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France’s military in Niger to protect AREVA’s uranium mines

flag-franceFrance orders special forces to protect Niger uranium: source PARIS Jan 24, 2013   (Reuters)France has ordered special forces to protect uranium sites run by state-owned Areva in Niger as the threat of attacks on its interests rises after its intervention against rebels in Mali, a military source said on Thursday   Reporting by John Irish, Geert de Clercq, Muriel Boselli, Michel Rose in Paris and Abdoulaye Massalatchi in Niamey; …….

The military source confirmed a report in weekly magazine Le Point that special forces and equipment would be sent to Areva’s uranium production sites in Imouraren and Arlit very quickly, but declined to go into further details.

Defense ministry officials declined to comment on the report and Areva said it did not talk about security issues….

Areva, Niger’s biggest single investor, has about 2,700 workers in Niger and is planning to start up a third mine in Imouraren.

protest-NigerThe planned startup of production in Imouraren was delayed to 2013 or 2014 from 2012, following the kidnappings and a labor dispute.

A Niger army officer said that there were already security arrangements agreed with France since 2011 after the kidnappings in Arlit and they had been reinforced over time.

“We also have our counter-terrorism units in the Agadez region,” he said. “For now, I don’t know of a decision by the Nigerien government to allow French special forces to base themselves in the north.”

An Areva spokeswoman said this month the French government had not asked the company to reduce staffing in Niger. She added Areva has an extensive security plan for its employees and that the plan has been reviewed by the French authorities.

Areva has been mining uranium in Niger for more than five decades and the country provides one third of the group’s uranium supplies.

According to a parliamentary committee enquiring into France’s supplies of uranium, about 18 percent of the raw material used to power France’s 58 nuclear reactors came from Niger in 2008…. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/24/us-mali-rebels-niger-areva-idUSBRE90N0OD20130124

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January 25, 2013 - Posted by | France, Niger, Uranium, weapons and war

2 Comments »

  1. Indeed. Also, Mali and Nigeria apparently are major sources for uranium, so France can reprocess it and dump the radiation into the English Channel. Bon apetite. Other commentators have noted that the Western (France, US, Israel) push to re-conquer Africa is to push the Chinese out, who have apparently been doing a fairly decent job of plundering the place but also giving Africans a fair shake. Something Euro-trash could not do in their lovely little colonial legacy. That is not to condemn all Europeans, the Afrikaneers developed South Africa and treated the Africans fairly, but Cecil Rhodes under the control of the you know who bankers would have none of that. See: Breaker Morant.

    Comment by Richard Wilcox | January 25, 2013 | Reply

  2. [...] for intervention stands up to much scrutiny (indeed, the reverse may be true, with France having to send in more troops to neihbouring Niger to defend one if its company’s existing, five decade-old uranium mining operations precisely [...]

    Pingback by The future of the British anti-war movement « Though Cowards Flinch | February 3, 2013 | Reply


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