BORDER MANAGEMENT AND IRREGULAR MIGRATION

Niger is known as a country of transit for migrants from West Africa towards the North, and for some, further to the Mediterranean. With 5,800 km of borders, state authorities face difficulties in controlling migration flows due to a lack of capacity and of infrastructure. Smuggling of illicit goods and trafficking of human beings put migrants at risk and eventually pose as well a threat to Europe’s stability.

EUCAP Sahel Niger works in close cooperation with the National Directorate of Territorial Surveillance to support the improvement of border management structures in the fight against traffickers and smugglers and those benefitting from the hardship of migrating women, men and children.

This support includes the creation and equipping of border stations and checkpoints alongside main migration routes, as well as training and strategic advice for border managers. Regular field trips to the regions enables Mission experts to explore changing migration routes and to adapt their support to the dynamic evolution of irregular migration.

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Mobile Border Control Units

Since 2018, EUCAP Sahel Niger has assisted the Nigerien National Police to establish a second mobile border police unit (CMCF, which is the French acronym for “compagnie mobile de contrôle des frontières”). With 250 police officers, the CMCF is subdivided into smaller teams and operates along the Niger-Nigerian border. Their main objective: supporting the fight against terrorism and organized crime. The CMCF has been fully equipped and received a comprehensive six-months training programme by EUCAP Sahel Niger and its partners.

After several years of intensive individual training, EUCAP Sahel Niger also falls back on a network of Nigerien trainers in border management. Their practical exercises as well as training in document fraud and profiling are regularly accompanied by the Mission’s experts.