Ivory Coast - Military Spending

Unlike the military in many other African and Third World states, the Ivoirian armed forces maintained a relatively low profile. According to a 1984 United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) survey of 144 countries, Cote d'lvoire ranked one hundred and second in military expenditure, ninetyfirst in the size of its armed forces, ninety- sixth in arms imports, one hundred and twenty-fourth in military expenditure as a percentage of the gross national product (GNP), one hundred and twenty-eighth in military expenditure as a percentage of the government budget, one hundred and eighteenth in military expenditure per capita, one hundred and sixth in military expenditure relative to the size of the armed forces, one hundred and thirteenth in the ratio of armed forces to total population, and seventy-ninth in the ratio of arms imports to total imports. The Military in National Perspective

From 1976 to 1985, Ivoirian military expenditures averaged less than 2 percent of GNP and ranged between 4 and 6 percent of the government's budget. As measured in constant 1983 United States dollars, the country's arms imports multiplied sevenfold from about US$15 million a year during 1976 and 1977 to between US$90 and US$130 million per year from 1978 to 1981, when Cote d'Ivoire acquired several costly ships and aircraft. Expenditures then declined abruptly to an annual average of only US$22 million from 1982 to 1985, a period of austerity for the country. At least a portion of Cote d'lvoire' s arms imports from France was furnished on a grant basis during this period.

The government's operating budget for FY 1986 amounted to CFA F433.62 billion, of which CFA F31.3 billion (7.2 percent) was allocated to the Ministry of Defense. Although this represented almost an 11 percent increase from the ministry's 1985 budget, defense allocations were still a distant second to the budget of the Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research. Personnel costs absor bed about twothirds of the defense budget, while materials and operating expenses each absorbed about one-fifth of the budget. In addition, for FY 1986 the Ministry of Maritime Affairs received CFA Fl.l billion (a substantial reduction from CFA F3.8 billion in 1985), bringing the total defense operating budget for 1986 to CFA F3 2. 4 billion.

While the payment of regular salaries was current for both civil servants and military personnel (which includes the FANCI, the Gendarmerie and the National Police) as of October 31, 2006, according to sources within the Ministry of Defense, the Government of Cote d'Ivoire is 12 months or USD 144 million (CFA 72 billion) in arrears for the payment of "war bonuses" which have been accruing since September 2004. The scheduled payment should be USD 12 million (CFA 6 billion) per month on war bonuses, but in reality the war bonus payment is always partial and usually 15 days late.

So-called "War Bonuses" are ostensibly paid semi-monthly to all military personnel, including the FANCI, the National Police and the Gendarmerie, as a reward for their service during a time of war. Front line troops are paid $360 monthly, while non-front-line troops earn $180. However, budgetary pressures on the Treasury have resulted in the reduction of the bonus by 50% (hence the arrears). "New Recruits," those recruited after August 2002 specifically to serve for the war effort, were paid only the war bonus, not a regular salary, and in practice were receiving very small amounts, if anything, given the arrears. As of March 2007, the government plans to pay these new recruits a net salary of USD 200 per month rather than the war bonus.

The National Police, FANCI and the Gendarmerie were allotted a rent allowance by the government as part of their salary package. The government is committed to paying rent allowances on a quarterly basis, but due to administrative processing delays landlords do not normally receive the money for at least two months after the close of the quarter and the delays are causing a steady accumulation of arrears - for the police, rent arrears for July, August and September 2006 amounted to USD 3 million (CFA 1.5 billion).

According to the World Bank, military expenditures data from SIPRI are derived from the NATO definition, which includes all current and capital expenditures on the armed forces, including peacekeeping forces; defense ministries and other government agencies engaged in defense projects; paramilitary forces, if these are judged to be trained and equipped for military operations; and military space activities. Such expenditures include military and civil personnel, including retirement pensions of military personnel and social services for personnel; operation and maintenance; procurement; military research and development; and military aid (in the military expenditures of the donor country).

Excluded are civil defense and current expenditures for previous military activities, such as for veterans' benefits, demobilization, conversion, and destruction of weapons. This definition cannot be applied for all countries, however, since that would require much more detailed information than is available about what is included in military budgets and off-budget military expenditure items. (For example, military budgets might or might not cover civil defense, reserves and auxiliary forces, police and paramilitary forces, dual-purpose forces such as military and civilian police, military grants in kind, pensions for military personnel, and social security contributions paid by one part of government to another.)

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