Niger Movement for Justice

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Mouvement des Nigériens pour la justice, MNJ
Participant in Tuareg Rebellion (2007–present)
MNJ logo 2008.png
Active 2007–present
Groups Tuareg: Kel Ayr, others
Leaders Aghali Alambo, President
Amoumoune Kalakouwa, Military Chief MNJ
Capt. Asharif Mohamed-Almoctar, 1st VP MNJ
Bataillon Chief Kindo Zada, 2nd VP MNJ
Ghissa Feltou, Political Coordinator: MNJ Europe
Headquarters Aïr Massif, Niger
Area of
operations
Northern Niger
Originated as Front de libération de l'Aïr et de l'Azawagh (FLAA)
Allies Revolutionary Armed Forces of the Sahara(FARS)
May 23, 2006 Democratic Alliance for Change (Mali)
Opponents Armed Forces of Niger
A group of Nigerien rebel fighters in northern Niger, from the Niger Movement for Justice. February 2008.

The Nigerien's Movement for Justice (in French Mouvement des Nigériens pour la justice, MNJ) is a largely Tuareg ethnic, northern Niger based militant group. But the MNJ also includes other nomadic ethnicities, within this area, such as the Toubou and the Fulani have also joined the group, which has been battling the Niger government since 2007.[1][2]

The MNJ wants a greater share of the revenues from northern Niger's uranium wealth to be invested in the region. Niger is one of the top five uranium producers in the world. It is also one of the bottom five poorest countries on earth. They also want a restriction of the area that will be affected by the expansion of the uranium mines, to protect the space they need to raise their animals.[3][4][5]

The Niger government has dismissed the MNJ as "bandits" and "drug-smugglers", and turned the northern half of the country into a closed military zone under curfew and military law suspending certain freedoms. Journalists are strictly prohibited from covering the rebellion.

Events[edit]

MNJ has claimed a series of attacks on the Nigerien Military and foreign economic interests since February 2007. The organization has taken responsibility for attacks which have killed 45 and seized over tens of Nigerien soldiers. In 2008 the MNJ claimed to have some 3,500 fighters, many of them defectors from the Nigerien military.

In June 2007 the MNJ attacked northern Niger's main airport at Agadez, as well as over-running an army post in the Aïr Mountains taking over 70 Nigerien soldiers as POWs.

In July 2007, the MNJ kidnapped a Chinese nuclear engineer working for China Nuclear Engineering and Construction Corps, holding him for about 10 days, to ask the company pulling their operations out of Teguidan Tessoumt, where the company, cooperating with the Niger government, had been prospecting for uranium some time.

On 22 June 2008 the MNJ kidnapped four employees of the French state nuclear corporation Areva, which has been exploiting northern Niger's uranium for over forty years. The French nationals were released to the Red Cross three days later.

Leaders[edit]

The MNJ is led by Aghaly ag Alambo, a former member of the Front de libération de l'Aïr et de l'Azawagh (FLAA), and Mohamed Acharif, a former captain in the Nigerien Armed Forces who defected to the rebels in May 2007.[6]

Aghaly Alambo, from Iferouane in northern Niger, was apparently inspired by the Mali based Tuareg group May 23, 2006 Democratic Alliance for Change (Mai 23, 2006 Alliance démocratique pour le changement - ADC), ex-combattants who led a short campaign in the north of Mali from May to July 2006, when they signed a peace deal with the Bamako government.[7] In late March 2008, the ADC restarted its armed uprising against the Mali government.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ May Ying Welsh (2008-07-14). "Niger's Nomad Army". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  2. ^ Alex Sehmer and May Welsh (2008-07-14). "Niger's nomads fight for rights". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  3. ^ May Ying Welsh (2008-07-15). "Desertification threatens Niger's nomads". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  4. ^ May Ying Welsh (2008-07-16). "Niger's natural wealth exploited". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2008-07-16. 
  5. ^ Alex Sehmer and May Welsh (2008-07-14). "Shifting sands of Tuareg fortune". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  6. ^ Six éléments des Forces Armées nigériennes rejoignent les rebelles au Nord. APA, 24 May 2007.
  7. ^ Jusqu?où ira la rébellion? Jeune Afrique: 15 July 2007.

External links[edit]