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ARTICLE ARCHIVE

Niger

Areva, the French nuclear company, has been mining and milling uranium in Niger for more than 40 years, with dire environmental and health consequences. Now the company has been awarded rights there to the second largest new uranium mine in the world while the Niger government has issued close to 140 additional uranium mine prospecting rights to corporations from across the globe. Indigenous peoples, in particular the nomadic Touareg, have found their livelihoods and lives severely impacted.

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Sunday
Jul122009

Groups bring civil suit against Areva  

Coinciding with French president, Nicolas Sarkozy's trip to Niger the weekend of March 28, two associations have filed a civil suit against Areva and one of its officials. Boutali Tchiwerine and his association, Alhak-n-Akal, along with the German group, Menschenrechte 3000 EV, have asked that Areva representative, Thierry d'Arbonneau, and the company be asked to answer to comments made by d'Arbonneau last October when he suggested the French government helped "put down the Touareg rebellion [in Niger], these men in blue who make men dream and women's hearts break, but who are nothing but an illusion". The groups want Areva, represented by its CEO, Anne Lauvergeon, and d'Arbonneau charged with inciting hatred and violence and for discriminating against the Touareg based on their belonging to a specific ethnicity, race, religion or nation. Furthermore, to deny the existence of the Touareg denies them all rights. For further reading (in French), see the summons, the backgrounder and the press release.

The same week, the French anti-nuclear network, Sortir du Nucleaire, held a press conference to denounce Sarkozy's trip to Niger which marked the signing by the French president of the agreement to award Areva a new uranium mine at Imouraren which would become, once opened, the largest uranium mine in the world.

Sunday
Jul122009

Touraeg exile demands accountability 

Touareg leader, writer and poet, Issouf Maha, in exile in France, calls for accountability from the French government for the destruction of Touareg lives and livelihoods in Niger, where French government-owned nuclear corporation, Areva, has mined uranium for 40 years. Areva has now been awarded the contract to operate the giant Imouraren uranium mine in northern Niger, expected to be the largest uranium mine in Africa and scheduled to open in 2012. Watch the short Maha video (in French).

Sunday
Jul122009

Battle for justice

In a front page story on December 15, 2008, The New York Times describes the Touareg struggle for justice in the face of a massive expansion of uranium mining on their grazing lands in northern Niger. 

Sunday
Jul122009

The End of the Touareg?

Elizabeth Matz-Verret, an activist on behalf of the Touareg, writes that  the entire groundwater supply in Northern Niger could be depleted in 15-20 years and already observes the flight of the Touareg to the cities where starvation is setting in. 

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