Frank Van der Mueren (pictured), a Belgian senior police official, has been appointed as new Head of the European Union’s civilian capacity building mission in Niger, EUCAP Sahel Niger. Frank Van der Mueren was previously seconded to EUCAP Sahel Mali as deputy Head of Mission and Chief of Staff since 2016. He has already worked for EUCAP Sahel Niger between 2012 and 2014.
EUCAP Sahel Niger was launched in 2012 to support capacity building of the Nigerien security actors. The mission provides advice and training to support the Nigerien authorities in strengthening their security capabilities. It contributes to the development of an integrated, coherent, sustainable, and human rights-based approach among the various Nigerien security agencies in the fight against terrorism and organised crime. On 18 July 2016 its mandate was amended to also assist the Nigerien central and local authorities, as well as the security forces in developing policies, techniques and procedures to better control and address irregular migration.
Frank Van der Mueren takes over from Ms Kirsi Henriksson, who had held the post from July 2016 to March 2018.
The decision was formally taken by the Political and Security Committee on 2 May 2018. The term of the new Head of Mission will initially run until 15 July 2018, the current end of the mission’s mandate.
The conference, co-chaired by the European Union, the United Nations, the African Union and the G5 Sahel, will focus on strengthening much-needed international support to Africa’s Sahel countries in the areas of security and development, notably through the G5 Sahel Joint Force. It will gather Heads of State and Government from the European Union and the G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger) as well as high level attendance from other participating countries.
- The EU is a strong political partner of the G5 Sahel countries. High Representative Vice President Federica Mogherini has held annual meetings with G5 Sahel Foreign Ministers to strengthen cooperation in areas of shared interest such as security, migration, counter-terrorism, youth employment, humanitarian response and long-term development
- The EU, together with its Member States, is the biggest provider of development assistance to the region with over €8 billion over 2014-2020 and uses all its tools to support development efforts in the region, notably the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, to tackle the root causes of instability and irregular migration and create opportunities for youth. The EU is also member of the Alliance for the Sahel, set up to better coordinate development assistance in the region.
- The EU is itself a key security player in the region, with its 3 active Common Security and Defence Policy missions; EUCAP Sahel Niger: EUCAP Sahel Mali: EU training mission (EUTM) in Mali.
- The EU supports concrete regional led security initiatives. The EU has already provided an initial €50 million to establish the African led G5 Sahel Joint Force which aims to improve