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Maldives Table of Contents


Foreign Military Assistance

Seychelles traditionally received foreign military assistance from numerous nations, including Tanzania, India, the former Soviet Union, North Korea, and the United States. Of these, Tanzania has been Seychelles' most important military ally. The two countries initiated military relations shortly after René established the People's Militia; twelve Tanzanian military advisers arrived in Seychelles to help train the militia. By 1980 the TPDF maintained an estimated 140-member contingent on Seychelles, including a 30-member training team. After the expulsion of French technicians in 1979, Tanzania reinforced its presence in Seychelles. In June 1979, Seychellois military units participated in a joint exercise with TPDF and Malagasy units. On November 26, 1981, the day after Colonel Hoare's coup attempt failed, 400 TPDF personnel started patrolling Mahé International Airport and the coast to prevent a return of Hoare's mercenaries. According to some Western observers, the intervention of Tanzanian military personnel during the August 1982 SPDF mutiny probably saved the René regime.

India has been one of René's oldest military allies. On June 5, 1982, India gave Seychelles two Chetak helicopters as a Liberation Day gift for the people's air force; after one crashed, Bombay provided another. By the early 1990s, the Indian presence in Seychelles included a colonel who managed the Seychelles Defense Academy, and two police advisers.

Between 1979 and 1990, the former Soviet Union provided an array of military aid to Seychelles, including small arms, ammunition, SA-7 surface-to-air missiles, artillery, patrol boats, and petroleum. Additionally, the former Soviet Union deployed an unknown number of Soviet military and technical advisers to Seychelles. By December 1990, changing political conditions in Moscow forced the former Soviet Union to terminate its military aid program and withdraw all its advisers from Seychelles. In exchange for aid provided, the former Soviet Union hoped to gain access to Seychelles naval ports. However, although he allowed Soviet warships to make port calls, René never signed a formal access agreement with Moscow.

By 1983 North Korea had deployed a fifty to sixty-member military advisory team to Seychelles. These personnel assumed responsibility for training the SPLA. Unconfirmed reports also indicated that the North Koreans instructed the Presidential Guard. By 1988, according to Michel, the North Koreans had departed Seychelles.

The United States provided security assistance to Seychelles to retain access to the United States Air Force Tracking Station at La Misére. Aid activities focused on the IMET program, civic action, and coastal security. Since FY 1984, a small number of Seychellois military personnel have attended IMET courses in technical and professional areas such as communications and studied at infantry and command and staff level military schools. Other training include basic infantry, naval, and coast guard operations courses. During the early 1990s, the United States hoped to expand its security assistance to the Seychelles to include biodiversity, air-sea rescue, explosives ordinance disposal, and military working dog training.

Since the end of the Cold War, Seychelles increasingly has relied on India and the United States for foreign military assistance. France also has provided some maintenance aid to the Seychellois coast guard. Some Western observers maintain that, with the establishment of diplomatic relations, South Africa could initiate a military aid program in Seychelles within a few years.

Data as of August 1994