I undertook an investigation of the Bush Yellowcake/Iraq claim prior to the Iraq invasion by traveling to Niger at the same time as Ambassador Wilson’s Mission.
While attempting to cross from Agadez to Arlit in the Northern part of the country, my Team Members were detained by Niger Gendarmerie on the orders of plain clothed French Security Personnel. All were released after extensive questioning and denied travel rights into Arlit despite Government permissions and were promptly escorted back to the Capital, Niamey.
Northern Niger is populated by French Foreign Legonnaires and French Secret Services providing security in and around Uranium Deposit-rich areas including Eastern Mali and Algeria/Libyan border areas.
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The recent Coup in Mali by a Army Officer Captain while all the Generals, Brigadiers, Colonels and Majors are nowhere to be seen or heard should not be seen in isolation or simplistically.
The Tuaregs living in Northern Mali, Northern Niger, Southern Algeria and southern Libya have are a Nomadic Pastoral People with no ambitions for statehood, only recognition of their particular Culture and freedom to travel without hindrance in the Saharan Region.
The conflict in Libya has had a devastating effect in Niger and Mali where the nomadic Tuareg peoples in the Sahara Desert regions of northern Niger and Mali and southern Libya have been involved in a spate of kidnappings and armed uprisings known as the ‘Tuareg rebellion’. This is especially dangerous for northern Niger in and around the town of Arlit, an industrial town located in the Agadez region, where uranium is mined by French companies in two large uranium mines (Arlit and Akouta).
Arlit was the subject of the Niger uranium forgeries when President George W. Bush, in the build-up to the (illegal) Iraq war, in his 2003 State of the Union address stated, ‘The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa,’ when it was alleged that Saddam Hussein had attempted to purchase ‘yellowcake’ uranium powder from Niger during the Iraq disarmament crisis. These 16 words and the intelligence in this regard were later found to be baseless and rubbished by US intelligence agencies, albeit too late for innocent Iraqis who lost their lives over a lie during the war years.
Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who travelled to Niger to investigate the Iraq/yellowcake plot, concluded that it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place, thus clearing Saddam Hussein of any re-starting of Iraq’s WMD (weapons of mass destruction) programme. Ambassador Wilson was punished for this by the outing of his wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA agent, allegedly by an official working in the then vice-president Dick Cheney’s ofice in the White House, which was also the plot of the movie ‘Fair Game’ released in 2010.
Put simply, this is about Uranium to be found in the Tuareg areas of Mali, Niger and Libya.
The next step will be UN/ECOWAS/NATO Peace-keepers, Military intervention and killing of thousands of Tuaregs.
Moeen Raoof is a former-Soldier having seen service in Germany, Falklands, Canada and Belize during his time with the Army. Worked with the United Nations in Sri Lanka as a Consultant in the Disarmament, Demobilisation, Reinsertion and Reintegration (DDRR) strategies of child soldiers and former-combatants, went on to work with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), in Afghanistan with the first UN Mine Clearance Programme (UNMCPA), this included the repatriation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s), and Refugees from Pakistan and Iran, as well as setting-up and advising Afghan NGO’s in Mine Awareness and Clearance Activities. Joined the United Nations Department of Peace-keeping Operations working in several field Missions, Mozambique (ONUMOZ), Somalia (UNOSOM II), UN Headquarters (UNHQ) in New York, Croatia-Bosnia-Serbia-Macedonia-Slovenia-Kosovo (UNPROFOR), Bosnia-i-Herzegovina (UNMIBH) and Iraq (UNOCHI). Now works as a freelance Consultant on Humanitarian and Emergency Aid Projects in support of Bilateral and Multilateral Agencies and Bodies around the world in health and education and Emergency Humanitarian Aid (Mozambican Floods, Pakistan Earthquake, East African Famine and Food Crisis, Haiti Earthquake, Afghanistan Refugees return Programme).