Niger Armed Forces


Niger Armed Forces

1. Order of battle
2. Overview
3. Defence economics
4. State of military forces
5. Country threat report
6. External deployments

1. Order of Battle

Total force strength Army: 5 200
Air Force: 300
Gendarmerie: 1 400
Republican Guard: 2 500
Reconnaissance 35: AML-20/60
88: AML-90
7: VBL
APC 14: M-3 Panhard
5: ZFB-05
2: WZ-523/Type-05P
Mortar ?: 60 mm
19: 81 mm
17: 82 mm
4: 120 mm
Recoilless rifle 6: M-20 75 mm
6: M-40 106 mm
Rocket launcher 36: LRAC 89 mm
?: RPG-7 Knout 73 mm
Air defence gun 10: M-3 VDAA
29: 20 mm
Structure 4 armoured reconnaissance squadrons
7 infantry companies
2 airborne companies
1 engineer company
1 air defence company
1 counter-terrorist company
Air Force
Combat aircraft 2: Su-25 Frogfoot
Maritime/EW/RECCE aircraft 2: DA 42 (Surveillance)
3: ULM Tetra
Transport aircraft 1: C-130H Hercules
1: Dornier 28
1: Dornier 228
1: Boeing 737-200 (VIP)
2: Cessna 208 Caravan
Combat helicopter 2: Mi-24 Hind
Transport helicopter 2: Mi-17 Hip
3: SA 341 Gazelle

2. Overivew
President: Mahamadou Issoufou
Prime Minister: Brigi Rafini
Defence Minister: Karidjo Mahamadou
Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces: Brigadier General Seyni Garba
Chief of Staff of the Army: Colonel Mahamadou Baraze
Chief of Staff of the Air Force: Colonel Boulama Issa Zana Boukarn
Commander of the Gendarmerie: Colonel Mounkaila Issa
Member of: UN, AU, AfDB, IAEA, ICAO
Conscription: 24 months (selective)
3. Defence economics
Defence budget percentage per GDP (2000-2010)

Defence budget per US$ Mil (2000-2011)

Defence budget percentage growth (2000-2011)

4. State of military forces

Niger’s security is affected by Islamist terror groups in the region, (such as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb [AQIM]), unstable neighbours (such as Boko Haram militants in Nigeria) and the fallout from the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The country has become a smuggling route for weapons from Libya reaching al Qaeda militants in the Sahara, with thousands of gunmen and tonnes of weapons and ammunition flowing south, mainly to Mali. In addition, Nigerien forces have been involved in a low-level conflict with Tuareg rebels in the north of the country since 2007.

As a result, much of the military’s focus goes towards combating these threats – the military has been fighting Tuareg and Tobou insurgents in the north and eastern deserts since the early 1980s. As a result of this conflict, Niger’s armed forces have been accused of human rights violations but the military has recently instituted a reform process which is attempting to professionalise the service.

Foreign countries provide a large amount of military assistance to Niger, notably China, Algeria, Morocco and France. The latter provides the most military assistance to the country.

The United States in particular has assisted Niger in the fight against terrorism, running training programmes under its counter-terrorism programme in the Sahel and has deployed about 100 military personnel and drones in Niger as part of the operation to dislodge Islamic militants from neighbouring Mali. In July 2013 the Nigerien military received two new Cessna aircraft and ten Toyota trucks from the US, which will be used mainly for border security and moving cargo.

Niger is among the West African countries which contributed troops to the regional AFISMA force battling Islamists in Mali alongside a 4 000-strong French contingent as it attempts to maintain stability on its borders.

Niger’s military has played a significant role in Nigerien politics, ruling the country between 1960 and 1999 and staging three successful coups. In 2010 a military junta took power after overthrowing the former president, who had attempted to unconstitutionally extend his rule. A new president was inaugurated in 2011, bringing Niger back to constitutional rule.
5. Country threat report

Threat type Overview
External • Niger is currently facing no external military threat.
Internal • Islamist terrorist groups such as the AQIM continue to operate over the whole of the Maghreb region and have previously targeted foreign nationals within Niger.
• Tuareg nomads have been waging a low scale insurgency in Northern Niger in order to achieve greater autonomy for the region
Regional • Political and military insecurity in Northern Nigeria, Mali, and Chad may affect Niger’s foreign security policies.
Political • Niger is currently considered to be politically stable following polls in 2011 to restore civilian rule.
Economic • Niger economy is largely based on internal markets, agriculture, and the export of raw materials such as Uranium and more recently oil.
• The country is rated by the UN to be one of poorest countries globally.

6. External deployments

Operation Country Personnel/assets
Peacekeeping (MINUSTAH) Haiti Police: 68
Peacekeeping (MONUSCO) DRC Police: 31
Experts on Mission: 15
Peacekeeping (UNOCI) Cote d’Ivoire Police: 57
Experts on Mission: 2
Troops: 936


Ministry of National Defence

PO Box 626



Tel ++227 722076/722511/722514

Telex 5291