Niger Military - 2023


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Military and security forces

Nigerien Armed Forces (Forces Armees Nigeriennes, FAN): Army, Nigerien Air Force, Niger Gendarmerie (GN); Ministry of Interior: Niger National Guard (GNN), National Police (2023)

note 1: the Gendarmerie (GN) and the National Guard (GNN) are paramilitary forces; the GN has primary responsibility for rural security while the GNN is responsible for domestic security and the protection of high-level officials and government buildings; the GNN was formerly known as the National Forces of Intervention and Security

note 2: the National Police includes the Directorate of Territorial Surveillance, which is charged with border management

Military expenditures

1.7% of GDP (2022 est.)

1.8% of GDP (2021 est.)

2% of GDP (2020 est.)

1.7% of GDP (2019 est.)

1.9% of GDP (2018 est.)

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; approximately 12,000 active FAN troops (8,000 Army; 200 Air Force; 4,000 Gendarmerie); approximately 3,000 National Guard (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the FAN's inventory consists of a wide variety of older weapons; in recent years, it has received small amounts of mostly secondhand equipment and donations from several countries, led by the US (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18 is the legal minimum age for selective compulsory or voluntary military service for unmarried men and women; 24-month service term (2023)

Military deployments

875 Mali (MINUSMA) (2023)

note 1: Niger is part of a four (formerly five)-nation anti-jihadist task force known as the G5 (now G4) Sahel Group, set up in 2014 with Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali (withdrew in 2022), and Mauritania; it has committed 1,100 troops and 200 gendarmes to the force; defense forces from each of the participating states are allowed to pursue terrorist fighters up to 100 km into neighboring countries; the force is backed by France, the UN, and the US

note 2: Niger also has about 1,000 troops committed to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) against Boko Haram and other terrorist groups operating in the general area of the Lake Chad Basin and along Nigeria's northeast border; national MNJTF troop contingents are deployed within their own country territories, although cross‐border operations are conducted periodically

Military - note

while the FAN is responsible for ensuring external security, much of its focus is internal, particularly counterinsurgency/counterterrorism operations against terrorist groups operating in the areas bordering Burkina Faso, Libya, Mali, and Nigeria, as well as much of northern Niger and the Diffa and Lake Chad regions; these groups include the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) in the Greater Sahara, Boko Haram, ISIS-West Africa, and Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM); up to 70% of the security forces are assigned to fighting militants and protecting borders

the FAN is a lightly armed, but experienced military; it has conducted training and combat operations with foreign partners, including the French and US; the EU has also provided security assistance, particularly to the GN, GNN, and the National Police; the FAN also conducts counterterrorism operations with the G4 Sahel Group and the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), which coordinates the Lake Chad states’ operations against Boko Haram

in recent years, Niger has focused on making its security services more mobile to improve their effectiveness in countering terrorism and protecting the country’s borders; with training support and material assistance from the US and the EU, each security service has created new units or reconfigured existing units with an emphasis on mobility, hybridization, and specialized training; since the 2010s, the Army has created a special operations command, several special intervention battalions, and an anti-terrorism unit known as the 1st Expeditionary Force of Niger (EFoN); the GN has created mobile units modeled on European gendarmerie forces known as the Rapid Action Group—Surveillance and Response in the Sahel (Groupe d'action Rapides—Surveillance et Intervention au Sahel or GAR-SI Sahel); the GNN has developed mobile Multipurpose Squadrons (Escadrons Polyvalentes de la Garde Nationale de Niger or EP-GNN), while the National Police have created Mobile Border Control Companies (Compagnie Mobile de Contrôle des Frontières or CMCF); Niger has also established training centers for special forces in Tillia and peacekeeping in Ouallam; meanwhile, the Air Force has received a few armed UAVs from Turkey

the Army was established in 1960 from French colonial forces, while the Air Force was formed as the Niger National Escadrille in 1961; the GN received its first Nigerien commander in 1962; since its establishment, Niger’s military has played a significant role in the country’s politics, conducting successful coups in 1974, 1996, 1999, and 2010, and ruling Niger for much of the period before 1999; the FAN also conducted counterinsurgency operations against Taureg rebels during 1990-95 and 2007-09 (2023)

NOTE: The information regarding Niger on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Niger 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Niger 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.