Military of Burundi
|National Defence Force
Force de defense nationale
|Commander-in-Chief||President of Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza|
|Minister of National Defense & War Veterans||Maj. General Pontien Gaciyubwenge|
|Active personnel||20,000 Army personnel
|Percent of GDP||3.7% (2011)|
The National Defence Force is the state military organisation responsible for the defence of Burundi. A general staff (État-Major Général) commands the armed forces, consisting of a joint staff (État-Major inter-armes); a training staff (État-Major de la Formation), and a logistics staff (État-Major de la Logistique). Naval and aviation commands exist, as well as specialised units.
The first general in Burundian history was Michel Micombero. After his coup d’etat which deposed the monarchy, he was also commissionéd by the National Council of the Revolution (French: Conseil National de la Révolution (CNR)), and made a Lieutenant Général. In his turn, Micombero raised Thomas Ndabemeye to the grade of Major General. They were the sole generals of the First Republic.
In 2015, the BNDF remained shared between Tutsis and Hutus, based on agreements after the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi that ended 12 years of war and stopped decades of ethnic killings. In the wake of the 2015 Burundian unrest, personnel faced a choice between supporting President Pierre Nkurunziza, with whom some fought when he was a military commander, or opposing him. Interviewed by Reuters on May 14, 2015, an Africa analyst at Verisk Maplecroft said moves by Major General Godefroid Niyombare, former director of the intelligence service, "starkly highlight[ed] Nkurunziza’s lack of unified support among his military chiefs," he said. "Even if Niyombare’s attempt fails, Nkurunziza’s political credibility may be damaged irreparably."
|RL-83 Blindicide||Belgium||Rocket launcher|
|M20 Super Bazooka||United States||Rocket launcher|
|MILAN (reported)||France/Germany||Anti-tank Guided Missile|
|RPG 7||Soviet Union||Rocket launcher|
|Panhard M3||Armored Personnel Carrier||France||9|
|GAZ BTR-80||Armored Personnel Carrier||Russia||10|
|Panhard AML-90||Armored Car||France||12|
|Panhard AML-60||Armored Car||France||6|
|BRDM-2||Reconnaissance Vehicle||Soviet Union||30|
|BTR-40||Armored Personnel Carrier||Soviet Union||20|
|Shorland S-52||Armored Car||United Kingdom||7|
|Walid||Armored Personnel Carrier||Egypt||6|
|RG-31||Armored Personnel Carrier||South Africa||12|
|RG-31 Nyala||Armored Personnel Carrier||South Africa||31|
- 12 BM-21 Grad 122mm Multiple Launch Rocket Systems
- 18 D-30 122mm towed-howitzer
- 15 M-37\43 82mm medium-mortar
- Approx. 75 Brandt 120mm heavy mortar
- 30 SA-7B Grail MANPADS Launchers\303 missiles
- 15 ZPU 14.5mm AAG
- Over 150 ZU-23\2 23mm twin-gun AAG
- M-1939\Type-55 37mm AAG
The Burundi Army's air unit operates 10 aircraft, including one combat aircraft and six helicopters, of which two are non-operational as of 2012.
|Aérospatiale SA 342 Gazelle||utility helicopter||SA 342L||2|
|Mil Mi-8 Hip
||2||Both non-operational as of 2012|
|Mil Mi-24 Hind Hind-E||attack helicopter||2|
|SIAI-Marachetti SF 260
Use of child soldiers
According to the 2004 report by Child Soldiers International, Burundi's military made use of conscripted child soldiers. Children in military service were also subject to military courts which fell short of international law standards.
- IISS (2012), p. 424
- "LOI N° 1/019 DU 31 DECEMBRE 2004 Portant Creation, Organisation, MISSIONS, COMPOSITION ET FONCTIONNEMENT DE LA FORCE DE DEFENSE NATIONALE" (PDF). Grandslacs.net. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
- Institute for Security Studies,  (Protocol II, Chapter 1.)
- "Army rifts could push Burundi back to conflict after coup bid".
- IISS (2012), p. 425
- "Kateholt.com : Galleries". Kateholt.com. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
- Child Soldiers International, "2004 Africa: Regional overview"
- International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (2012). The Military Balance 2012. London: IISS. ISSN 0459-7222.
- http://issat.dcaf.ch/content/download/62427/1033023/file/Burundi%20lesson%20learned%20report_Final%20ENGLISH1.pdf - Burundi DEfence Review Lessons Learned
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