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Cote d'Ivoire Constitutional, Legal, and Administrative Structure
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    Figure 14. Organization of Ivoirian Defense Forces

    Source: Based on information from Côte Ivoire, Ministère de l'Information, Annuaire Administratif, 1985; and United States, Department of the Army, Abidjan Report, No. 6 851 5020 85, November 21, 1985.

    Like its French model, the Côte d'Ivoire Constitution of 1960 provides for a highly centralized form of government that vests enormous power in the office of the president, particularly in the areas of national sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and military and security affairs (see The Constitution , ch. 4). Article 17 empowers the president to appoint the civil and military officers of the state, and Article 18 designates the president commander in chief of the armed forces. The president is authorized by Article 19 to take "such exceptional measures as are required" to deal with serious and immediate threats to national independence, territorial integrity, or the execution of international commitments. The National Assembly (Assemblé Nationale) is empowered to pass laws regarding martial law, states of emergency, and the principles of national defense organization (Article 41) and to declare war (Article 42). The Council of Ministers, over which the president presides, is authorized by Article 43 to declare martial law, which may be extended beyond two weeks only by the National Assembly.

    In 1988 three main interministerial councils and advisory bodies were concerned with coordinating the various departments and soliciting technical advice in matters of defense. Chaired by the president, the Defense Committee consisted of the ministers concerned with defense policy and the chief of staff; it met to make government decisions in defense matters. The High Defense Council, which included the inspector general and chief of staff of the armed forces and the commandant of the National Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie Nationale), provided technical military advice, justifications, and recommendations to the Defense Committee. The High Committee on Intelligence, which was under the authority of the president, guided and coordinated record keeping, documentation, and intelligence services.

    Defense organization had both central and regional components. At the national level, the president was the supreme authority. As commander in chief of the armed forces, the president directed and coordinated defense policy. The president was assisted in this by the minister of defense and by other ministers as required.

    The minister of defense had two distinct but related functions: assisting the president in all defense matters and executing military policy. In the exercise of these functions the minister of defense had direct authority over the chief of staff of the armed forces, who also served as commander of all the armed forces, and the inspector general of the armed forces, who was responsible for central administration, (see fig. 13).

    There has been remarkable continuity in the senior civilian and military defense posts. Jean Konan Banny served as minister of defense in the early 1960s, until he was implicated in a 1963 coup plot. His successor, Kouadio M'Bahia Blé, served as minister of defense for more than seventeen years, from September 1963 to February 1981, before the pardoned and politically rehabilitated Banny returned to the post. The first chief of staff, Brigadier General Thomas D'Anquin Wattara (who in August 1966 became the first Ivoirian general), held that post between 1961 and 1974. Wattara's successors, however, have had shorter tenures. In November 1987, President Houphouët-Boigny replaced the most senior army officers with new men; Brigadier General Félix Ory succeeded Major General Bertin Zézé Baroan as chief of staff, and Brigadier Joseph Ballou replaced retiring Major General Ibrahim Coulibaly as inspector general. In December 1987, the Ministry of Defense absorbed the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, and Banny became minister of defense and maritime affairs.

    By decree in November 1963, the minister of defense was empowered to carry out government policy in military matters; to establish and oversee the National Service (Service Civique), an organization in which young men and women participated in the economic development of the country, especially in the rural areas; to review the organization of the armed forces, the National Gendarmerie, and the National Service and to present plans to the president as required; to administer and evaluate the mobilization and use of the armed forces and military requirements; to oversee veterans affairs; to prepare and execute budgets and programs for the ministry; and to present to the president or the Defense Committee all proposals for international negotiation concerning defense matters.

    In 1984 the ministry's headquarters staff was budgeted for 529 billets (including 31 French technical assistance personnel). Most of the billets were allocated as follows: the cabinet received 46; the Central Administrative Services, 244; the Armed Forces of Côte d'Ivoire (Force Armée Nationale de Côte d'Ivoire--FANCI), 116; the Ivoirian Air Force (Force Aérienne de Côte d'Ivoire--FACI), 81; and the Presidential Guard and Militia (Garde Presidentielle et Milice- -GPM), 7.

    Since May 1972, local defense organization has been based on a territorial division of responsibility between the civilian prefectures (préfectures) under the minister of interior and the military regions under the minister of defense. This arrangement superseded a system of departmental commands. The minister of interior, supported as required by the minister of defense, was responsible for civil defense. Initially, three military regions were established with headquarters, at Abidjan, Daloa, and Bouaké. In July 1984, the country was reorganized into four military regions. The fourth region was centered at Korhogo in order to provide better defense coverage to the sparsely populated but politically sensitive northern territories. In each prefecture, the prefect (préfet) was responsible for all nonmilitary matters having a bearing on defense (see Local Government , ch. 4). On the regional level, the military commandant was specifically charged with defense responsibilities. This system required close cooperation and coordination between the regional military commanders and the civilian prefects. Each military garrison was under a commanding officer, who represented the regional commandant and whose functions were prescribed by decree in December 1971.

    The military regions provided active-duty forces and an administrative structure for civilian and military defense planning. Each region comprised between six and twelve prefectures under a territorial commander who reported to the minister of defense through the chief of staff of the armed forces. The regions provided liaison service for the local political and administrative authorities, prepared plans for the protection of sensitive military and civilian assets in the region, coordinated regional and local military and civilian defense measures, maintained operational readiness, and conducted military exercises as required. The regional military commands did not have any organic logistical resources but rather drew on central support services.

    Data as of November 1988

    NOTE: The information regarding Cote d'Ivoire on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Cote d'Ivoire Constitutional, Legal, and Administrative Structure information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Cote d'Ivoire Constitutional, Legal, and Administrative Structure should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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