In August 1972, the National Police was dissolved, and
functions were transferred to the National Gendarmerie
Nationale). In addition, oversight of the police was
from the Ministry of Interior to the defense portfolio.
member gendarmerie functions primarily as a police force,
also has a paramilitary mission, to form the first line of
against an external threat
of a National Police Force
, this ch.). The 1972 transfer of oversight
additional power in the hands of President Mobutu, while
the law enforcement role of municipal leaders at the local
who had previously exercised authority over a police
now had to turn to local military commanders, who were
unresponsive, for assistance.
To accomplish its divergent missions, the gendarmerie
organized into two forces: a territorial force, the
Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie Territoriale--GT) and a mobile
Mobile Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie Mobile--GM). The GT
the police component and the GM as a paramilitary
gendarmerie is commanded by a chief of staff, who reports
head of the FAZ and the minister of defense and veterans'
The gendarmerie is lightly armed with individual
machine guns and is transported in jeeps and trucks.
of this equipment is often in disrepair, gendarmerie units
parts of the country are better equipped than army units,
often have to borrow gendarmerie equipment to train or
Nevertheless, the gendarmerie is normally not as well
army units and even less capable.
Data as of December 1993