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China mining company causes unrest in Niger

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posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 03:27 AM
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China mining company causes unrest in Niger


www.csmonitor.com

Agadez, Niger

The sun-wizened Tuareg women of Azalik have declared war on China. Like their ancestors, they once eked out a living selling dried salts from an ancestral well. Everything changed last year, when the government leased their land to the China Nuclear International Uranium Corporation (Sino-U) for uranium exploration. Left with no livelihood and no compensation, a hundred women gathered to launch stones at mining machinery.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 03:27 AM
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“Now it is eternal war,” says Tinatina Salah, their 50-year-old leader, who still seeks compensation for the loss of her salt.

Her land contains one of the world's largest uranium deposits, and Niger was the world's sixth-largest uranium producer in 2008. As resource-hungry China expands its holdings here, local groups and Tuareg-led political opposition are voicing concerns over Chinese investment in the Saharan state’s graft-ridden mining industry.

Nigerien authorities led by President Mamadou Tandja, deposed last month in a military coup, awarded a fresh round of exploration and operating permits to foreign companies starting in 2007, for uranium, gold, silver, and oil in the desert of northern Niger.

Despite billions of dollars pouring into the country, however, Tuareg rebels accuse Mr. Tandja’s administration and mining companies of neglecting development in the north, which is a Tuareg stronghold. The largely Tuareg rebel organization Movement of Nigeriens for Justice (MNJ), which fought Niger troops and sabotaged Chinese mining operations up until last year, wants local people to have greater control over resources.


Modern slavery and exploitation. The African continent has entered a new round of slavery. After hundreds of years of exploitation by European powers and (military) junta regimes, the new rulers of Africa are the Chinese.

Throughout the continent they start multi-billion investment projects in order to secure the continent's abundance of raw materials. Angola is such a country. Destroyed by a very bloody civil war, the country needs to be rebuild. Railways, roads, the Chinese have sent their companies to rebuild the country. Obviously their help doesn't come cheap. In exchange, China has secured Angola's rich reserves of crude oil to grease the economy's wheels.

African nations have blamed colonist powers for their poverty and problems and this might be partly true. However, it can never be the sole excuse for Africa's misery. Indonesia has been a colony of my country for more than three hundred years and the same applies for the former British colony of India. Both countries develop at a rapid pace with relative social stability whereas the vast majority of African countries almost seem to be magnets of misery while many of them have such an abundance of resources that they have no reason to still be as poor as they are.

As for the Chinese, I can't really blame them. It is bad that they exploit these countries and their people, but the West does exactly the same.

www.csmonitor.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 03:41 AM
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Something tells me that government of Niger hardly has the right to claim the land that these people live on, and this is basically a symbolic gesture to make this kind of exploitation seem legitimate.

But who's going to do anything about it? Hell, we do the same thing.



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