34 thoughts on “French neocolonial uranium war in Niger

  1. Greenpeace power protest

    Germany: A dozen of the country’s 17 nuclear reactors were plastered with the slogan “Atomic power damages Germany” by Greenpeace on Tuesday in protest at government plans to extend nuclear power.

    Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet is poised to agree a plan that would extend the life of the country’s nuclear reactors by between 8 and 14 years.

    The plan is highly unpopular, because two-thirds of Germans oppose nuclear power.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/95792

  2. Polling begins on new constitution

    Niger: Polls have opened to decide on a new constitution following the coup that deposed President Mamadou Tandja earlier this year.

    The proposed constitution imposes presidential term limits and pardons the members of the military junta who orchestrated the February 18 uprising.

    Niger has struggled to establish democracy since winning independence from France in 1960, with a long line of dictators seizing power.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/97087

  3. WikiLeaks document claims uranium smuggled out of PH
    By Jerry E. Esplanada
    Philippine Daily Inquirer First Posted 02/02/2011

    MANILA, Philippines—A smuggling incident involving uranium, a nuclear material, took place in the Philippines in 2007, according to a cable from the US Embassy in London that was released by the online whistle-blower WikiLeaks.

    Quoting an unidentified source, the “unclassified” embassy memo said the nuclear material “formerly belonged to the US.”

    The same embassy source had allegedly “worked with divers in the Philippines previously and was recently contacted by them with information that they had found five to six uranium bricks at an underwater wreck.”

    In his Nov. 21, 2007 cable to the US Department of State, then US Ambassador to the United Kingdom Robert H. Tuttle did not disclose the location of the wreck.

    But Tuttle said their informant’s contacts had “expressed a desire to sell the bricks for profit.”

    The same embassy source had earlier informed the US Central Intelligence Agency about the “possible nuclear smuggling incident,” but “as yet had not received a response,” said Tuttle.

    In the cable, the envoy described as “unknown” the supplier, transport status and the intended destination of the alleged nuclear materials.

    On the mission’s assessment of the likelihood that appropriate authorities would secure the materials, Tuttle said “UK and Philippine authorities have not yet been notified.”

    Tuttle attached “nine photos of the substance in question” to the embassy document.

    Renato Reyes Jr., secretary-general of the militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) described as “alarming” the WikiLeaks report.

    “The memo raises a lot of questions on why there would be uranium bricks on Philippine territory. We are a country that does not allow nuclear weapons, nor do we operate any nuclear-powered plant. The nuclear materials are believed to be from the US,” noted Reyes.

    According to Reyes, they could “only think of a few American entities that are nuclear-capable. These are US troops. The question is, what are the US forces doing with nuclear material in our country?”

    “Was there a US ship that sunk, and is this what’s being described as the underwater wreck? Was this ship nuclear-powered?” he asked.

    Reyes added: “Does the Department of Foreign Affairs know about this or were they at any point formally notified by the US government? Or was this kept a secret because it will expose the US government’s violation or the Constitutional ban on nuclear weapons?”

    As of this writing, both the US Embassy in Manila and the DFA have yet to comment on the latest WikiLeaks disclosure.

    In December, the DFA joined the WikiLeaks-bashing as it warned that the group’s disclosures “may inhibit candid exchanges between diplomats and government officials rather than facilitate them.”

    Bayan and other left-leaning groups here said they expected the WikiLeaks cache to “reveal detailed information exposing the extent of US involvement in the country’s internal affairs.”

    Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio said “never before have the secret workings of US foreign policy been opened to such public scrutiny.”

    Youth party-list Representative Raymond Palatino believes WikiLeaks “could confirm US intervention in our domestic affairs.”

    Palatino said “only governments and diplomats who have something to hide are afraid of transparency in governance.”

    The release of the WikiLeaks files comes at a crucial moment for Philippine-US ties when the Visiting Forces Agreement is being reviewed by Malacañang.

    As of February 1, WikiLeaks had released 3,373 cables from a cache of 251,287 cables emanating from 274 US embassies and consulates worldwide.

    WikiLeaks began publishing the memos on November 28.

    Reports said the Manila documents total 1,796 memos, of which 982 were unclassified, 749 were confidential while 65 were secret, based on a graph in the WikiLeaks Web site that categorized the documents by origin.#

    —————————————–
    Wikileaks links Philippines to nuclear smuggling incident
    News Release
    February 3, 2011

    Wikileaks links Philippines to nuclear smuggling incident

    Whistleblower Wikileaks today released a confidential cable from the United States embassy in London linking the Philippines to possible smuggling incident of nuclear and other radioactive material. The memo was dated November 21, 2007 and was marked as “sensitive”.

    It said that at the time, the location of the nuclear or radioactive material was in the Philippines and that it formerly belonged to the US. At the time the memo was issued, Philippine authorities have not been notified.

    The memo said that the UK post “wishes to alert the Department and Washington agencies per reftel that it has received a report indicating a potential incident of illicit trafficking in and possible offer of nuclear and/or radiological materials. This report came to post’s attention via call-in and email. Information concerning this report was relayed telephonically to PMAT at 0715 GMT on 11/21/07.”

    The US embassy in London said that “At approximately 1100 hours GMT on 11/20/07, a phone message was received by Post’s Foreign Service National Investigator (FSNI) Unit from a male stating he had information in regard to the sale of Uranium that formerly belonged to the US. He also stated he had previously sent faxes to the Embassy and the CIA, but as yet had not received a response. The source left a contact phone number of: xxxxxxxxxxxx(UK number). At approximately 1200 hours GMT on 11/20/07, the FSNI unit received a phone call from subject, xxxxxxxxxxxx, stating he had worked with divers in the Philippines previously and was recently contacted by them with information that they had found 5-6 Uranium “bricks” at the sight of an underwater wreck. xxxxxxxxxxxx stated his contacts expressed a desire to sell the “bricks” for profit. At approximately 1700 hours GMT on 11/20/07, an unclassified email was received to the RSO Investigation Unit’s mail box from xxxxxxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxxxxx, Attached to the email were 9 photos of the substance in question.

    “This is quite alarming. The memo raises a lot of questions on why there would be uranium bricks on Philippine territory. We are a country does not allow nuclear weapons, nor do we operate any nuclear power plant. The nuclear material is believed to be from the US,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

    “We can only think of a few American entities that are nuclear-capable. These are the US troops. The question is, what are the US forces doing with nuclear material in our country?” he added.

    Bayan said that under the VFA, Philippine authorities are not allowed to inspect the warships of the US forces. The US commanders merely issue a general statement certifying the contents of the vehicles.

    “Was there a US ship that sunk, and is this what’s being described as the underwater wreck? Was this ship nuclear-powered?” Reyes asked.

    Reyes also sought a response from the Department of Foreign Affairs if they were at anytime notified of such a situation and if there were any reports of US ships sinking anywhere in the Philippines.

    “Does the DFA even know about this or were they at any point formally notified by the US government? Or was this kept a secret because it will expose the US government’s violation of the constitutional ban on nuclear weapons?” Reyes asked.

  4. Niger uranium mine stopped by dispute

    Around 800 workers, members of the Syntramines union, went on strike last week. They are employed on the development of the Imouraren mining project. They were striking over conditions and annual leave entitlement.

    The mine is owned by the French power company Areva. It is due to come on line in 2014 and would more than double Niger’s current annual output of 4,000 tonnes of uranium.

    The union’s general secretary threatened to bring all its members throughout the country out if Areva did not come up with an acceptable settlement

    http://wsws.org/articles/2012/may2012/wkrs-m04.shtml

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  7. Niger uranium miners’ strike

    Around 1,200 uranium miners at the Akouta mine in the northwest of Niger began a three day strike on Monday in pursuit of a wage increase. The mine is owned by Cominak, a subsidiary of the French public energy company Avera. The workers represented by the SYNTRAMIN union are seeking a three percent pay increase.

    The Akouta deep mine produces around 1,600 tonnes of uranium a year. Niger is a major producer of uranium. Avera is currently constructing the Imouraren mine, which is expected to double Niger’s production of uranium when it comes on line in 2014.

    http://wsws.org/articles/2012/jul2012/wkrs-j13.shtml

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  23. 13 okt. 2013 Protesten Niger tegen kernenergie

    In het West-Afrikaanse land Niger houden 5000 mensen een protestdemonstratie tegen het Franse concern AREVA. Dit kernenergieconcern is al tientallen jaren voor meer dan 60% eigenaar van een uraniummijn in het land. Bij de uraniumwinning vervuilt het de omgeving met de zeer giftige stof en radioactiviteit. Bovendien onttrekt het bij de productie zoveel grondwater, dat de bewoners gebrek aan drinkwater hebben.

    http://www.rodemorgen.nl/overzicht/nieuws.htm#172

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