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Protestors holding a banner against France during demonstrations in support of the coup in Niamey

Protesters supporting the coup have been expressing anti-France sentiments

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Within the aftermath of the coup in Niger, false claims and misinformation are being shared on-line, including to the tensions over the nation’s future.

We now have appeared into among the extensively shared claims.

Outdated and manipulated pictures displaying ‘Wagner troops’ arriving

The US has mentioned Russia’s Wagner mercenary group is “taking advantage” of instability in Niger – however to date there isn’t a proof of their fighters being deployed there.

Wagner forces have been energetic in different African international locations similar to neighbouring Mali and the Central African Republic.

Nonetheless, a video of a Russian navy airplane supposedly touchdown in Niamey, the capital of Niger, has been circulating – together with hypothesis that “Wagner forces have already begun to enter town”.

The airplane within the video does match an IL 76 Russian navy plane, however the footage is outdated.

BBC Confirm carried out a seek for earlier variations of this video out there on-line and located that it was posted on YouTube in 2006, and in reality exhibits the airplane touchdown within the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

False video

False video

The buildings seen within the video match these which encompass Khartoum Worldwide Airport.

One other video – considered greater than 500,000 occasions on TikTok – wrongly presents outdated footage of Wagner fighters in Africa as the primary visible affirmation of their presence in Niger.

It comes from a news report, broadcast by the France 24 information channel in January final 12 months, speaking about Wagner’s presence in Mali relatively than Niger.

The video circulating on TikTok has apparently been edited to eliminate each on-screen captions referring to Mali and references to the nation within the report itself.

Elsewhere, an outdated {photograph} of Wagner fighters in Ukraine has been shared alongside claims that the group was planning to ship its fighters to Niger.

Nonetheless, no such announcement has been posted in Wagner-affiliated teams on Telegram to date.

False claims about uranium exports ban

One other false declare circulating on-line following the coup advised the brand new navy leaders had “with instant impact, banned the export of uranium to France”.

Niger is a former French colony and France nonetheless has affect within the nation.

Screengrab of a Tweet falsely claiming Niger has banned uranium exports to France

Screengrab of a Tweet falsely claiming Niger has banned uranium exports to France

Some posts, just like the one above, embrace largely correct figures about uranium exports to France and the European Union, however there isn’t a proof the junta issued a ban on uranium exports to France after they took over.

The French firm concerned in mining uranium in Niger, Orano Group, mentioned that its actions had continued on the Arlit and Akokan websites and at its headquarters in Niamey following the coup.

Niger navy not detaining foreigners

As some European international locations started evacuating their residents following the coup, an unfounded declare began circulating that the junta had ordered the military to detain Europeans.

It alleged this was completed to get Western international locations to withdraw their forces from Niger.

The declare appears to be primarily based on a name by the M62 motion, which is a pro-junta and anti-French group, for European nationals to be held hostage till overseas forces depart.

The group, nevertheless, doesn’t characterize the junta.

Screengrab of a tweet falsely claiming the army would detain foreigners

Screengrab of a tweet falsely claiming the military would detain foreigners

Coup chief Normal Abdourahamane Tchiani mentioned final week that French nationals had nothing to concern and “have by no means been the article of the slightest risk”.

Niger at present hosts detachments of each French and US navy personnel, and these forces are nonetheless there.

Algeria didn’t say it will again junta

Claims have additionally emerged about neighbouring Algeria, speculating that it will assist Niger’s navy authorities within the occasion of any overseas intervention.

“Algeria won’t sit idly by whereas an invasion of a neighbouring nation takes place,” one Twitter put up mentioned, attributing this to “Algerian information shops”.

The West African regional bloc, Ecowas, has threatened to intervene (together with probably militarily) if the deposed president just isn’t restored to energy.

Nonetheless, Mali and Burkina Faso – Ecowas members led by navy leaders – mentioned they’d facet with the junta within the occasion of any exterior intervention.

Algeria has mentioned it’s against navy intervention, however importantly, it has not mentioned it will again Niger’s coup leaders ought to an out of doors intervention happen.

Screengrab of a Tweet claiming Algeria would side with the junta in case of foreign intervention

Screengrab of a Tweet claiming Algeria would facet with the junta in case of overseas intervention

A few of the posts claiming Algeria would again Niger in opposition to overseas intervention talked about an account referred to as Intel Kirby because the supply for his or her claims.

We checked this account on Twitter. It did post on 30 July that “Algeria won’t sit idly whereas a neighbouring nation is being invaded,” however made clear this was its personal evaluation of what may occur – not a press release of presidency coverage.

Extra reporting by Jake Horton and Paul Brown.

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By Maggi

"Greetings! I am a media graduate with a diverse background in the news industry. From working as a reporter to producing content, I have a well-rounded understanding of the field and a drive to stay at the forefront of the industry." When I'm not writing content, I'm Playing and enjoying with my Kids.

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