[18/04/2013] The peace walk planned by the SOSC Arlit has been forbidden by the mayor of Arlit. Enclosed is the letter driving that decision, on grounds of “disturbing the social peace”. This has not stopped activists in Niger, however, as there has instead been a demonstration in the capital city of Niamey last Friday.
It is reported that “several thousand people protested on the streets of Niamey against Areva, burning French flags.” (Reuters: Iran’s Ahmadinejad visits uranium-producing Niger). Two thousand people, mostly students, held a protest against French nuclear group Areva. Their main concern: Although the mining of uranium in Niger is extensive, the government has agreed to very unfair contracts, giving the country only a meager slice of the revenues. (global Post: Niger students protest French group’s uranium revenues) (French People Daily: Niger: marche de protestation des étudiants contre le group français AREVA).
In Arlit however, the planned peace march to protest the social and economical shortcomings for workers and inhabitants was called off by the mayor. The reasons: “The security situation of our region in general and our community in particular does not allow us to authorise [a march], because it will disturb the social peace.”(Full letter). Read the SOSC press release for details on the conditions in Arlit, conditions who on long terms might disturb the social peace much more than a scheduled peace march.