Gendarmerie Nationale (Algeria)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Gendarmerie Nationale
الدرك الوطني
Common name Gendarmerie
Agency overview
Formed 1962
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
National agency Algeria
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Chéraga, Algiers
Sworn members 130,000
Minister responsible Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Minister of Defence
Agency executive Ahmed Boustila, Commanding General of the Gendarmerie Nationale

The Gendarmerie Nationale (Arabic: الدرك الوطني, "ad-Darak al-Watani"), is the national rural police force of Algeria. As part of the Algerian Armed Forces is commanded by a Major General who reports directly to the Minister of National Defense. In 2007 the gendarmerie consists of 60,000. Although generally regarded as a versatile and competent paramilitary force, the gendarmerie has been severely tested in dealing with civil disorder since 1988. It frequently has lacked sufficient manpower at the scene of disorder and its units have been inadequately trained and equipped for riot control. The gendarmerie, however, has demonstrated the ability to root out terrorist groups operating from mountain hideouts.[1]

The current commander is Major-General Ahmed Boustila.[2]


The gendarmerie is responsible for maintaining law and order in villages, towns, and rural areas; providing security surveillance over local inhabitants; and representing government authority in remote regions, especially where tensions and conflicts have occurred in the past.


The gendarmerie is organized in battalions, whose component companies and platoons are dispersed to individual communities and desert outposts. Its regional headquarters are in the same cities as the six military regional headquarters with subdivisions in the forty-eight wilayat.


A highly mobile force, the gendarmerie possesses a modern communications system connecting its various units with one another and with the army. Equipment includes light armored weapons and transport and patrol vehicles. The force in 1993 had 44 Panhard M3 armored personnel carriers (an APC variant of the Panhard AML.), 50 Fahd armored personnel carriers, and 28 Mi-2 light helicopters and 10 AgustaWestland AW109.


In addition to utilizing training provided by the French since independence, the gendarmerie operates its own schools for introductory and advanced studies. The gendarmerie's main training center is at Sidi Bel Abbes, The officers school is at Isser, about 80 kilometers east of Algiers.


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.

1. Library of Congress Country Study Algeria