MAC: Mines and Communities

Africa Update

Published by MAC on 2007-04-18

Africa update

18th April 2007

Areva uranium prospectors camp attacked in Niger, 1 guard killed

NIAMEY (AFX, 20 April 2007) - Heavily-armed men attacked a camp of uranium prospectors operated by the French nuclear energy group Areva in northern Niger early today, killing a security guard and wounding three other people, the company said.

Some 20-30 men demanding a better deal for local Tuareg people raided the camp housing around 250 people and made off with six vehicles and a large number of mobile phones.

The raid took place around 3.30 am at Imouraren, 85 kilometres south of the main uranium-producing centre of Arlit.

A local security guard was killed and three others wounded one of them 'very seriously,' an Areva spokesman in Paris said.

'It is the first time that something like this has happened in an exploration camp,' he said, adding that security there would be tightened by the group in conjunction with Niger security forces.

The gunmen said they belonged to a group called the Niger Movement for Justice, which emerged in February. They called for the proper implementation of a 1995 accord which ended a Tuareg rebellion by promising the tribesmen priority in jobs with local mining companies.

'For the past few weeks we have been noticing this group being active in the region,' the Areva spokesman said. 'The Niger government has tightened security -- we had asked them to -- on all the sites owned by Areva.'

One source said it was the first such raid for many years.

Niger ranks third among world uranium producers, with two large mines in and around Arlit, both operated by Areva.

Home | About Us | Companies | Countries | Minerals | Contact Us
© Mines and Communities 2013. Web site by Zippy Info