This story was picked up by Reuters and Thomson. Rhissa Ag Boula, leader of the MNJ, has issued a direct threat to Areva and other companies trying to exploit Niger's uranium. The Nigerien economy, being heavily dependent on uranium, is thus hostage to the MNJ - "You can't exploit uranium without us" according to Ag Boula.
Also interesting is that the MNJ, which is a rural insurgency, based in the desert, has now threatened to occupy Nigerien cities such as Arlit, close to the uranium mines, and Agadez, the regional capital. It will be interesting to see whether a largely rural insurgency can make the transition to urban warfare.