National Defense Council

The Superior Council of National Defense (SCND) is a specific State body for consultation of the President of the Republic in relation to matters of national defense and to the functioning and discipline of the Armed Forces.


SCND Composition


The SCND is composed of a group of political and military leaders, including:


  1. President of the Republic;
  2. Prime Minister;
  3. Deputy Prime Ministers (if any);
  4. Ministers responsible for the sectors of National Defense, Foreign Affairs, Internal Administration, Finance, Industry and Energy and Transport and Communications;
  5. Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces;
  6. Representative of the Republic for the Autonomous Region of the Prince;
  7. President of the Regional Government;
  8. Chairman of the National Defense Committee of the National Assembly;
  9. Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces Branch;
  10. Two Members of the National Assembly.


The Prime Minister and the President of the Republic, on his or her initiative or request, may convene any other identities at certain meetings of the council without the need for a vote.

The Prime Minister and the President of the Republic may invite any other entities to participate, without the right to vote, in certain meetings of the Council.

The Council shall meet quarterly, and extraordinarily, whenever convened by the President of the Republic, or at the request of the Prime Minister.




It is incumbent upon the SCND to issue an opinion on:


  1. National Defense Policy;
  2. Great options of the Strategic Concept of National Defense; Strategic Concept of National Defense;
  3. Legislation regarding the organization of National Defense, definition of the duties and general bases of the Armed Forces organization, operation, re-equipment and discipline. And also the conditions of employment of the Armed Forces in the state of siege and the state of emergency;
  4. Adoption of international conventions of a military nature;
  5. Involvement of military contingents abroad, within the framework of the international commitments of the Santomean State, in missions not arising from the state of war;
  6. Organization of civil protection, assistance to populations and safeguarding public and private property in case of war;
  7. Military Programming Laws;
  8. Fundamental Defense Infrastructures;
  9. Declaration of war and peacemaking;

Other matters relating to National Defense or to the Armed Forces presented to it by the President of the Republic or by any of its members.


It is also incumbent upon the Superior Council of National Defense, in the exercise of its administrative functions:


  • Confirm the Military Strategic Concept and approve the missions of the Armed Forces and the systems of forces necessary for their fulfillment, after proposal of the Minister of National Defense;
  • Define the measures to be taken in case of alert, mobilization and war;
  • Guide the execution of the mobilization, general or partial;
  • To approve proposals for the appointment and dismissal of general officers to be submitted to the President of the Republic, regarding the positions of President of the Supreme Military Court, Commander-in-Chiefs, commanders or military representatives in the organization of any alliance of which São Tomé and Príncipe is as well as naval force, brigade or division commanders to perform missions in that framework;


And to exercise, in time of war, the following functions:


  • Define and activate the Theaters and Operations Zones;
  • To approve the command letters to the Commanders-in-Chief;
  • To approve the general orientation of the operations;
  • Approve the war plans;
  • Study and adopt or propose appropriate measures to meet the needs of the Armed Forces and of collective life.

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Presidency of the Republic

Presidency of the Republic


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