The Council of EU on 20 February has launched a Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) military partnership mission in Niger (EUMPM Niger) to support the country in its fight against terrorist armed groups.
The aim of the partnership mission, formally established on 12 December 2022 at the request of the Nigerien authorities, is to enhance the ability of the Niger Armed Forces to contain the terrorist threat, protect the population in the country and ensure a safe and secure environment in compliance with human rights law and international humanitarian law.
EUMPM Niger will support in particular the establishment of the Centre for the Training of the Technicians of the Armed Forces, provide advice and specialized training on request to the Niger Armed Forces’ specialists, and support the creation of a new communication and command support battalion.
The Mission Commander is the Director of the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC), Vice Admiral Hervé Bléjean.
On 12 December 2022, the Council adopted a decision establishing EUMPM Niger with an initial duration of three years. The mission is a direct response to the request for support addressed to the High Representative by the President and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Niger of 30 November 2022.
Meanwhile, three months ago, France gifted two second hand SA342 L1 Gazelle light attack and scout helicopters as well as seven 20 mm cannons to the Nigérien forces to enhance its counter-insurgence capacity.
Apparently, France had earlier transfered three GAZELLE helicopters equipped with 20 mm cannon to Nigér in March 2013.
On 30 June 2022, in concluding the Holistic Strategic Review of EUTM Mali and EUCAP Sahel Mali, the Political and Security Committee considered that establishing a dedicated military CSDP mission in conjunction with an assistance measure under the European Peace Facility would be appropriate to provide the necessary support to Niger.
On 18 July 2022, the Council adopted an assistance measure under the European Peace Facility to support the Niger Armed Forces, and in particular the establishment of a Centre for the Training of the Technicians of the Armed Forces.
On 30 November 2022, the President and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Niger invited the EU to deploy an EU CSDP military partnership mission in Niger to contribute to enhancing the military capacity of the Niger Armed Forces in order to support Niger in its fight against terrorism.