French neocolonial uranium war in Niger

This Greenpeace video is called Left in the Dust – Areva’s uranium mining in Niger.

Remember Niger? A former French colony in Western Africa. Treated by the Sarkozy regime in Paris as if it still were a colony. Like in other (ex?) French colonies, where French soldiers run around waging war.

Remember Niger? Where the small “pro-Western” ruling elite is rich and corrupt. And where most people are again and again in danger of starvation.

Remember Niger? A country with natural riches, including uranium. Uranium, craved by warmongers for nuclear weapons and energy sector capitalists for nuclear reactors.

The United States Bush administration lied that uranium supposedly from Niger would provide Iraq with weapons of mass destruction. This lie was their main justification for the bloody Iraq war, along with at least 934 other lies.

This is called the Plamegate scandal. The Plamegate scandal, which saw Dick Cheney‘s assistant “Scooter” Libby sentenced to jail, but which saw Dick Cheney himself and George W Bush go scot-free. See also: Fair Game: Hollywood liberals treat the drive to war in Iraq: here.

Remembering all this about Niger, here is a Radio France International report on that country. It shows that Sarkozy is not just waging war on Roma, Muslims and African immigrants in France, but is waging a neocolonial war for uranium money from Niger as well (maybe Mr Sarkozy thinks that all that money from his Karachigate and Ms BettencourtL’Oreal scandals is still not enough?)

The Radio France International report also shows that there are not just French neocolonial nuclear interests and French neocolonial wars, but also French neocolonial media reports, as we shall note.

Here comes the RFI report:

Radio France Internationale (Paris)

Niger: France Deploys 80 Troops in Niamey

20 September 2010

France has dispatched 80 troops to the Niger capital Niamey following the abduction of seven people including five French nationals, diplomatic and security sources said Monday.

How would Sarkozy react if some Paris gangsters would abduct citizens of Niger or of another African country staying in France, and if that African country would react by sending soldiers to France? Sarkozy would have some hissy fit about “the sovereignty of France” and not one African soldier would be allowed to cross the French border.

… They have French Breguet-Atlantique reconnaissance planes at their disposal.

“They have already carried out 21 hours of reconnaissance flights in the area in an effort to locate the hostages,” a source said. The seven were kidnapped on Thursday from their homes in Arlit in northern Niger by suspected Al Qaeda-linked gunmen,

Every dictatorship which gets Western military aid, but which thinks it should get even more, whether it is the regime in Uzbekistan which boils dissidents alive, or some African NATO friendly potentate, is sure to define its opponents as “Al Qaeda”. Whether those opponents are really pro Al Qaeda, very devout but not pro Al Qaeda Muslims, Muslims who go to a mosque just once every twenty years, or non-Muslims. Of course, all Somali, Iraqi and Afghan civilians killed by United States or US allied armed forces are “Al Qaeda” as well. The only proof needed for that is that NATO soldiers killed them.[sarcasm off]

or Tuareg bandits

The Tuareg are the people of the sparsely populated north of Niger (with very different ideas about Islam and the position of women in society, than the real Al Qaeda). Though they are the inhabitants of the uranium rich part of the country, they are very poor. The ruling clique in Niamey treats them with ethnic discrimination and violence. As a consequence of that, some Tuareg wage armed opposition against the Niamey rulers. Does that make them “bandits”, as RFI says? Very probably, if the Tuareg rebels would be pro Sarkozy and the Niamey government would be anti-Sarkozy, not the reverse as things stand now, then RFI would call the Tuareg “heroes” and “freedom fighters”. And the Niamey regime (shock horror) “a dictatorship“. Africa-based journalist Tristan McConnell reported already three years ago:

In Niger’s desert north almost fifty soldiers have been killed since February 2007 yet, according to President Mamadou Tandja’s twitchy government, there is no rebellion. It blames bandits and drug-smugglers for the attacks and has responded by declaring a “state of alert” and deploying thousands of troops to the region.

Apparently, since 2007 the Niamey rulers have come to the conclusion that just appealing to rich countries with “war on drugs” references does not bring in enough military aid euros or dollars, and that they may get a better chance by screaming loudly Al Qaeda. Back to the RFI report:

who may have planned to sell them on to the Islamists.

They are five French nationals, including a married couple, one Togolese and one Madagascan. All worked for French companies involved in uranium mining in the Arlit region.

See also here.

Local Tuaregs have seen little benefit from Niger’s natural wealth: here.

Niger’s former second-in-command junta leader, Colonel Abdoulaye Badie, and another officer are being held for “attempting to destabilise the regime” and “eliminate” junta chief General Salou Djibo, a security source said Saturday: here.

100,000 protest against government nuclear policy in Berlin: here.

USA: Tea Party Senate Candidate Mike Lee Tried to Dump 1,600 Tons of European Nuclear Waste on Utah: here.

For the second time in less than four months, Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has travelled to West Africa with a view to finalizing plans for Canada’s participation in French and US-led counter-insurgency warfare on the continent: here.

81 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.


  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.


  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


  5. Pingback: French neo-colonialism and African dictatorships | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Austerity drives Greeks to suicide | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  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.


  8. Pingback: Dutch protest against Libya war profiteers EADS | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  9. Pingback: French film makes fun of Sarkozy | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  10. Pingback: Xenophobia in ‘new’ Libya | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  11. Pingback: US, French soldiers invade Central African Republic | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  12. Pingback: French, US wars in Africa | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  13. Pingback: French Mali war escalates | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  14. Pingback: Africa invaded, terrorism or profits? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  15. Pingback: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, war, more war | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  16. Pingback: Mali, war and more war | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  17. Pingback: War in Mali and German militarism | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  18. Pingback: Britain, North Korea and Mali | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  19. Pingback: United States war in Africa | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  20. Pingback: German militarism and Mali war | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  21. Pingback: Shell oil-military revolving door | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  22. Pingback: Libyans on strike against paramilitary violence | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  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.


  24. Pingback: Britain and world wide wars | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  25. Pingback: Iranian nuclear reactors’ French connection | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  26. Pingback: Libyan regime sends refugees to torture jails | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  27. Pingback: French neo-colonial war in Central African Republic | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  28. Pingback: United States wars in South Sudan, elsewhere in Africa | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  29. Pingback: Austerity and miltarism in France | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  30. Pingback: German militarism in Africa | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  31. Pingback: German militarism in the Middle East and Africa | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  32. Pingback: Algerian desert dust infected with French bomb radioactivity | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  33. Pingback: Namibian workers’ cancer from United States nuclear weapons program | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  34. Pingback: Nuclear waste danger in England | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  35. Pingback: Artificial ‘Muslim terror’ scare | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  36. Pingback: Pentagon wars in scores of countries | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  37. Pingback: French government re-starting NATO’s Libya war? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  38. Niger oil refinery workers demand improvement in working conditions

    Workers at the Zinder refinery went on strike last Thursday demanding improved working conditions. The refinery is a joint operation of the Niger government and the China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) and produces 20,000 barrels of oil per day.

    They are demanding a salary increase, the payment of an extra month’s salary at the end of the year and a review of transport and food fees. They are members of the National Union of Petroleum Workers. A two-day strike called by the union in 2013 over working conditions was called off after one day.


  39. Pingback: Saudi Arabian monarchy and 9/11 terrorism | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  40. Pingback: United States press freedom deteriorating in Ferguson, elsewhere | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  41. Pingback: Innocent Nigerian civilians killed in ‘war on terror’ | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  42. Pingback: Buffy Sainte-Marie concert in London, England | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  43. Nigerian [sic; Nigerien] workers at the French nuclear group’s uranium mine Areva Somair began a 72-hour strike on April 7. The strike was cut short by a legal ruling sending the miners back to work half a day before the official deadline to return to work.

    The walkout was in response to unpaid bonuses, even though the SYNAMIN union claimed the workers had reached set targets. The strike was supported by 90 percent of the 1,000 employees at the Somair plant.


  44. Pingback: Pentagon oil war in Nigeria? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  45. Pingback: Hundreds of refugees drown in Mediterranean, again | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  46. Pingback: French nuclear corporation exploited African workers | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  47. Pingback: European Union wants ‘Turkish’ anti-refugee deals with Africa, Middle East | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  48. Pingback: European Union-African dictators anti-refugee deal? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  49. Pingback: German government supports Ethiopian dictatorship | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  50. Pingback: German government escalates neocolonial war in Mali | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.