Intro by Innocent Chia
For the professed critics of The Chia Report who have been hailing the French invasion of Mali as an altruistic act to save Mali from "extremists Islamists, Touareg and al-Qaeda", the writing is now clear on the wall. The French raided Mali and inserted itself in a purely domestic affair because of French economic interests. President Francois Hollande was in Mali to guarantee French investors that its construction of Nuclear plants and furtherance of the French strategic enerygy independence policy, severely undermined by the implosion of Japanese nuclear plants, was not going to be deterred by anyone, much less a bunch of Africans. Very smart people are making the misleading and factually inaccurate argument that the Uranium deposits are not in Mali, that they are in Niger. The fact of it is that the resources are buried in the border of both Niger and Mali, and all the actors are fighting from all sides to secure it. This war is not about governance. It is about economic interests of the West, not the plight of the people.
France protects Niger uranium mine
Niger has confirmed that French special forces are protecting one of the country's biggest uranium mines.
President Mahamadou Issoufou told French media that security was being tightened at the Arlit mine after the recent hostage crisis in Algeria.
French company Areva plays a major part in mining in Niger - the world's fifth-largest producer of uranium.
Islamist militants kidnapped five French workers from the mine in Arlit three years ago.
Four of them are still being held - along with three other French hostages - and it is believed they could be in the north of Mali close to where French troops are battling al-Qaeda-linked militants.
Asked if he could confirm that French special forces were guarding the uranium mine, President Issoufou told channel TV5: "Absolutely I can confirm.
"We decided, especially in light of what happened in Algeria... not to take risks and strengthen the protection of mining sites," he added.
France's Agence France-Presse news agency said a dozen French special forces reservists were strengthening security at the site.
Areva gets much of its uranium from the two mines it operates in the country, at Arlit and Imouraren.
Last month, at least 37 foreign workers were killed when Islamist militants seized a gas plant at In Amenas, eastern Algeria.