsolete)
SA-7 Strela
Structure 2 armoured battalions
4 infantry battalions
1 paratroop/special forces battalion
2 artillery battalions
1 engineer battalion
2 commando companies
2 anti-aircraft artillery companies
1 SAM battery
Naval Service
Patrol  2: small river patrol craft
Air Force
Combat aircraft 14: MiG-21 Fishbed (majority unserviceable)
Trainer aircraft 6: L-29
2: Yak-18
Transport aircraft 1: An-26 Curl
2: An-24 Coke
2: An-2 Colt
2: Turbo 67
Combat helicopter 6: Mi-24 Hind
Transport helicopter 2: Z-9
1: Mi-8 Hip
1: AS 350 Ecureuil

2. Overview
 President: Ibrahim Buabacar Keita

Defence Minister: Ba N’Dao
Member of: UN, AU (suspended), IAEA, ICAO, 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

Before the Tuareg rebellion and overthrow of President Amadou Toumani Toure on March 22, 2012, Mali’s military was poorly equipped, underpaid and disorganized. The country attempted to modernize its forces with Mi-24 attack helicopters, BTR-60 armoured vehicles, MiG-21 fighters and RG-31 armoured vehicles over the last decade but this was not enough to combat the Tuareg insurgency in the north and the military quickly collapsed in the face of Tuareg separatists and Islamic rebels in early 2012. Hundreds of government soldiers were killed in the fighting and vast amounts of equipment was lost when militants seized some 60% of the country.

After the French-led intervention in January 2013 that retook the country from Islamist militants, foreign forces began looking at revitalizing Mali’s military. In February 2013 the European Union Training Mission to Mali (EUTM) was launched with the aim of training and re-equipping the disorganized Malian army. Four battalions of 700 soldiers each are being trained, using enlisted men and new recruits, with the training mission to wrap up in May 2014. The training includes human rights awareness, as Malian security forces have been accused of violating human rights.

France has the largest training contingent, followed by Germany and Spain, who have also contributed equipment in their effort to make Mali’s army strong enough to resist Islamist attacks and prevent smuggling and trafficking.

A United Nations-backed peacekeeping force (MINUSMA) started operations in Mali on July 1 and will take over security operations from French troops, which took back control of the country from Islamist militants following a January 2013 intervention. MINUSMA has a mandated military strength of 11 200, most of which will be drawn from 6 000 African Union troops previously deployed to Mali.
5. Country threat report

Threat type Overview
External • Mali is currently facing no external military threat.
Internal • Insecurity continues to exits in Mali after the French-led military forces recaptured terrorist-held towns in northern Mali in January 2013. Al Qaeda affiliated groups such as AQIM and MUJAO are continuing a low-scale insurgency against the Malian government.
Regional • Insecurity continues in the region as the Maghreb region continues to experience the political and military fallout from the Libyan conflict in 2011. Smuggling of drugs and weapons and trafficking of illegal immigrants remains a problem, with porous borders posing a challenge to security.
Political • Political insecurity continues in the country following a military coup in early 2012 but the country is currently going through a process of democratization culminating in elections in July 2013, with a runoff vote to be held in August.
Economic • Mali’s economy is largely based on agriculture and the country is a large recipient of foreign financial and military aid.

Peacekeeping deployments

Operation Country Personnel/assets
MINUSTAH Haiti 34 police
MONUSCO DRC 22 police, 16 experts on mission
UNAMID Darfur 7 experts on mission, 1 troop
UNMISS South Sudan 1 expert on mission


Ministry of Defence

PO Box 215



Tel ++223 222617

Armed Forces Headquarters

PO Box 10



Tel +223222658