France orders Special Forces to protect Uranium mines in Niger

As Western-sponsored wars ravage parts of Northern Africa, Paris will send troops to another country to secure its supply of raw material to produce energy.

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JANUARY 25, 2013

France has ordered his special forces to protect the uranium at the nuclear facilities in Areva, Niger due to the French government are threats of attacks against its interests since France invaded Mali.

Areva is the largest foreign investor in Niger, and has had uranium mining operations in Niger for more than five decades. These mines provide much of the raw material that the nuclear power industry uses in France. Nuclear power accounts for 75% of electricity production in the European nation.

A military source confirmed  the information that was first published by ‘Le Point’, which claimed that Paris had dispatched special forces and production material to uranium sites in Areva and Arlit Imouraren, but did not want to elaborate. The Defense Ministry has not commented on the information, and Areva has merely stated that it has held talks about security issues.

Ironically, the uranium mines in Niger are the symbolic place where many people believe began the West’s war against Al Qaeda about a decade ago. Bush administration officials, eager to go to war against Iraq, asked their intelligence services and those of its allies for any information linking Al-Qaeda in Iraq and to indicate that Baghdad sought to acquire nuclear weapons. That was later presented as a reason to attack Iraq, even though it was backed by false intelligence.

The then Secretary of State, Colin Powell, finished presenting a false report, which included photographs taken in Niger, to prepare the ‘casus belli’ in the UN, attributing it to foreign intelligence services, and Bush later attributed such information to Britain.

Two years ago, in September 2011, seven workers, including five French nationals, were kidnapped in Arlit by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Later the kidnappers released three of the hostages, but still held four Frenchmen. Areva has about 2,700 workers in Niger and plans to start operating a third mine in Imouraren this year or in 2014.

A company spokesman said this month that the French Government had not asked them to reduce staff in Niger and said that Areva had a comprehensive security plan for its employees that it had been approved by the French authorities.

From January 11, at the request of the Government of Mali and the green light of the Security Council of the UN and the international community, Paris launched airstrikes and sent about 3,200 soldiers to Mali – which borders with Niger – to prevent the advance of the rebel Tuareg.

Insurgents have threatened to retaliate by hitting French targets in the region of Sahel and beyond, and a few days after the start of operation Serval attacked a gas plant in Amenas, southeast of Algeria, taking hundreds of hostages. The hijacking ended with an attack carried out by the Algerian army that resulted in the death of thirty workers and as many jihadists.

A convoy carrying two hundred soldiers from Chad to Mali arrived Thursday in Niamey, capital of Niger. Djamena has decided to send 2,000 troops to the conflict zone at the request of Paris. Those troops will help the forces of the International Support Mission sent to Mali that was organized by CEDEAO, but taht is not under its control.

According to France Presse, there are currently 600 soldiers and 500 Chadians and Nigerians in Ouallam, northern Niger, near the border with Mali. These two battalions will be deployed in the region of Gao, northern territory of Mali to help French troops and the government to take on Islamist strongholds where they’ve been for at least a year.

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Bolsa de España cae 6.64%

Las dudas sobre la recuperación de la economía europea y el retroceso de los mercados internacionales, entre otros factores, han provocado que el índice de referencia de la bolsa española, el Ibex-35, haya perdido 662,80 puntos, equivalentes al 6,64%. Se sitúa así en 9.314,70 puntos.

Terra.es

La bolsa española ha bajado en la jornada del viernes el 6,64%, lamayor caída desde octubre de 2008, y ha descendido hastbolsaa 9.300 puntos, afectada por las dudas sobre la recuperación de la economía europea, la ejecución de órdenes de venta automáticas y el retroceso de los mercados internacionales.

Así, el índice de referencia de la bolsa española, el Ibex-35, haperdido 662,80 puntos, equivalentes al 6,64 por ciento, hasta 9.314,70 puntos. Las pérdidas anuales crecen hasta el 21,99%, mientras que en la semana suben el 2,97%.

En Europa, con el euro a 1,239 dólares, nivel desconocido desde abril de 2006, poco antes del cierre de la bolsa española, Milán y el índice Euro Stoxx caían el 5,25%; París, el 4,8%; Fráncfort, el 3,75%, y Londres, el 3,4%.

Todos los grandes valores del Ibex bajaron: Banco Santander perdió el 8,98%; BBVA, el 7,58%; Iberdrola, el 6,69%, y Repsol, el 6,11%.

La Bolsa española acusaba poco después del mediodía lapresunta intención del Banco Central Europeo (BCE) de reducir los niveles de compra de deuda soberana de algunos países europeos y su principal indicador, el Ibex-35, perdía el 4,55% con los bancos sufriendo fuertes caídas. La presunta intención del BCE ha sido interpretada como un indicio de que reduciría las compras de deuda de países periféricos, entre ellos España.

Sin embargo, es posible que el BCE tenga que desdecirse y se vea obligado a comprar más deuda de la que en realidad quisiera. En opinión de Virginia Romero, analista de Ahorro Corporación, losvaivenes del BCE hacen mucho daño al mercado y resultan ‘poco apropiados’ en un momento en el que la recuperación de la confianza y la salvaguarda del riesgo soberano debe ser la principal prioridad.

Hasta las 12.15 el mercado continuo había negociado 130 millones de títulos por un importe de 1.197 millones de euros, de los que 321 correspondían al Santander, 235 a Telefónica, y 217 a BBVA.

En el mercado de divisas el euro marcaba su mínimo anual en su cambio frente al dólar y equivalía a 1,244 dólares.