Niger kidnap victims freed

26 June 2008

Four French uranium employees kidnapped in northern Niger on 22 June have been released. Areva announced on 25 June that the four had been handed over to the International Red Cross and would be leaving for France soon. All were reported to be in good health. The four were kidnapped by ethnic Tuareg group the Movement of the People of Niger for Justice (MNJ), which is fighting for the north of the country to enjoy an increased share in benefits from the region's mineral resources. Niger ranks in the world's top five uranium producing countries, with nearly 9% of world output coming from its two mines.