BRUSSELS (our reporter):- The European Council approved €25 million military aid for African country Niger under the European Peace Facility (EPF).

The objective of this assistance measure is to strengthen the capabilities and resilience of the Nigerien Armed Forces in order to enable them to defend the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of the country and to better protect the civilian population against the mounting terrorist threat, said in the statement.

The European Council further said that the Niger plays a major role in initiatives aimed at strengthening peace and development in the Sahel, including the EU’s Integrated Strategy in the Sahel, the Sahel Coalition and the Partnership for Security and Stability in the Sahel (P3S), as well as the Sahel Alliance. By means of this assistance measure, the EU is delivering on its commitment within the framework of these initiatives.

In line with the Nigerien priorities, the agreed EU assistance will finance the establishment of an Armed Forces Technician Training Centre to increase the capacities of the Nigerien Armed Forces in the area of logistics support; and the construction of a forward operating base to reduce the vulnerability of the Armed Forces in the Tillabéri region. The duration of the Assistance Measure will be 36 months.

This assistance measure paves the way for a stronger Niger-EU partnership in the military and defence field, and it shows the EU’s clear commitment to supporting Niger and its people in their efforts to achieve peace and stability in Niger and across the Sahel.

The European Peace Facility was established in March 2021 to finance all Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) actions in military and defence areas, with the aim of preventing conflict, preserving peace and strengthening international security and stability. In particular, the European Peace Facility allows the EU to finance actions designed to strengthen the capacities of third states and regional and international organisations as regards military and defence matters.

Niger requested the assistance measure in a letter to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in March 2022.

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