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Mauritius Armed Forces in National Life
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    For hundreds of years, Maldives had not experienced security problems and therefore had no need for a military establishment. However, in 1956 Maldives and Britain agreed to the establishment of a Royal Air Force base on Gan, an island on Addu atoll. As part of a 1965 accord, the British gained access to Gan until 1986; however, they pulled out in 1976 because of budgetary retrenchment. In 1977 Maldives rejected a request by the former Soviet Union to lease the Gan facilities. By the early 1980s, Maldives maintained only one security unit, the National Security Service (NSS). This organization, which numbers fewer than 1,000 personnel, performs army, police, and maritime duties. Its mission includes preserving internal security and patrolling the country's territorial waters for illegal fishermen and smugglers. After the 1988 coup attempt, the government expanded the NSS to about 1,500 personnel; by 1990, the NSS had grown to approximately 1,800 personnel.

    Data as of August 1994

    NOTE: The information regarding Mauritius 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 Mauritius Armed Forces in National Life information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Mauritius Armed Forces in National Life should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 10-Nov-04
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