EUCAP Sahel Niger is a civilian capacity-building Mission established by the European Union as part of its Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) with the overall aim to strengthen Niger’s internal security sector and its capacities in the fight against significant security threats. Since its opening in 2012, EUCAP Sahel Niger has supported the Nigerien Internal Security Forces, national authorities as well as non-state actors with a variety of different programs and activities.

The rise of violent extremism, organized crime, such as trafficking in drugs, arms and human beings, pose security risks to the local population and eventually to the stability in Europe. Ongoing violence and conflicts in neighboring countries, first in Mali in 2012 and later in Burkina Faso, increasingly affect Niger’s vast territories and jeopardizes the development of the country. Still, Niger lacks sufficient resources to cope with these threats.

Around 120 Europeans from security institutions and civilian entities are permanently deployed to the Mission, assist the Nigerien authorities in reinforcing the internal security sector in order to protect the local population, and ensure European security interests. EUCAP Sahel Niger is an essential element of the EU’s strategy for security and development in the Sahel and acts in close partnership and on all levels with other EU institutions and security stakeholder present in the Sahel.

In 2016, EUCAP Sahel Niger, based in the capital Niamey, established a permanent field office in Agadez to carry out its mandate in the northern region. Regular field missions to all regions also allow remotely deployed security forces to benefit from the Mission’s assistance. At present, 16 European Member States contribute to the Mission’s objectives.

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A civilian Mission of the European Union

The EU Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) forms the baseline for all activities of EUCAP Sahel Niger. The CSDP enables the EU to take a leading role in peacekeeping operations, conflict prevention and in strengthening of international security.