Q41.

Is there an established, independent, transparent, and objective appointment system for the selection of military personnel at middle and top management level?

41a. Formal process

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41b. Scrutiny

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41c. Transparency

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There are some formal regulations in the appointment system for the selection of military personnel. However, there are robust indications that the process is regularly undermined. Hachemaoui has noted for Algeria that informal rules are more important than formal rules (1).

The General Statute of Military Personnel of 2006 provides scarce information on appointments in the military. Art. 19 generally states that integration into the armed forces takes place at the first grade of the hierarchy at the time of appointment. According to Art. 15, appointments and promotions to the ranks of officers and non-commissioned officers shall be made within the limit of the number of open posts (2). Except for the president, who is a civilian, there is no other evidence that civil personnel are involved in the process. Also, no information could be found on the website of the Defence Ministry (3), the military magazine (4), and a guide on recruitment into the armed forces (5).

Researchers working on the Algerian political and military system have long explained the system of patronage, clientelism and nepotism (6), (7), (8). The military, along with the intelligence service and the government, has developed a system that promotes corruption and nepotism from which it highly profits (9). There are examples illustrating the analysis, recent reshuffles within the upper echelon of the armed forces were mainly discussed with regards to the presidential election in 2019. Yacine Boudhane wrote that Vice Defence Minister Salah undertook steps to sideline supporters of the presidential faction within the army aiming to consolidate power (10).

There is no evidence that there is external scrutiny of the appointments of military personnel at middle and top management. The General Statute of Military Personnel of 2006 does not stipulate such action is necessary (1).

Appointments to middle and top management level are made either by the President of the Republic for the high-level members (2) or by a decree issued by the Ministry of Defence (3). There is no evidence in the decrees issued by both the president and the ministry that an external institution, such as the parliament, is involved in the process.

No information on the appointment process could be found. The General Statute of Military Personnel of 2006 only provides scarce information on appointments in the military, as outlined in 41A, and it does not provide any information on the appointment process (1).

The only information that could be found was the publishing of the actual appointment, which is made public in the Official Gazette. For example, the Commander of the 1st Military Region was appointed by a decree in August 2018 (2).

In July 2018, Parliament passed the Law on Military Careers in the Angolan Armed Forces (1). The law establishes rules and procedures for military careers in the Angolan Armed Forces and the Auxiliary Services of the President in the sectors of defence, intelligence and military security, as well as military justice (1). The final law is yet to be published in the official gazette.
According to the 2010 Constitution, the president has the power to appoint the general chief of staff of the Angolan Armed Forces and his deputy, the remaining commanders and chiefs of the respective branches of service, as well as senior officers of the armed forces, in consultation with the National Security Council (Art.122) (2).

There is no known external scrutiny of the appointments of military personnel at either the middle level or top management.

Little to no information is released about the appointment process.

According to Article 38 of Law N°038 (2016), “recruitment in the armed forces is performed through a call for contingent, a text or exceptionally” (1). Article 39 states, “any citizen of Burkina between18 and 30 years old may be authorized to engage freely or be called to serve in the national army” (1). Article 40 provides for the different hiring processes for officers, sub-officers and privates. Indeed, these differences are made through a decision of the minister of defence. After their recruitment, applicants are accepted into the armed forces with the approval of the minister of defence (1). Before these applicants are accepted into the armed forces they are screened through background checks (Article 44) (1). Thus, there is a formal process in place, for the recruitment and promotion of the defence personnel. Since corruption is widespread in all sectors, including the military the formal process is violated (2), (3), (5). The promotion board often gets pressured during promotion decisions. The Law N°038 (2016) does not apply to civilians working for the MoD.

The Defence and Security Committee (CODES) scrutizes issues regarding the military, such as budgets, military promotions and appointments as defined by law (1), (2), (3). Apart from the Parliamentary scrutiny, there is no additional external control to scrutinize promotions and appointments within the MoD (3). However, there is no evidence that the NA scrutinizes promotions and appointments for personnel at the middle and top management level.

The selection process for sensitive positions is mostly made at the discretion of the president of the republic (1). According to Article 55 of the Constitution (2012), “The President of Faso appoints to the offices of the high civil and military administration” (1), (2). According to Article 55 of the Constitution (2012), the “law determines the functions or offices for which the power of appointment of the President of Faso is exercised after [the] opinion of the Parliament as well as the modalities and effects of this consultation” (2). However, there is no evidence of parliamentary oversight for the appointments of the top military officers, rather the only consideration of the appointment of colonel Major Sadou was his native origin (4). Appointment announcements are available online on the website and are freely released outside formal mechanisms. But Information including the requirements and selection criteria for each rank are not available to the public (4), (5), (6), (7), (8).

There are no well-established mechanisms through which middle and upper management personnel are appointed. Appointments to these positions are based on the discretion of the President of the Republic, who is also chief of the armed forces [1] [2] [3] [4].

On August 13, 2015, Presidential Decree No. 2015/381 of 13 August 2015 promoted five Colonels to the rank of Brigadier General [1]. Similarly, on Friday 17 July, 2017, the President of the Republic of Cameroon on his discretion appointed 11 new generals through another presidential decree (Presidency of the Republic of Cameroon [1 – ?] [2 – ?].

Appointments are made by a Presidential decree and there is no oversight structure to scrutinise the choices of the President [1] [2] [3].

No information is given out on the choice of those selected in some of these positions. Selection is often guided by ethnic sentiments and loyalty to the regime in place [1] [2] [3].

There is a formal process in place to appoint military personnel. Despite the established legal framework, however, the appointments may not always apply objective criteria and the promotion board (Commission d’Avancement) may have members influenced by the Executive. Law No. 2016-1109 (Portant Code de la Fonction Militaire) of February 16, 2016, contains provisions regarding the system for appointing military personnel and the special commissions that take part in the process. This Law repealed the previous Act No. 095-695 (Portant Code de la Fonction Militaire) of September 7, 1995. It should be seen within the context of military reforms after the post-election crisis of 2010-2011.

The provisions of Law No. 2016-1109 on the appointment of higher-ranking military personnel are contained in Chapter 4 (Nomination), Article 71.

Art. 71 – “The appointment to a rank within the military hierarchy is done as follows:
1. by Decree for marshals, generals and career or contract officers;
2. by order of the Minister of Defense for non-career commissioned officers, commissioned and volunteer officers, and commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers.
3. by General Order of the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces for non-commissioned members” (1).

The provisions for lower-ranking officers are contained in Chapter 2 (Recrutement) of Law No. 2016-1109, Section 2 (Dispositions applicables aux militaires de carriere), Articles 58 and 59.

Art. 58 – “Career officers are recruited:
1. – by entrance examination in the schools of cadets;
2. – by means of competitions reserved for the candidates governed by the particular statutes determined by decree.
Art. 59 – Non-commissioned career officers are recruited through a direct entrance examination to the active non-commissioned officer military schools. A non-commissioned officer may also be a member of a military service on a contract, having completed at least four years of effective military service…” (1).

In terms of the participation of commissions in the appointment process, Article 44 sets up four permanent consultative committees:

“Art. 44 – The following Permanent Consultative Bodies are established within the Armed Forces: (1)
– the Higher Council of the Military Function;
– the Promotion Commission;
– the Board of Inquiry;
– the Reform Commission.” (1).

As per Article 45, a High Council of the Military Service (Conseil Supérieur de la Fonction Militaire) can be consulted for issues of status of military personnel and as per Article 46, the Promotion Commission (Commission d’Avancement) can nominate candidates for promotion and, in exceptional circumstances, decide on a promotion.

Art. 45 – “The Supreme Council of the Military Service gives its opinion on the questions relating to the condition and status of military personnel.”
Art. 46 – “The Progress Commission has the power to nominate candidates for promotion. It may also decide on the promotion of an individual, but only on an exceptional basis” (1).

Law No. 2016-414 (Portant Organisation de la Défense et des Forces Armées de Côte d’Ivoire), which purportedly contains provisions regarding the appointment of military personnel, appears to be unavailable through open sources and I was unable to consult it online (2).

No evidence for parliamentary scrutiny in the formal process of appointing military personnel at the middle and top management levels (marshals, generals). However, there are provisions for permanent consultative committees that could be considered to play a formal role as audit bodies. Law No. 2016-1109 (Portant Code de la Fonction Militaire) of 16 February 2016, specifically Chapter 4 (Nomination), does not contain any provisions that provide for parliamentary scrutiny or the participation of external oversight body in the process. But Article 44 sets up four different permanent consultative bodies that are allowed to participate in the appointment and promotion process (1). As per Article 45, a Higher Council of the Military Service (Conseil Supérieur de la Fonction Militaire) can be consulted for issues of status of military personnel and as per Article 46, the Promotion Commission (Commission d’Avancement) can nominate candidates for promotion and, in exceptional circumstances, decide on a promotion (1).

Art. 45 – “The Higher Council of the Military Service gives its opinion on the questions relating to the condition and status of military personnel.”
Art. 46 – “The Promotion Commission has the power to nominate candidates for promotion. It may also decide on the promotion of an individual, but only on an exceptional basis” (1).

The information on the appointment of higher-ranked military officials (marshals, generals) is made available at a certain point after the appointments are decided behind closed doors by the Council of Ministers. However, this disclosure is not due to any formal procedure contained in Law No. 2016-1109 (Portant Code de la Fonction Militaire). Additionally, the information is incomplete without providing details as the criteria used for the appointment. Law No. 2016-1109 served to repeal a previous Law (Act No. 095-695, Portant Code de la Fonction Militaire) of September 7, 1995. Its provisions should be considered within the context of the post-election crisis of 2010-2011 and as an attempt to reform the personnel issues at the Ministry of Defence that led to the soldier uprisings in Bouaké and other towns in January and May 2017. In this transition environment, formal transparency in the appointment process could prove a liability. Instead, the evidence points to appointments strongly influenced by the president and the members of his government cabinet in the Council of Ministers. The appointment of higher-ranking marshals and generals can be said to be largely based on political alliances and personal loyalties.

For example, the government portal published a press release announcing the nomination by President Ouattara of a long list of high-ranking members of the armed forces and Gendarmerie Nationale on the 9th, 13th and 25th of January 2017. The nominations included information on the rank and name of the individual, as in the case of the Army Chief of Staff General Sékou Toure. No other information, such as the selection criteria, was provided by the government (1).

The Ivorian website aggregator Koaci.com later described the appointments of January 2017, including that of Army Commander and General (Général de Brigade) Sékou Toure, as ethnically based. The news aggregator accused the executive of favouring Ivorians from the northern half of the country (2). Another source commenting on the January 2017 military appointments was the Abidjan correspondent of Afrique sur 7. He described the appointment as an attempt to replace former Army Chief of Staff Soumaila Bakayokopar with Sékou Toure to contain the damage and insecurity caused by the soldier mutinies in Bouaké. The uprisings triggered the new appointments but had already been planned, according to Afrique sur 7, “these changes come after the recent mutinies that shook the army. It is true, however, that these different changes have been in the air for some time already” (3).

Law no. 232 (1959) sets out the appointment system for armed forces officers (1). Article 12, of the same law, sets the pools from which the officers are selected, and it is normally from military colleges or graduates of civilian colleges who have completed some formal military education. Graduating from a military college guarantees the graduate a career as an officer in the Armed Forces at least until becoming a colonel (‘aaqid). However, according to the same article, the minister of defence and commander-in-chief have some discretionary authority to appoint others (unspecified in the law) into the service. However, there are many cases where criteria and procedures are bypassed (2), (3), (4).

There is neither internal nor external oversight or scrutiny over any of the appointments of middle and top positions. The appointments of senior and sensitive positions are based on loyalty and capacity of obedience to the executives (1), (2), (3). Article 16 of Law no. 232 (1959) sets out the rules for appointing top senior positions, and gives the president of the republic the powers to appoint: a) the commander-in-chief (CIF) of the armed forces b) chiefs of staffs c) heads of armies. Positions B and C are proposed by the CIF to the president of the republic (4). Article 17 of the law sets out the rules for appointments of officers next in seniority. These officers are appointed by the CIF. In both systems, there is no external scrutiny, especially as the president of the republic almost always comes from a military background.

According to our sources, there is no published information about the process, procedures of appointments at top and middle level. There is the only announcement of the appointments without any further details (1), (2), (3). Presidential decrees and ministerial decrees are routinely published in the Official Gazette. This applies to the appointment of senior officers since the appointment happens through presidential or ministerial decrees. However, these decrees do not include appointments for all ranks or the selection requirements and criteria (4), (5).

Appointments of military personnel at high levels are made by the president in consultation with the Council of State. The appointments have immediate effect and are not subject to scrutiny other than that of the Council of State (1).

From the rank of lieutenant colonel and above, the Armed Forces Council, which is headed by the vice president, deals with promotions and it is at this high level that partisan politics plays a key role in determining certain appointments and postings (3), (4) (5).

For mid-level positions, appointments and promotions are done by the president based on the recommendation expressed by the Ghana Armed Forces Council (2).

Appointments are subject to scrutiny by the Council of State. However, the Council is also appointed by the president.

The Parliamentary Appointments Committee, despite its broad mandate, does not scrutinise the nominees in the defence and security institutions (1).

No information regarding the requirement and selection criteria of the appointment process is made publicly available by the MOD, GAF, or the Office of the President. Information about the candidate is disclosed to the media only when appointments have been already approved (1), (2).

There is a system for the appointment and the selection of military personnel at the middle and top management level [1]. The criteria for selection for senior positions within the intelligence in Jordan is unclear and similar to the intelligence services, senior military positions are granted through royal decrees. Many positions at senior and middle level ‘are primarily awarded, not according to meritocratic principles only, but based on kinship and personal relationships’, and the phenomenon of ‘wasta’ is widespread in the country [2,3,4].

There is generally no external scrutiny of the defence sector, and thus there is no external scrutiny of the appointments of military personnel at middle and top management levels. As established in previous questions, the legislature does not have the power to scrutinise defence in general, as defence remains largely controlled by the King according to the constitution [1] and there is very little, if any, debate around defence that takes place within Parliament [2]. In addition to this, there is no evidence of any scrutiny over the defence sector by bodies that could be mandated to do so, such as Jordanian Audit Bureau and the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission [3]. Research into local media also shows that media has not, in the past years, questioned any appointments for middle and top management positions. This could be because, in 2016, the armed forces prohibited the publication of any news related to it [4,5,6]. This demonstrates that, as there is no external scrutiny over the defence in general, there is also no scrutiny over defence selection mechanisms for positions.

There is little to no information released about the appointment process for middle and top management military personnel. Formal and informal mechanisms are widely used to inform about the new appointments and selections. The informal mechanisms are through congratulations advertisements for the personnel by their tribes, as a show of power, or through the media [1,2]. It has been previously established that most of the defence information is classified, under Jordan’s Protection of State Secrets and Documents Provisional Law No. 50 [3]. In addition to that, there is very little information available about the defence sector in general in Jordan, and the fact that the defence sector has never been audited the Audit Bureau is also an indicator that there is a general lack of transparency [4]. Moreover, the official webpage of the armed forces only includes information in relation to the selection of soldiers and officers. Despite the brevity in this criterion, there is no mention of the appointment process for middle and top management military personnel [5].

There is no established appointment system for middle and top management that is transparent in the military, KNG or the police, and the civil service does not play a role in it whatsoever, state auditors said (1, 2 and 3). The criteria for appointments, set by the heads of these agencies, is only subject to the scrutiny of the SAB, according to article 12 of its law (4).

But at least in the police, there is a General Committee for Police Affairs, which is formed by the Minister, to evaluate, promote, demote and fire officers, according to article 8 of Law. 23 of 1967 for police affairs, and that provides the MOI with the semblance of internal oversight, which is missing in the military and the KNG (5, 6 and 7).

Only civilian appointments in these bodies are reviewed by the CSC because article 3 of its law exempts military personnel from its oversight (8).

These bodies do not need parliamentary approvals for high level appointments, but the Parliament can voice concern or stop an appointment if it wants by calling for a no-confidence vote on the Minister making the decision. This is not a common occurrence, of course, since Parliament is full of Government supporters (1), activists said (2 and 3).

The appointments are, however, subject to the oversight of the SAB. Article 12 of the SAB’s law says the bodies must reach an agreement over these appointments (4). If they don’t, they must seek the Prime Minister’s help.

This process is routinely undermined by undue influence from the executive branch. The security agencies do not provide the SAB with all the information it needs, and many auditors are either corrupt or too intimidated to press them on this, because the Emir did not sufficiently empower the SAB to carry out its mandate.

This lack of political will, as discussed before, also undermines the financial auditing process.

There is not established formal process for appointments with objective job descriptions and standardised assessments, officials said (1, 2 and 3). The Defence Minister, like the Interior Minister and the KNG head, makes these appointments either on his own or with a select group of senior officials in private.

They do notify the SAB of the decisions, but they do not always provide justification and the information they provide may be conflicted or unreliable, the officials said. The CSC has absolutely no role in these decisions because they are not civilian decisions.

A formal appointment process exists; however, it is undermined by political and sectarian considerations. Section 3 of the National Defence Law lays out basic requirements for promotion. For instance, Section 3, Article 44 states that the “Promotion to the rank of Captain, Colonel, or Major General is by the selection, after the candidate has spent at least four years in the directly lower rank” (1). Furthermore, the LAF is working with partners such as the US DoD’s Institute for Security Governance (ISG) to set accurate job descriptions for senior, mid and junior appointments (2). At the same time, as a by-product of the post-war confessional system, the LAF maintains a 50:50 Christian Muslim parity in its officer corps. Key posts, deputy or second-order positions, and leaders of fighting units are split along sectarian lines (3).
An interviewee also confirmed that top, middle, and junior level posts are allocated based on merit and sectarian lines (4).

The LAF’s high-level appointments are divided along confessional lines and subject to sectarian political parties decisions. For instance, the Chief of Staff post is reserved for a person from the Druze religion whose name needs to have the green light of the Durzi leadership (1). An example of this took place when appointing main figures of the Military Council which is composed of 6 members, each belonging to a different sect that needs to the approval of its political leadership in (2). As indicated from before, appointments for posts higher to frontline units such as the deputy CoS, CoS, the Military Council and other flag officer posts undergo an intricate selection process and are horse-traded by competing sectarian political factions (3).
The Parliament does not scrutinize the appoints of military personnel in middle and top management. However, the president and the Council of Ministers scrutinize the appointment for sectarian related reasons (4).

The National Defence Law outlines the general criteria for the appointments of senior positions except for the sectarian component (1). The sectarian distribution requirements are unwritten rules agreed on by the military command and the political entities (2). However, the appointments are usually announced and published online after the decisions are taken and approved (3). A source indicated that usually, the command requests certain regular requirements such as the rank, the cohort, etc, from a small pool of candidates (4).

Formal processes are now in place for the appointment of senior military personnel. But political considerations continue to unduly influence the selection process. The President, the Minister of Defence and the Council of Ministers appear to be the only people involved in appointing officers.[8] In May 2017, parliament approved a new general statute for the military that outlined clear selection criteria for military appointments and promotions to various grades. For example, the statute stipulates that no person can rise to the level of General if they have not followed and completed a programme of higher military education, programmes focusing on the development of scientific and technical skills, and, finally, a postgraduate university degree.[8]
There are three categories of ranks within the Malian armed forces: Non-Commissioned ranks (Militaires de rang), Non-Commissioned Officers (Sous-Officiers) and Officers.[8]
Article 49 of the general statute clearly outlines the criteria for becoming an Officer. Firstly, the recruitment of officers is conducted via the military officer training schools.[8] Candidates must already hold the grade of Chief Warrant Officer or Major Chief Warrant Officer to be eligible to become an Officer. Other conditions that influence such decisions are, among others:
– age
– educational background
– performance on aptitude tests
– current grade and length of service
– time spent as a commander
– maintaining a balance between those who come through officer training school and those who come through other recruitment channels.[8]
Such appointments are made by decree by the minister responsible for the armed forces, i.e. the President of the Republic. Article 55 indicates that the seniority of officers is determined by their previous activities. Finally, article 50 points out that appointments and promotions relating to general officers are made by decree by the Council of Ministers and by the President for all other officers.[8]
Furthermore, article 46 stipulates that career progression within the armed forces functions by being promoted from one grade to the grade immediately superior. The only exceptions to this rule are for promotions from:
– Corporal to Sergeant
– Chief Warrant Officer to Second Lieutenant
– Colonel to Brigadier.[8]
However, the process of such appointments remains deeply politicised and informal, with candidates frequently gaining their post because of their connections in government or to serve wider political interests.
A World Bank report described the situation in detail in 2008. It said that appointments in the public sector in Mali, including the military, are seen as an asset which generates “flows of illicit incomes” (wages, bonuses, indemnities, state budget diversion, and corruption).¹ This system creates a “secondary market” in which those who have the power to hire or to promote negotiate their influence.¹ This secondary market has flourished because of the lack of internal controls, the lack of established career paths and deficiencies in human resources.¹ It says that military appointments are often made to serve private ends or political objectives. This analysis remains pertinent today: even the current defence minister admits this.
Tiéna Coulibaly was appointed Minister of Defence in April 2017. Within a month of his arrival at the MODV, Coulibaly publicly determined that the army’s main weakness is in recruitment. He said that during the recruitment process, various ministers, MPs and officers present their own lists as to who should be selected.[3] Rather than recruiting soldiers on merit, the current process favours those who are well-connected. As a result, these new soldiers, recruited without competition and “for whom strings have been pulled”, are unfit for fighting because they are simply in the armed forces to draw a salary.[3] Coulibaly has pledged to ensure that from now on soldiers are recruited through a fair and competitive process.[3]
Affiliation to a political party or a powerful individual can greatly assist with accessing key positions in the army. According to Le Monde, the alleged ‘Lobbo’s list’ is an example of this system occurring at the heart of political power.² Lobbo Traoré was the wife of the former interim president Dioncounda Traoré (2012-2013) who used her network to place her children’s friends in key positions.²
The most recent example of an overtly political appointment to a senior military post came in February 2018, when former chief of staff, Ibrahim Dahirou Dembélé, was nominated as Inspector General of the Army. The appointment was made by the Council of Ministers, having accepted the nomination of the Minister of Defence.[7] Having been a key figure in Captain Amadou Sanogo’s military junta in 2012, the appointment was highly controversial. Moreover, Dembélé was appointed a mere 15 days after a court in Bamako had lifted his probation status.[5] Dembélé currently stands accused of ‘passive complicity’ in the assassination in 2012 of 21 members of the red berets, a rival unit to that of Sanogo’s green berets. The trial of Sanogo and several co-defendants opened in November 2016 and is ongoing.
FIDH, an international human rights group, stated that one had to see the appointment of Dembélé in the context of the 2018 presidential election.[5] It represents an attempt to reconcile rival factions, the army and to shore up national unity, with IBK seeking re-election. Indeed, Sanogo remains popular in Mali, with many viewing his robust intervention as necessary to rid the country of the corrupt and crumbling ATT government that had lost control of two-thirds of the country’s territory to jihadist groups. Dembélé’s appointment is thus designed to sow division between Sanogo and some of his key allies, but can also appear nationally as if IBK is offering an olive branch to Sanogo’s camp.[6]
A defence attaché working in Bamako opined that “many people at the higher echelons of the army are internationally schooled officers and are thus skilled, experienced individuals”.[10] But a Lieutenant Colonel within FAMA told him that corruption is so widespread that you must be corrupt to get promoted.[10] In the defence attaché’s view, illicit payments don’t necessarily skew the system, but they lubricate it. Many people are appointed because of their capabilities, but they still need to pay.
Furthermore, a senior security governance official told the assessor that the concepts of ‘cousinage, copinage and parrainage’ (ethnic kinship, cronyism and patronage) all retain a massive influence within the armed forces.[11] Selection and appointments within the military have also historically been conducted along ethnic and regional lines to satisfy political considerations rather than basing the appointments purely on merit (see Galy, p.6). Tuareg soldiers have been integrated into the army either individually or, following peace agreements, collectively. The Malian army thus incorporated many former Tuareg rebels into the army, provoking anger among other ethnic groups. One sees this dynamic and these disputes being replicated in the ongoing DDR process, which aims to incorporate members of armed groups and influential ethnic militia into the state’s security apparatus.[4]

The assessor found no evidence that the appointments of more senior military personnel are subject to external scrutiny. The process of such appointments is deeply politicised and informal, with candidates gaining their post largely because of their connections in government or to serve wider political interests.
A member of the CDSPC confirmed to the assessor that the committee does not play a role in scrutinising or vetting military appointments [7]. The source said that parliament has a role in constructing the framework within which promotions and appointments are made, but that it has no involvement in individual appointments and promotions [7].
Indeed, in May 2017, parliament approved a new general statute for the military that outlined clear criteria for promotions to various grades. Article 50 points out that nominations and promotions relating to general officers are made by decree by the Council of Ministers and by the President for all other officers [6]. But there is no provision in the general statute for parliament or the CDSPC to scrutinise such appointments [6]. There is similarly no mention of external oversight in the LOPM, the government’s major programme of military reform that was adopted into law in 2015 [7].
For example, in 2017, the government appointed a new chief of staff of the armed forces to replace the outgoing Didier Dacko, who was leaving to head up the regional G5 Sahel Force. However, none of the media coverage relating to the appointment of M’Bemba Moussa Keita made any reference to him having to appear before parliament’s Defence and Security Committee or his appointment being subject to debate within the National Assembly [2, 3].
Similarly, there is no evidence to indicate that the controversial appointment of Ibrahim Dahirou Dembélé in February 2018, as detailed above, was subject to any external scrutiny or parliamentary discussion [1, 4, 5].

While information is available about the legal framework for recruitment and appointment of military personnel, there is no evidence of processes in place to implement this at the working level. These have proven also highly undermined by political influence. In addition, there is no scrutiny by the CDSPC at any levels.
In May 2017, parliament approved a new general statute for the military that outlined clear selection criteria for military appointments and promotions to various grades. For example, the statute stipulates that no person can rise to the level of General if they have not followed and completed a programme of higher military education, programmes focusing on the development of scientific and technical skills, and, finally, a postgraduate university degree.¹⁹ There are three categories of ranks within the Malian armed forces: Non-Commissioned ranks (Militaires de rang), Non-Commissioned Officers (Sous-Officier) and Officers.¹⁹
Article 49 of the general statute clearly outlines the criteria for becoming an Officer. Firstly, the recruitment of officers is conducted via the military officer training schools.¹⁹ Candidates must already hold the grade of Chief Warrant Officer or Major Chief Warrant Officer to be eligible to become an Officer. Other conditions that influence such decisions are, among others:
– age
– educational background
– performance on aptitude tests
– current grade and length of service
– time spent as a commander
– maintaining a balance between those who come through officer training school and those who come through other recruitment channels.¹³
Such appointments are made by decree by the minister responsible for the armed forces, i.e. the President of the Republic. Article 55 indicates that the seniority of officers is determined by their previous activities. Finally, article 50 points out that appointments and promotions relating to general officers are made by decree by the Council of Ministers and by the President for all other officers.¹⁹
Furthermore, article 46 stipulates that career progression within the armed forces functions by being promoted from one grade to the immediately superior grade. The only exceptions to this rule are for promotions from:
– Corporal to Sergeant
– Chief Warrant Officer to Second Lieutenant
– Colonel to Brigadier.¹⁹
However, information relating to how or why certain people are selected for senior roles is scant. The appointment of Ibrahim Dahirou Dembélé as Inspector General of the Army was made by the Council of Ministers, having accepted the nomination of the Minister of Defence,¹⁸ in accordance with the general statute (see Q42 for details). Similarly, there is little information available specifically detailing why M’Bemba Moussa Keita was appointed to become the armed forces’ new Chief of Staff in 2017.¹⁴ ¹⁵
Meanwhile, lower down the chain of command, there are signs of increased levels of transparency. As part of the government’s ongoing drive to rebuild the army (LOPM), it is recruiting an additional 5,000 soldiers in 2018. Eligibility criteria for candidates were clearly reported in the national press.¹⁰ For example, candidates had to be:
– between 18 and 22 years old on the 31 December 2017
– of Malian nationality
– single and without children
– subject to a character check
Candidates had to submit various documents to attest to their status regarding the requirements above, as well as a certificate to show their medical well-being.
In May 2017, the army’s director of public relations made an announcement that indicates a nascent and promising move towards transparency in the defence sector. As part of that year’s recruitment programme (also for 5,000 extra soldiers), he revealed that the armed forces had received 60,136 applications to serve in the military and provided a regional breakdown: Gao: 2,018; Koulikoro: 10,685; Mopti: 2,860; Ségou: 4,807; Sikasso: 7,656; Kayes: 2,617; Bamako: 3,706 and Tombouctou: 131.¹¹

Evidence was found of a transparent and public appointment process for military and civilian personnel at entry level, such as the military academy.
However, no evidence was found of a transparent and public appointment process for military and civilian personnel at senior levels (1).

Moreover Article 53 of the Constitution states that « the King is the Supreme Leader of the Armed Royal Forces. He appoints military personnel and can delegate that right ». Appointment of strategic personnel is therefore discretionary and does not obey a clear and transparent process (2).

As an example, the Secretary of State in charge of Armed forces, who oversees the military administration is nominated directly by the King and has been working in this capacity since at least 2010 (his official biography published by the government mentions that he « occupied various positions within the administration » beforehand, without detailing which)(3).

The memory of the 1971 and 1972 coup attempts and the monarchy’s subsequent reaction of quelling any dissent from senior military personnel also supports the idea that although there are some limited formal processes in place, they are regularly undermined by undue influence or inappropriate conduct in the promotion process.

No evidence was found that the civil service is involved in the appointment process.

In the limited evidence of a transparent and public appointment process for military and civilian personnel at entry level (such as the military academy), there is no evidence of any external scrutiny of the appointments of military personnel at middle and top management levels (1).

Moreover Article 53 of the Constitution states that « the King is the Supreme Leader of the Armed Royal Forces. He appoints military personnel and can delegate that right ». Appointment of strategic personnel is therefore discretionary and does not obey a clear and transparent process (2).

As an example, the Secretary of State in charge of Armed forces, who oversees the military administration is nominated directly by the King and has been working in this capacity since at least 2010 (his official biography published by the government mentions that he « occupied various positions within the administration » beforehand, without detailing which)(3).

These elements, added to the memory of the 1971 and 1972 coup attempts and the monarchy’s subsequent reaction of quelling any dissent from senior military personnel, also supports the idea that there is no external scrutiny of the appointments of military personnel at middle and top management levels in general.

No evidence was found in the local or foreign press that information is released about the appointment process (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9).

The press only refers to appointments of senior military personnel by the King, without mentioning the details of the appointment process, or the criteria based on which they were appointed, as the article in Jeune Afrique shows (10).

There is an established procedure (legal framework) in place to ensure the objective appointment of military personnel as per Ordonnance 2010-75 and Loi n° 2011-35. The security sector’s human resources management is characterised by clearly defined personnel regulations, competitive and transparent recruitment system, merit-based promotion and in-house training (1, 2). However, an online version of either the Ordonnance 2010-75 or Law No. 2011-35 is not available.
On 18 August 2011, Niger’s Council of Ministers amended Order No. 2010/75 (On the Status of Military Personnel in the Armed Forces) of 9 December 2010, which did not provide for the type of benefits that other military personnel (FAN, Gendarmerie Nationale) enjoy. The amended order (Loi n° 2011-35) was published on 28 October 2011 after adoption by the Assemblée Nationale (Lower House). Both Order No. 2010/75 and Law No. 2011/35 establish formal procedures for the recruitment of military personnel (5, 6).
In addition, the Constitution allows for a National Defence Council/Conseil supérieur de la défense nationale (Art. 63, 64 of the Constitution) and a National Security Council/ Conseil national de sécurité (Art. 63, 65 of the Constitution) as advisory units to the President, the Supreme Head of the Armed Forces. The Superior Council advises on the nomination of high-level military appointments and grade promotions of officers, alongside all other questions related to the military (Art. 64) (3). However, even if an established procedure guides the process of appointment, some officers may perceive it as not objective (4).

The National Assemblee does not provide external scrutiny on the appointments of military personnel at middle and top management (1, 2) .

There is some available information on the appointment process through informal mechanisms, based mostly on rumours but it is incomplete and often confusing. Personal connections within the army play an important role in the procedure for promotion, even though it can be also argued that because of extended kinships, family interconnections are most probable (1).
Results of nominations are publically available and diffused on a regular basis in the media. It was the case of one of the last nominations at the top management level in January 2018: following a retirement of the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Brig. Gen. Seyni Garba and Commander of the Gendarmerie, Col. Mounkaila Issa, Brig. Gen. Ahmed Mohamed and Col.-Major Salifou Wakasso were nominated (2,3,4).

The Constitution under section 218(2) gives the president the power to appoint chiefs of all the armed forces and the Senate the power to confirm. However, appointments are subject to the policy of the Federal Character Principle (appointments are made based on political or ethnic considerations).

Media reports showcases or irregularities concerning the appointment process and system. For example, recently several senior officials were retired on insubstantial grounds in breach of due process protections (1).

There are promotion councils for each arm of the service; these are made up of senior members of the Armed Forces. Officers are appointed to a commission on the recommendation of a Board of Officers created by the relevant Service Chief (2). Although it is claimed that promotions are based on open competitive examinations, but appointments are made based on political or ethnic considerations (Federal Character Principle).

The Nigerian Senate plays a role in confirming top appointments. There is no external audit of such positions (1). Individuals aggrieved by decisions can petition the relevant Senate committee. However, appointments are subject to the policy of the Federal Character Principle (appointments are made based on political or ethnic considerations) (2).

The Constitution under section 218(2) gives the president the power to appoint chiefs of all the armed forces and the Senate the power to confirm (1). However, appointments are subject to the policy of the Federal Character Principle (appointments are made based on political or ethnic considerations). And also subject to considerable discretionary powers of the president. Senate confirmations are done behind closed doors (2), (3).

There is not a publicly available system for appointments for military personnel. However, our sources indicate that there is a formal process in place, but these processes are not always followed by the senior commanders, as the process can be influenced due to political and tribal connections (1), (2). There is a brief outline of the vacancy application process on the Ministry of Defence Office of the Secretary-General website, ‘automated’ service applications are sent directly to the relevant department within the ministry, no time limit is given, as it is contingent on the department (3). No further indications of a formal process in the appointment of military personnel at the management level are available on institutional websites (4), (5). Nepotism and wasta (favouritism) are widespread in Oman, according to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, decisions revolve exclusively around the sultan, including defence and security appointments (6). Apart from appointments announced through royal decrees such as the head of the Internal Security Services and the minister responsible for Defence Affairs, there is no public reference to management in the defence and security sector (4), (7).

The available information regarding the scrutiny involved in the appointment of military personnel at the middle or top management levels indicates that there is no internal nor external scrutiny over the process of appointment (1), (2). No external scrutiny procedures are set out on any institutional websites (3), (4), (5). No media reports were found indicating external scrutiny of the appointments of military personnel at middle and top management levels (6), (7), (8). There is a lack of accountability regarding the employment of military personnel. It is important to note here that generally, the defence sector does not go through any scrutiny, as established throughout this assessment.

The government does not release any information about the appointment process. This data is considered confidential and not for the public. The structures of the middle and top management are not available; neither is the appointment process (1), (2). There is no evidence of media reports or civil society organizations comments on military personnel recruitment (3), (4).

Appointments for military personnel take place based on connections and loyalty to the executive (1). They may happen routinely or by a presidential or head of agency decision at any time during the year. According to many senior generals within the Presidential Guard, sometimes, new soldiers are appointed and receive salaries (1) but are not sent immediately to the military training course, and they attend at a later stage. The military academy can receive students at any time of the year with an order by a presidential decree or an admission order from the head of a security or military agency (2), (3), (4).

There is no external scrutiny of the appointments of military personnel at middle and top management (1). The senior executive (president) is the one who appoints and promotes high and middle-level management personnel. No scrutiny, monitoring or questioning of such appointments (2). It is the task of the High Officers Committee to review decisions regarding appointments, but the procedures are not yet clear (3).

The appointment process is not transparent, and nothing is known about it at all, even though there is a clear mechanism of appointments and hiring (1). The process is co-opted by the president and his advisors(2).

There is an internal appointment system within the armed forces and the MoD. However, it is not law, rather internal regulations which are updated and managed by the promotion committee within the Ministry and the armed forces. [1,2] Law No. 31 (2006), which applies to military conscription, does not include an established appointment system. [3] Article 8 of the same law states that the establishment of ranks and other operational decisions can only become effective when adopted by the Emir.

There is no external scrutiny of the appointment of military personnel at middle and top management levels, as there is no external scrutiny of the defence sector overall. [1] According to the constitution, the Emir is the Chief Commander of the armed forces, which means that he has the direct authority to oversee defence without scrutiny. [2,3] It has also been demonstrated that the majority of appointments, including those at top and middle management positions, take place through Emiri decrees, and the Emir is exempt from all forms of scrutiny. [4,5,6]

There is no official mechanism for publishing the names of promotions, appointments or the processes of appointment/ promotion. There is a lack of transparency in the process of promotions as it is mostly to reward loyalty and distribution of public goods. [1,2]

According to our sources, there is no public information available for citizens or even for soldiers on the official process of appointments. The usual process of appointment, which is known within the MoD, is a royal commission, with the major number of those coming from the royal family, who nominate and select the senior commanders and propose them to the king who issues a decree of appointment (1), (2). There is no publicly available information relating to the official processes surrounding appointment and promotion of military personnel at the middle and top management level. Military personnel appointments have traditionally been based on royal lineage and a balancing of powers between different branches of the royal family. For example, the Sultan branch historically had control over the defence establishment, with the late Sultan bin Abdulaziz serving as minister of defence for almost half a century between 1963 and his death in 2011. His son, Khaled, also held prominent positions in this respect including as assistant minister of defence and deputy minister of defence (3), (4).

The regularity and abruptness with which personnel shuffles occur, oftentimes replacing top military and defence personnel with no official explanation, indicates that there is no independent and established system for selecting middle and top-level management personnel in these sectors (5).

According to our sources, there is no formal and independent mechanism to scrutinize the appointment of top and middle-level military personnel in Saudi Arabia. Since MBS has taken power, decisions have become more authoritarian to the extent that committees are no longer able to nominate and propose individuals for senior positions (1), (2). There is also decreasing space for joint decision-making, or objective scrutiny even within the ruling establishment. Since the ascension of King Salman to the throne in 2015 and the increasing influence of his son, MBS, control over the defence and security establishments have been progressively centralised and under the purview of Mohammed bin Salman, who also heads security bodies including the Council of Political and Security Affairs (3).

There appear to be signs that the government is attempting to improve its processes surrounding personnel. After Mohammed bin Salman became defence minister in 2015, he reportedly awarded a contract to multinational consulting firm Boston Consulting Group to help improve the government’s handling of military personnel (4). Nevertheless, there is no indication that this contract related to middle and top-level personnel, which was likely off-limits due to the sensitivity and political significance surrounding such appointments in the kingdom.

There is no information released by the government about the appointment process. Appointments are only announced at a later stage and with no reference to the selection criteria or other reasons for appointment (1). In a May 2018 report, Gulf expert Neil Patrick noted that 800 new officer appointments were planned for the Saudi military and the MoD over the next eighteen months, including two assistant defence ministers and three undersecretaries. In May 2018, interviews for five assistant minister positions had already been conducted (2). Information on the selection criteria for these and other positions has not been publicized on the MoD website. According to our sources within the MoD, since 2016, the appointment process is not clear, and decisions are revealed to both public as well as ministry (3), (4).

There is an established system for the appointment of military personnel. Decree n° 72-380, dated 6 December 1972, on particular status of military and the Ministerial Order, dated 8 November 1973 (Article 4), give the mandatory conditions for the selection of officers and commissioned officers (1). Several articles of this decree (9, 9 (bis), 14) include conditions relating to promotion to the rank of colonel or general. Appointments of officers and commissioned officers are published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Tunisia (article 40 law n° 67-20, dated 31 May 1967, on the General Status of the Military) (2). Senior military positions are appointed by the President of the Republic (Article 78 of the CRT January 2014) (3).

According to our sources, there is no external scrutiny over medium and senior personnel appointment within MoD (1,2). No evidence of external scrutiny of the appointments of military personnel at middle and top management could be found (3,4,5).

According to our sources, there is a shortage of complete information available to the public on the appointments of medium and senior positions within the MoD (1,2). Information on the appointment process in some low positions is available on the website of the Ministry of Defence (3). The same information is not available for middle and top management positions.

There is a formal process in place concerning the appointment system for the selection of military personnel at almost all levels in the UAE. However, senior and middle-level personnel are appointed by royal decrees. Federal Law No. 6 of 2004 covers the human resources framework for military personnel. Articles 13, 14, 16, 17, 18 and 19 set out the processes for the appointment, promotion, and movement of senior military personnel within the defence sector (1). According to Article 12 of Federal Law No. 6 of 2004, promotions and appointments of military personnel are expected to take place through recommendations by an officers committee, which is likely to serve as the supreme body supervising military staff (1). The civilian employees within the armed forces are appointed through strict rules and systems as they are mostly foreigners and not nationals. Even though there are formal processes in place for the appointments and promotions of military personnel, which considers merits, this is expected to be undermined by undue influence. Nepotism and neo-patrimonialism exist in the UAE as a balance of power and influence between different tribes and the maintenance of power in the royal family (2), (3).

There is limited scrutiny over the appointment of senior and middle personnel. The fact that senior and middle-level personnel are appointed by a royal decree negates any possibility of external scrutiny (1), (2).

Federal Law No. 6 of 2004, which sets out the appointment system for the selection of military personnel at the middle and top management level in UAE, is publicly available (1). However, full details of the appointment systems are not revealed, which makes information about it inconsistent and confusing. There is no evidence of there being a ‘fair’ and transparent process concerning recruitment within the defence sector, particularly due to practices of nepotism and favouritism (2). Although there are no formal restrictions concerning UAE citizens’ access to employment, education and public services, there are still practices that favour the distribution of high-level positions based on tribal affiliation and loyalty to the royal families (3), (4).

Country Sort by Country 41a. Formal process Sort By Subindicator 41b. Scrutiny Sort By Subindicator 41c. Transparency Sort By Subindicator
Algeria 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Angola 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Burkina Faso 25 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100
Cameroon 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Cote d'Ivoire 50 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100
Egypt 50 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Ghana 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Jordan 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Kuwait 0 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100
Lebanon 25 / 100 25 / 100 50 / 100
Mali 25 / 100 0 / 100 50 / 100
Morocco 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Niger 75 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Nigeria 25 / 100 25 / 100 50 / 100
Oman 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Palestine 0 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100
Qatar 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Saudi Arabia 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Tunisia 75 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
United Arab Emirates 25 / 100 0 / 100 50 / 100

With thanks for support from the UK Department for International Development and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have contributed to the Government Defence Integrity Index.

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