Niger Military govt expels members of EU recovery mission


The ruling military government in Niger has escalated tensions with the international community by expelling several members of the European civilian reconstruction mission, EUCAP Sahel Niger. Among those affected is Katja Dominik, the German head of the mission. The Interior Ministry in Niamey issued a statement, revealing that members of the mission had entered Niger “without informing the government of Niger beforehand.” This expulsion comes as part of a broader series of perceived “hostile and unjustified incidents against the EU and its member states in recent months,” according to a spokeswoman from the EU’s diplomatic service.

The EU had sought clarifications from Niger’s transition authorities regarding this unexpected expulsion. This move follows the military junta’s decision in December to cancel cooperation with two EU missions: EUCAP Sahel Niger and the EUMPM military partnership mission. These missions were integral to a security partnership aimed at addressing migration challenges to Europe and supporting the fight against terrorism in the Sahel region, where Islamist groups have posed significant threats. The EU had deployed around 130 security personnel engaged in training officers in Niger.

Niger, until the ousting of its democratically elected president in 2023, was considered the last democratic partner of the EU and the United States in the Sahel region. The recent expulsion raises concerns not only about the strained relationship between the military government and the international community but also about the broader implications for democratic norms and established security partnerships in Niger under the current military rule. The actions taken by the military junta have further strained diplomatic ties and fueled uncertainties about the future trajectory of Niger’s governance and international alliances.

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