FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show French Soldiers Being Arrested In Mali?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook over 400 times purportedly shows French soldiers being arrested in Mali.

Verdict: False

The people in the video are not French soldiers, but rather Colombian nationals who were arrested in July 2021 for their alleged roles in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse.

Fact Check:.

Social media users recently began sharing a video showing several uniformed men escorting people in handcuffs while claiming it shows French soldiers being arrested. “FRANCE SOLDIER ARRESTED IN MALI,” reads the post’s caption. (RELATED: Did Haiti’s First Lady Martine Moïse Die?)

A reverse image search by Check Your Fact revealed the video was first published on the Columbian news site Agencia de Periodismo Investigatio in July 2021. The headline of the article, written is Spanish, roughly translates to “Capture of Colombian soldiers for the assassination of the President of Haiti.” More than a dozen ex-Colombian soldiers were arrested in July 2021 for their alleged role in the assassination of Moïse, according to NPR.

Check Your Fact likewise found no evidence of such arrests taking place in Mali. Neither the French government nor the French Embassy in Mali put out a statement about any of their soldiers being arrested in the African country.

France previously suspended military ties with Mali in June 2021 following a coup led by Malian military official Col. Assimi Goïta, who was subsequently named interim president after the coup, according to BBC. In October 2021, France began to withdraw troops from Mali in an effort to reorganize forces stationed in the Sahel region of the country, according to France 24.

Mali’s transitional authorities announced Jan. 18 a review of a 2013 defense agreement between the country and France, France 24 reported. The agreement was signed in March 2013 after France launched a military operation in the country in January of that year, the outlet reported.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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