Image of Africa's map showing countries where there have been coup, edited from an infographic by Daily Trust

Again, A Bizarre Joke in Niger Speaks French

The other important part was Tanja’s confrontation with French state-owned atomic energy group, Areva, which had enjoyed a de facto monopoly of the country’s rich uranium, a strategic resource for France’s nuclear power. Areva’s profit from uranium is twice Niger’s GDP. In a multi-million-dollar deal with China in which Tanja did not mind cutting Niger’s nose to spite the face of France, he pulled the plug on Francophone Africa’s most significant player, making the French play second fiddle to the new Chinese bride. When the tables turned following Tanja’s ouster, Paris was more than happy to dance on his political grave. But the story did not end there. According to Tom Burgis in his no-holds-barred book, _The Looting Machine_ , Niger spent $47 million from the proceeds of the uranium deal on arms to suppress the Tuareg rebels; and when a further $300 million came later from signature payment by China National Petroleum Corporation, to develop an oil block, the question was no longer whether Tanja could afford to make trouble, but how much

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