Saturday, November 17, 2007

A gendarmerie or gendarmery (pronounced /ʒɒnˈdɑːmɜːriː/) is a military body charged with police duties among civilian populations. The members of such a body are called gendarmes. The term maréchaussée (or marshalcy) can also be used (e.g. Royal Marechaussee) but is now uncommon.

Gendarmerie Title and status
Gendarmes play an important role re-establishing law and order in conflict areas, a task which is suited to their purpose, training and capabilities. Gendarmeries are widely used in peacekeeping operations, for instance in the former Yugoslavia.
In Haiti, during the rebellion of 2004, brutal armed gangs took over much of the country. The capital city, Port-au-Prince, was particularly chaotic, and law and order broke down. In view of the nature of the violence, the international intervention force responding to the crisis included substantial numbers of French gendarmes, apparently on the insistence of the other countries contributing to the force.
The absence of any gendarmerie in allied forces in Iraq at the time of the fall of Baghdad contributed to both widespread disorder and the creation of the violent situation which continues today. The fall of Baghdad in April 2003 saw the outbreak of disorder, including looting, violence and the settling of old sectarian and tribal grudges. The initial absence of Iraqi police services contributed to the disorder, and US Army and Marine personnel in the city were not particularly trained for the task of policing and re-establishing law and order. The immediate disorder created a momentum of violence that benefited the insurgency and facilitated its operations, and gave a great boost to the morale and recruitment of insurgent forces, as well as allowing the creation of heavily-armed criminal organisations. Subsequently, the coalition forces included Italian Carabinieri.

Role in modern conflict
The use of military organisations to police civilian populations is common to many time periods and cultures. Although it cannot be considered a French concept, the French gendarmerie has been the most influential model of such an organisation.
Many countries that were once under French influence have a gendarmerie. For instance, both Belgium and Austria had gendarmeries through Napoleonic influence, but both these gendarmeries, have merged with the civil police, in 2001 and 2005 respectively. Many former French colonies, especially in Africa, also have gendarmeries.
A common gendarmerie symbol is a flaming grenade, which was first used as a gendarmerie symbol by the French.

French influence

List of Gendarmeries

Algeria: Gendarmerie Nationale (El Dark El Watani)
Argentina: Gendarmería Nacional Argentina
Benin: Gendarmerie
Brazil: Polícia Militar (a separate force in each state; debatable whether they constitute a gendarmerie)
Bulgaria: Zhandarmeriya (Жандармерия)
Burkina Faso: Gendarmerie
Cameroon: Gendarmerie
Canada: Royal Canadian Mounted Police (civilian status)
Central African Republic: Gendarmerie
Chad: Gendarmerie
Chile: The Carabiniers of Chile
Colombia: Colombian National Police
Comoros: Gendarmerie
Congo: Gendarmerie
Djibouti: Gendarmerie
European Gendarmerie Force
France: Gendarmerie Nationale
Gabon: Gendarmerie
Guinea: Gendarmerie
Hungary: Rendészeti Biztonsági Szolgálat
India: Indian Paramilitary Forces (debatable)
Iraq: National Police (not to be confused with civilian Iraqi Police Service, although at present both are highly militarised)
Israel: Israel Border Police
Italy: Carabinieri (Carabiniers)
Ivory Coast: Gendarmerie
Madagascar: Gendarmerie
Mali: Gendarmerie
Mauritania: Gendarmerie
Mexico: Policia Federal Preventiva (PFP) (civilian status, but largely composed of military personnel transferred en masse from the Mexican army's 3rd Military Police Brigade)
Republic of Moldova: Trupele de Carabinieri
Monaco: Carabiniers
Morocco: Gendarmerie Royale
Netherlands: Koninklijke Marechaussee
Niger: Gendarmerie
Poland: Żandarmeria Wojskowa
Portugal: Guarda Nacional Republicana
Romania: Jandarmeria Română
Rwanda: Gendarmerie
San Marino: Gendarmeria
Senegal: Gendarmerie
Serbia: Žandarmerija (1860–1945; reformed 2001)
Spain: Guardia Civil
Togo: Gendarmerie
Turkey: Jandarma
Vatican: Gendarmeria List of former gendarmeries

Military Aid to the Civil Power
Military police
National Guard
People's Armed Police
Internal Troops
Association of the European and Mediterranean Police Forces and Gendarmeries with Military Status
fr:Chapeau de Gendarme

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