Country Listing

Maldives Table of Contents


State Security Services

The People's Militia has existed since the beginning of the René regime. On June 10, 1977, the president called for volunteers to register for training in the People's Militia, which was to guard against a countercoup by James Mancham. By the early 1990s, the 800-member People's Militia consisted largely of untrained and unfit volunteers. Its mission is to defend the country from external aggression and preserve the revolution. In June 1989, René assumed overall control of the People's Militia while the chief of staff is responsible for running it on a dayto -day basis. The People's Militia is divided into five military regions (north, central, west, south Mahé, and Praslin). Most Western observers consider the People's Militia a totally ineffective force.

The national police, which is organized along British lines and commanded by a police commissioner, includes a regular 500- member unit and a sixty-member paramilitary mobile unit. Members of the force normally are unarmed but mobile unit personnel are equipped with modern weapons, including 7-62 SLR rifles. For operational and administrative purposes, Seychelles is divided into the Central Police Division, which comprises the capital; North Police Division; South Police Division; and the Praslin/La Digue Police Division. A senior police officer commands each of these formations. Seychelles maintains a total of seventeen police stations in all divisions. The police organization includes headquarters, Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Special Force (Police Mobile Unit), general duties, and special branch. A commandant manages the police training school at Praslin. This school provides fifteen-week and refresher training courses for recruits, two-week supervisory officers' courses, two-week promotion courses, and four-week basic courses. Each district also has field training. Most Western observers agree that the national police are under strength and poorly paid. As a result, the police have limited military value.

René maintains a 300-man Presidential Guard for his own protection. This unit, which includes an unknown number of European mercenaries, possesses high-quality personnel and weapons.

Information about Seychelles defense spending is limited. The 1991 defense expenditures, which were decided by René, amounted to approximately US$16 million.

Data as of August 1994