The Gambian national army numbers about 1,900. The army consists of infantry battalions, the national guard, and the navy, all under the authority of the Department of State for Defense (a ministerial portfolio held by President Jammeh). Prior to the 1994 coup, the Gambian army received technical assistance and training from the United States, United Kingdom, People's Republic of China, Nigeria, and Turkey. With the withdrawal of most of this aid, the army has received renewed assistance from Turkey and new assistance from Libya and others.
Members of the Gambian military have participated in ECOMOG, the West African force deployed during the Liberian civil war beginning in 1990. Responsibilities for internal security and law enforcement rest with the Gambian police/gendarme force under the Inspector General of Police and the Ministry of Interior.
Military branches: Army (includes marine unit), National Police, National Guard
Military manpower - availability:
- males age 15-49: 306,359 (2000 est.)
- males age 15-49: 154,432 (2000 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2% (FY96/97)
- See also : The Gambia