Niger is a country located in Western Africa, bordered by Algeria to the north, Libya to the northeast, Chad to the east, Nigeria and Benin to the south and Burkina Faso and Mali to the west. It has a population of around 23 million people and the official language is French. The majority of the population are Muslims, with some other religious denominations also present.
The military of Niger consists of four branches; Army, Air Force, National Gendarmerie and National Guard. The total active personnel in the military are around 8,000 people. The Army has around 6,000 personnel with a focus on ground operations and border protection. It also has an Air Force with 1,500 personnel for air operations as well as 10 combat aircrafts for air support missions within Niger’s borders. The National Gendarmerie is responsible for internal security while the National Guard provides civil defense services. See naturegnosis to learn more about the country of Niger.
The defense of Niger, which is based on selective military duty with an initial service of 24 months, comprises (2009) 5,200 men. It is organized into 13 company units. Semi-military security forces amount to 5,400 men. Defense costs rose from 0.5% to 1.1% of GDP in 1985-2007. Niger participates in UN peacekeeping operations in Ivory Coast (UNOCI) and with observers in Burundi (BINUB), Congo (Kinshasa) (MONUC) and Liberia (UNMIL). To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that NER stands for Niger.
Niger has selective military service with first-time service of two years. The total force figures for Nigerian Armed Forces are 5300 active personnel (2018, IISS). In addition, 5400 semi-military forces, including 1,500 national police forces, 2,500 in the Republican Guard and 1400 in a gendarmerie. In 2018, France had a force in the country of 500 personnel, including four fighter aircraft and four combat drones (Operation Barkhane).
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The army has a strength of 5200 active personnel. Materials include 132 light trucks, 45 armored personnel vehicles and ten self-propelled air defense artillery.
The Air Force has a force of 100 active personnel. Material comprising two attack aircraft of the type Su-25, six reconnaissance seven transport aircraft and seven helicopters, two combat helicopters of the type Mi-24.
Niger participated in the UN operation in Mali (MINUSMA) in 2018 with an infantry battalion (861 personnel) and two observers, and with observers and a small number of personnel in the UN operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) and in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
Among the populations that inhabited the Saharan territories of today’s Niger emerged subsequently the populations of the Moor, the Tuareg and the present Teda. The northern part of the Niger remained under the dominion of the Tuareg for a long time, the southern part was inserted in the Songhai empire of Gao, with successive long tribal struggles and alternating dominations. The Tuareg had extended their influence far south along the Niger, when at the end of the 19th century. colonial rule began.
- The agreements of 1898, 1904 and 1906 between Great Britain and France marked a limit between the territories called Territoire militaire du Niger and the English area of influence.The Territoire militaire du Niger obtained colony status in 1922 and became part of the Fédération de l’Afrique Occidentale Française. In 1946 the residents of the French West African territories became French citizens and in 1958 the Niger became an independent republic within the French Community.
- Joined (1959) the Council of Entente together with the Ivory Coast, Upper Volta and Dahomey, Niger left the French Community and on 3 August 1960 Prime Minister H. Diori proclaimed its complete independence and became President of the Republic. In 1974 Diori was overthrown by a coup that brought S. Kountché to power, whose death (1987) was taken over by General A. Saïbou. In 1989, a new constitution was approved and Saïbou was elected to the presidency.
- The constitutional turning point of 1992, which introduced multi-partyism, seemed to open a new phase in political life, while the country it remained marked by strong tensions, deriving from endemic poverty and backwardness, and ethnic conflicts re-emerged. Returning to Niger at the end of the 1980s from Libya and Algeria, between 1990 and 1992 the Tuareg clashed several times with the army claiming administrative autonomy for the northern regions in which they had settled. In 1993 President M. Ousmane and the new government led by M. Issoufou, thanks also to the mediation of France, agreed on a first truce with the Tuareg (demilitarization in the north and economic aid to the population). In January 1994, the social conflict that re-exploded due to the economic crisis opened a phase of serious political instability: in September Issoufou resigned. In the elections of 1995 the Mouvement National pour la Société du Développement-Nassara (MNSD) obtained a majority and H. Amadou led a coalition cabinet, but the situation was already critical (in addition to the problems with the Tuareg rebels, strikes in the public sector, in the school and university) precipitated in the military coup of January 1996, led by Colonel IB Maïnassara. The condemnation by Western countries and the International Monetary Fund favored the formation of a new government led by B. Adij and the achievement of an agreement between the political forces for a return to democracy. A new strongly presidential constitution was approved (May 1996) and Maïnassara was elected president (July 1996), then assassinated in 1999. After the approval of a new Constitution (August 1999) which limited the prerogatives of the president, the office passed to M. Tandja, of the MNSD, reconfirmed in 2004. The worsening of the economic situation, also due to the drop in the price of uranium and in 2005 due to a severe drought and an invasion of locusts, it rekindled social and political tension, and in 2007 the conflict with the Tuareg also broke out again. In 2009 Tandja dissolved the Parliament which opposed his attempt to modify the Constitution in order to be able to run for a 3rd term and called new elections, in which the opposition did not participate; in feb. 2010 he was overthrown by a military coup led by General S. Djibo, and was appointed Prime Minister M. Danda, which in April. 2011 was taken over by B. Rafini. In the’ April of the same year, M. Issoufou, the main opposition leader, was elected president, who in the consultations in February 2016 received 48.41% of the preferences against the 17.4% awarded by challenger H. Amadou, with whom he would have to compare to the ballot in March; but Amadou announced his retirement denouncing irregularities, effectively opening the field to Issoufou for a second re-election. In the second round the politician was predictably reconfirmed in office with 92.4% of the votes. The first round of the consultations in December 2020 recorded the affirmation of the former minister M. Bazoum, who won 39.3% of the votes against the 16.9% went to the former president M. Ousmane; the result was confirmed in the ballot,