Despite fighting a ruthless and formidable foe in Boko Haram and an incredibly high operational tempo, the FAN Action Civil-Militaire (ACM – Nigerien civil affairs) team in Diffa remains positive, is always eager to work and engage communities throughout the region, and has made significant progress. The driving force behind this team is one of the US military’s strongest partners in Niger, SGT Fougou. SGT Fougou was born and raised in the area and is determined to defend his family, community, and culture from the violence and corruption of extremism.
Support provided by Spirit of America has increased the security of SGT Fougou, his team, and their US advisors as they travel to remote communities and expand their network of citizens willing to stand up against extremism and violence. Additional cell phone credits have enabled SGT Fougou to contact more people and speak with them more routinely about the problems in their villages, while a new digital camera has allowed him to better document engagements with community leaders as well as the Boko Haram-related incidents and destruction they report.
Additionally, new handheld radios for the ACM team have improved their safety and effectiveness, especially while travelling through remote and vulnerable areas. SGT Fougou is now able to coordinate the movements of multiple vehicles and team members while on patrol. This increased communications capability allows everyone to know what is happening and to make sure that no one is left behind. One of SGT Fougou’s US Army Civil Affairs counterparts stated “missions are a lot less stressful now that we have comms with our security escorts.”
While our military is not at war in Africa, our partners are, and your support is having a real impact on their efforts and those of the Americans assisting and advising them. Your support is helping keep vulnerable communities, the Nigerien military, and our US service members safe.
Thanks for getting involved and for being part of our team.
Project Manager – Africa