The United States donated more than $8 million in military equipment to Niger in a ceremony Aug. 5. The equipment will aid the West African nation and its G5 Sahel Joint Force partners in the fight against terrorism in the region.
“As we have seen with the recent deadly attack on innocent civilians in Niger, security continues to be a concern in the Sahel,” said Mr. Jer Donald Get, deputy director security cooperation, U.S. Africa Command. “This donation is just one way AFRICOM supports our Nigerien and G5 Sahel Joint Force partners in their fight against terrorism.”
The equipment donated includes 15 Osprea MK7 MAMBA armored personnel carriers, four Osprea MK7 MAMBA armored command vehicles, three Osprea MK7 MAMBA armored ambulances, two Toyota land cruiser ambulances, and four armored vehicle mechanic tool sets. The U.S. will also provide maintenance support for the equipment.
“This equipment delivery will continue efforts to grow and operationalize the G5 Sahel Joint Force as it takes great strides towards removing the scourge of violent extremism from this region,” said U.S. Ambassador to Niger, Eric Whitaker.
The G5 Sahel Joint Force member countries are Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. The Joint Force’s missions include combating counterterrorism, transnational organized crime, and trafficking in the Sahel, a region that has seen an increase in violence since 2017.
The U.S. and Niger have developed a long-standing partnership that includes military training exercises as well as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support for counterterrorism activities.
“As demonstrated by our continuous support, the United States considers Niger an extremely important strategic partner, and one that is critical to the multi-national effort to defeat some of the world’s most ruthless terrorist groups,” said Whitaker.