Areva employee among Niger kidnap victims

16 September 2010

French nuclear company Areva has expressed its concern after one of its employees and his wife were among the victims of a kidnapping in Arlit, northern Niger, during the night of September 15-16. Five employees of Satom, a subsidiary of the Vinci construction group, were also kidnapped. The companies say they immediately stepped up security measures for their employees in the area, and are working closely with the Nigerien and French authorities to free the seven hostages. "Both Vinci and Areva express their strong emotion and solidarity with their employees," Areva said in a press release. Areva has a long history of uranium mining in Niger, including the Arlit mine, and is developing a new uranium mining complex at Imouraren. However, rebel groups have previously targeted overseas uranium company workers, with four French workers being kidnapped and later released in 2008.