Economy

Niger: Hundreds protest French nuclear giant

NIAMEY, Niger (AP) — Hundreds of people have protested against what they termed slow and opaque contract negotiations between Niger's government and the French nuclear giant Areva, which operates a uranium mine in the town of Arlit.

Thursday's march in Niger's capital, Niamey, was organized by groups accusing Areva of exploiting Niger since it began operations in 1971, leaving the country in poverty even though it is the world's fourth-largest uranium producer.

A statement issued Thursday by the protesters complained that 90 percent of Niger's population lives without electricity while the country "produces enough uranium to light one in every three light bulbs in France."

Niger and Areva are expected to conclude negotiations by the end of this month, with Niger pushing Areva to pay higher taxes in accordance with its 2006 mining code.

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