You have to be watching the French news channel in English, France 24, to become aware of what is really going on in the African country of Niger (not to be confused with oil-rich Nigeria).
Remember when the Bush administration was telling us about evidence that Saddam Hussein had purchased yellow cake in Niger, which meant he was trying to build an atomic weapon? Maybe we were told that ‘yellow cake’ refers to uranium, but I do not remember that. In any case, 'Niger' was just an obscure country that was momentarily in the news.
The other day I learned from one of the French channel’s regular updates on the country’s campaign against the terrorist gorup AQIM in neighboring Mali, that Niger has the biggest deposits of uranium in the world. So that what may appear as merely just another French effort to maintain its influence in its former African colonies, is supported by the United States, so far with only a handful of military providing ‘liaison support’ to its troops and those of the UN-backed African ECOWAS.
Expect Mali and Niger to be on the international radar permanently, henceforth. The French effort is no more a cake-walk than are ours, as religion becomes a new factor in the ‘Third World’s’ determination to preserve its assets.