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Philippe Dudouit September 15, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Niger.
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Touareg Rebels in Northern Niger, 2008

Philippe Dudouit (b.1977, Switzerland) graduated from the Vevey School of Photography in Switzerland in 2000. Since then, Dudouit received second place in the Swiss Press Photo in 2003 and in 2004. Dudouit’s images have also formed a part of several exhibitions including: Resfest Festival Swiss Selection (2005), the Hip-Hop Film Festival-Berlin (2005) and the Wordless Festival (2005). In 2004 he was the recipient of the KieferHablitzel Art Award and in 2005 he was invited to participate in the World Press Photo Master Class. He is represented by Contact Press Images.

About the Photograph:

“The MNJ, Nigerien Movement for Justice. is a Saharan rebel group founded in 2007. It’s a Tuareg group, based in Northern Niger. Their major claims are for greater economic development and a share of the region’s uranium profits. As you may remember from the buildup of the war in Iraq and the Wilson/Plame scandal that followed, Niger has uranium reserves. Between 2004 and 2007, the market price of uranium has multiplied by 10. In the case of Niger, it accounts for 72% of the country’s exports, and is mined in the areas where these rebels operate. The mining concessions belong to French Areva, and Chinese SinoU, which the rebels have attacked after claiming they were looting the mineral resources of the region. The Nigerien Government has labeled the MNJ a terrorist group, and has falsely linked it to Al Quaeda, while their links appear to be limited to other Tuareg armed groups in Mali and Chad, whose claims towards their respective central governments  are similar. The conflict with the Nigerien army, whom Human Rights Watch has accused of war crimes, threatens the livelihoods of tens of thousands of civilians.”

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