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Challenges with Security Force Assistance in Niger: Understanding Local Context and Aligning Interests

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Since  the attacks the 11th of September 2001 in the US, there has been a strong increase in security force assistance (SFA) to fragile states with the aim of professionalising security forces, preventing violent extremist organisations (VEO) from exploiting state fragility and, in cases where this has not succeeded, of fighting the latter. At the same time, a shift has taken place with regard to troop contribution to UN peace operations since the end of the 1990’s, wherein stable, wealthy Western troop contributing states have been replaced by fragile and poorer states. This shift, linked in part to the failure of peace operations in Somalia and Rwanda in the beginning of the 1990s, and in part to regional actors’ will to take over crisis management on the continent, has also motivated an increase in SFA to the newer peacekeepers.

(Photo credit:  US Army)