European Union Capacity Building Mission in Niger

EUCAP Sahel Niger is a civilian capacity-building mission in Niger, launched by the EU in 2012 under its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Since 2018, the Head of Mission is Frank Van der Mueren, a senior Belgian police officer.[1]

Mission logo


The mandate of EUCAP Sahel Niger was last extended by the EU until September 2020. Currently, the Mission is composed of around 120 European experts.[2]

Since its inception in 2012, the Mission has been mandated to train and advise the Nigerien internal security forces, notably the Police Nationale, the Gendarmerie and the Garde Nationale, with a focus on combatting terrorism and organised crime. More specifically, support to the country's internal security forces include the following:

  • Support the security forces in improving their interoperability and with establishing common operating strategies.
  • Support the security forces in improving their technical competencies, including their human resources, training and logistics management policies.
  • Support the security forces in improving their control over migratory flows and irregular migration and their fight against associated criminal activity.
  • Support the country with coordinating regional and international efforts on the fight against terrorism and organised crime.[1]


In response to a request from the Nigerien government, the Mission was established by the Council of the EU in July 2012,[3] initially for a two-year period. The request was prompted by growing concerns over terrorism and organised crime in the region.[4] Colonel Francisco Espinosa Navas was appointed to lead EUCAP Sahel Niger for the first year.[5]

The Mission's headquarters was set up in Niamey with two liaison offices in Bamako (Mali) and Nouakchott (Mauritania).[6] Whereas the liaison offices in the neighbouring countries were later closed, a field office was opened in the country's northern town of Agadez in 2016.[7]


  1. "About EUCAP Sahel Niger". EEAS - European External Action Service - European Commission. Retrieved 2020-05-07.
  2. "EUCAP Sahel Niger: Council extends the mission for two years". Retrieved 2020-05-07.
  3. "Political and Security Committee Decision EUCAP SAHEL Niger/1/2012 of 17 July 2012 on the appointment of the Head of Mission of the European Union CSDP Mission in Niger (EUCAP SAHEL Niger)". Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  4. "HISTORIQUE DE L'OPÉRATION EUCAP SAHEL NIGER" (in French). 17 October 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  5. "POLITICAL AND SECURITY COMMITTEE DECISION EUCAP SAHEL NIGER/1/2012". Official Journal of the European Union. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  6. "Africa in Focus: Three New Civilian CSDP-Missions" (PDF). ZIF. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  7. "Factsheet: Common Security and Defense Policy - Civilian Mission EUCAP Sahel Niger (August 2018) - Niger". ReliefWeb. Retrieved 2020-05-07.