"Makoun could be a good asset because he is experienced," said Villa manager Gerard Houllier.
"He has played in the Champions League with Lille and Lyon. He is exactly what we need."
Houllier, who allowed Steve Sidwell to join Fulham earlier in the transfer window, was keen to strengthen his squad in a bid to lead Villa away from the Premier League relegation zone.
The Villans are currently 18th in the table, although only three points separate the bottom seven teams.
Meanwhile, Chris Herd has signed a new three-and-a-half year contract with Villa.
The 21-year-old, who made his Premier League debut against Manchester United earlier this season and can play in central midfield or at full-back, is the latest graduate of Villa's academy to commit his immediate future to the club.
Herd scored a hat-trick from full-back for Villa's reserves in a 10-1 drubbing of Arsenal last Monday.
He said: "When I got offered the contract, it wasn't a difficult decision to make at all.
"A few of the other boys have done really well and have all signed contracts so it is nice to follow in their footsteps."
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