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Quest for uranium underlies France’s military intervention in Central African Republic

Paris is focusing on the uranium deposits in the Bakouma sub-prefecture of the Mbomou prefecture, in south-eastern CAR.

The primary sources of France’s uranium in southern Algeria and northern Mali and Niger are increasingly threatened ….

escalation of jihadist operations added a sense of urgency to the French quest for the uranium resources

uranium-oreBehind France’s intervention in CAR: Uranium supply security WorldTribune.com By Yossef Bodansky, Senior Editor, Global Information System/Defense & Foreign Affairs 17 Dec 13 Operation Sangaris (a local exotic butterfly) — the French and MISCA (the French acronym for the International Support Mission to the Central African Republic) military intervention in the Central African Republic (CAR) — is escalating.

The French contingent will now be 1,600-troop strong, rather than the 1,200 agreed-upon at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The African Union’s (AU’s) MISCA force will grow to a total of 6,000 troops from Francophone African states, rather than the original estimate of 3,500 troops.

The hasty deployment of these forces only aggravates an already explosive situation in the country and region, and sparks new fighting where none existed before the international intervention had been announced. Most notably is the sudden resumption of fighting in Bangui, a city and region which had been completely quiet and secure literally until the day before the arrival of the new French forces.

The French-led Operation Sangaris had nothing to do with the oft-declared threat of “seeds of genocide” in the CAR. The French administration of President François Hollande is driven by the French desire for uranium ores.

Paris is focusing on the uranium deposits in the Bakouma sub-prefecture of the Mbomou prefecture, in south-eastern CAR. The Bakouma area phosphates are unique by their high uranium content: the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. Further feasibility studies showed that there are 41-million pounds of U308 with an average grade of 0.27 percent in the Bakouma area. (This is almost 20 times higher than the resources in Trekkopje, Namibia.)

The primary sources of France’s uranium in southern Algeria and northern Mali and Niger are increasingly
threatened by jihadist terrorism and sabotage, the endemic kidnapping of engineers and technicians, the
scaring away of local miners and workers, as well as the destruction of facilities and support infrastructure.
Hence, Hollande’s Paris decided to fully control and develop the alternate resources in the CAR.

The failure of Operation Serval1 (the French-led military intervention in Mali) in early 2013 and the ensuing
escalation of jihadist operations added a sense of urgency to the French quest for the uranium resources
of the CAR…….

the myriad of clashes, largely sparked by localized causes and power struggles, have suddenly been packaged as Christian-versus-Muslim sectarian clashes, when the vast majority of them are not. By mid-December 2013, these clashes already inflicted some 600 fatalities and a couple of thousand wounded. Outside Bangui, the fratricidal fighting remained primarily bitter clashes between predominantly Christian and animist localized militias and armed groups in quest for consolidating localized power at the expense of both traditional new contenders…..http://www.worldtribune.com/2013/12/15/behind-frances-intervention-in-car-uranium-supply-security/

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December 17, 2013 - Posted by | AFRICA, France, Uranium, weapons and war

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