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A Story of Gold, Misery and a Territory under Surveillance

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Since April 2014, an unprecedented frenzy has taken shape in northern Niger. This state of tension came with the discovery of three gold sites in the Agadez region, where new fortunes were created, and where thousands sank all their savings trying to get rich. MEA Risk says gold prospecting in northern Niger has naturally enabled all sorts of criminal activity and all kinds to trade to take place, but out of government control. Many of those who found gold, for example, exchanged it for expansive Japanese four-wheel vehicles illegally imported from Libya. But many ended dying from illnesses and despair.

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The North Africa Journal is a leading English-language publication focused on North Africa. The Journal covers primarily the Maghreb region and expands its general coverage to the Sahel, Egypt, and beyond, when events in those regions affect the broader North Africa geography. The Journal does not have any affiliation with any institution and has been independent since its founding in 1996. Our position is to always bring our best analysis of events affecting the region, and remain as neutral as humanly possible. Our coverage is not limited to one single topic, but ranges from economic and political affairs, to security, defense, social and environmental issues. We rely on our full staff analysts and editors to bring you best-in-class analysis. We also work with sister company MEA Risk LLC, to leverage the presence on the ground of a solid network of contributors and experts. Information on MEA Risk can be found at