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The ongoing instability in the Sahel, and the transnational nature of the security threats have confirmed the relevance of the regional approach taken in the European Union's Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel from March 2011.
EUCAP Sahel Niger, the CSDP civilian mission launched at the request of Niger's government in the summer of 2012, is an important element of the European Union's Sahel strategy together with other development and stability instruments of the EU.
EUCAP Sahel Niger aims to help establish an integrated, coherent, sustainable and Human rights-based approach among the various Nigerien security actors in the fight against terrorism and organised crime.
As such, the mission is designed to provide advice and training to support the Nigerien authorities in strengthening their capacities. Over 100 international experts, the majority of whom are from European security forces and justice departments, are permanently deployed in Niamey.
To implement its mandate, EUCAP Sahel Niger has focused on a number of areas: supporting regional commands to improve crisis management capacities and interoperability of Niger's security actors; strengthening local capacities to collect and share intelligence; improving Nigerien capacities in forensics; providing a full training programme for the municipal police in Agadez; reviewing the management of human resources; building teaching capacity at the security forces' training academies; and ensuring that the armed forces act on a sound legal basis in their fight against terrorism and illegal trafficking. So far, EUCAP Sahel Niger's experts have trained around 12.000 members of the country's internal security forces, armed forces and judiciary. At present, the mission focuses on train-the-trainers activities, to ensure the sustainability of its achievements. EUCAP has been also putting in place various projects to upgrade and refurbish the security forces' operational and training centres and automobile maintenance workshops.
Furthermore, the mission became the secretariat for international coordination in the security sector in Niger. As such, EUCAP facilitates the coordination of all international assistance and donations to Nigerien security actors. To increase synergies, the mission pursues joint activities with other EU programs as well as other international actors present in Niger.
Mr Frank Van der Mueren
On 2 May, 2018, Mr. Frank Van der Mueren, a senior Belgian Police Officer and diplomat, was appointed Head of EUCAP Sahel Niger, the European Union Mission in Niger. He took up his position on 24 May, 2018, replacing Ms. Kirsi Henriksson, who had held the position since 2016.