Niger: Trial Commences as Civil Society in Agadez Confronts Mining Company Somida

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read
Agadez

In a significant legal development, the case brought by the civil society of Agadez against Somida has commenced before the High Court of Niamey this Wednesday. The essence of the case is under examination, as a collective of civil society organizations from the northern region of Niger has taken legal action to denounce the environmental impact and daily life disruptions caused by the activities of the Dasa Mines Company. Nearly a year ago, they secured an initial victory in a court in Agadez.

For the collective of civil society organizations in Agadez pursuing legal action, the future of the younger generations in this northern region of Niger is at stake. They emphasize the need for a thorough assessment of the environmental impact of uranium mining. During this substantive hearing, they hope that the judiciary will be as receptive to their arguments as it was a year ago.

In early last year, the Agadez court had indeed ordered the suspension of Somida’s activities—the mining company responsible for Dasa Mines, with the Nigerien government holding a 20% stake and the Canadian company Global Atomic holding 80%—until the publication of an environmental impact study. The communities had raised concerns about errors in the sampling and analysis processes. The court had also mandated oversight by civil society.

The organizations in Agadez are particularly interested in understanding the measures in place to mitigate the adverse effects of uranium mining on their environment, local populations, and wildlife. They criticize the lack of consultation with the affected communities and question the economic impact on the region. As the trial unfolds, it brings to the forefront critical issues surrounding environmental responsibility, community engagement, and the sustainable development of natural resources in the region.

Soukaina Sghir

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