Senegal Military


The defense, which is based on selective military duty with an initial 24-month service, comprises (2008) 14,000 men and is organized into ten battalions, nine smaller fighter ships and eight fighter aircraft. Semi-military security forces amount to 5,000 men. The equipment is relatively modern and of French origin.

Defense costs increased in 1985-2006 from 1.1% to 1.6% of GDP. There is an armed opposition, the Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de Casamance (MFDC), during a ceasefire negotiation and comprising 2,000-4,000 men. France has stationed a 600-man naval infantry battalion with helicopter-based sea surveillance, and the United States has a few soldiers in the country.

Senegal participates in UN peacekeeping operations in Ivory Coast (United Nations Operation in Ivory Coast, UNOCI), Congo (Kinshasa) (United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MUNOC), Liberia (United Nations Mission in Liberia, UNMIL) and Sudan (including African Union Mission in Sudan, AUMIS). To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that SEN stands for Senegal.

Senegal Army

Senegal has military service after selection, with initial service of 24 months. The total force numbers for Senegal’s armed forces are 13,600 active personnel (2018, IISS). In addition, 5000 semi-military forces are coming into a gendarmerie. In 2018, France had a force of 350 personnel stationed in the country.

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The army has a strength of 11,900 active personnel. Materials include 145 lorries, 26 storm tanks, and 81 armored personnel vehicles. In addition, the army has heavy artillery and air defense artillery.

Air Force

The Air Force has a force of 750 active personnel. Materials include ten transport aircraft, seven training aircraft, and 14 helicopters (of which five Mi-24 and Mi-35 combat helicopters).

The Navy

The Navy has a force of 950 active personnel including the coastguard, five patrol vessels, two landing craft, and one aid vessel.

International operations

In 2018, Senegal participated in UN operations in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) with a combat helicopter squadron and 111 personnel, and in Mali (MINUSMA) with two infantry battalions (1095 personnel). In addition, Senegal participated with observers and a small number of personnel in UN operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), in Liberia (UNMIL), in Sudan (UNAMID), and in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Senegal also participated in ECOWAS’s operation in Gambia (ECOMIG) with 250 personnel.