Military of Burundi

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National Defence Force
Flag of Burundi.svg
Service branches Army
Commander-in-Chief Pres. Pierre Nkurunziza
Minister of National Defense & War Veterans Maj.General Pontien Gaciyubwenge
Active personnel 20,000 Army personnel
30,000 paramilitary[1]
Percent of GDP 3.7% (2011)[1]

The National Defence Force is the state military organisation responsible for the defence of Burundi. A general staff (Etat-Major Général) commands the armed forces, consisting of a joint staff (Etat-Major inter-armes); a training staff (Etat-Major de la Formation), and a logistics staff (Etat-Major de la Logistique). Naval and aviation commands exist, as well as specialised units.[2]

The armed forces have deployed significant numbers of troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia since c.2007.

Units include:[citation needed]

  • 22nd commando battalion (Gitega)
  • 124th commando battalion (Bujumbura)


Mortar man with 1st Sapper Company, Burundi National Defense Force

Anti-tank weapons[edit]

Model Origin Type
RL-83 Blindicide[3] Belgium Rocket launcher
M20 Super Bazooka[3] United States Rocket launcher
MILAN (reported)[1] France/Germany Anti-tank Guided Missile
RPG 7[4] Soviet Union Rocket launcher


Model Type Origin Count
Panhard M3 Armored Personnel Carrier France 9[1]
GAZ BTR-80 Armored Personnel Carrier Russia 10[1]
Panhard AML-90 Armored Car France 12[1]
Panhard AML-60 Armored Car France 6[1]
BRDM-2 Reconnaissance Vehicle Soviet Union 30[1]
BTR-40 Armored Personnel Carrier Soviet Union 20[1]
Shorland S-52 Armored Car United Kingdom 7[1]
Walid Armored Personnel Carrier Egypt 6[1]
RG-31 Armored Personnel Carrier South Africa 12[1]
RG-31 Nyala Armored Personnel Carrier South Africa 31[1]


Anti-aircraft weapons[edit]

Aircraft inventory[edit]

The Burundi Army's air unit operates 10 aircraft, including one combat aircraft and six helicopters (of which two are non-operational as at 2012).[3]

Aircraft Type Versions In service Notes
Aérospatiale SA 342 Gazelle utility helicopter SA 342L 2[3]
Mil Mi-8 Hip
utility helicopter
2[3] Both non-operational As of 2012[3]
Cessna 150 liaison 2[3]
Douglas DC-3 Transport 2[3]
Mil Mi-24 Hind Hind-E attack helicopter 2[3]
SIAI-Marachetti SF 260


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q IISS (2012), p. 424
  2. ^ "LOI N° 1/019 DU 31 DECEMBRE 2004 Portant Creation, Organisation, MISSIONS, COMPOSITION ET FONCTIONNEMENT DE LA FORCE DE DEFENSE NATIONALE". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n IISS (2012), p. 425
  4. ^ " : Galleries". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 


  • International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (2012). The Military Balance 2012. London: IISS. ISSN 0459-7222.