FACT CHECK: Viral Video Falsely Claims To Show An Attack On The French Embassy In Niger
A video shared on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, purports to show the French Embassy in Niger being attacked amid a recent coup.
Things are getting out of hand in #Niger republic .
The Embassy of #FRANCE in #NIGER REPUBLIC attacked by Niger people . The anger against France in this country and how they have impoverished Africans is something of great concern. Though this type of attack is uncalled for .… pic.twitter.com/KiAioR9bXX
— Chinasa Nworu (@ChinasaNworu) August 3, 2023
The video shows the headquarters of the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism, not the French Embassy, being attacked.
Leaders of the recent coup in Niger have closed the country’s airspace following what they claimed was the threat of a potential attack, according to BBC News. The coup leaders ignored a deadline to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum or face military intervention, Reuters reported.
“Things are getting out of hand in #Niger republic. The Embassy of #FRANCE in #NIGER REPUBLIC attacked by Niger people. The anger against France in this country and how they have impoverished Africans is something of great concern. Though this type of attack is uncalled for,” the X video, viewed nearly 60,000 times, purports. A large building can be seen burning in the video.
The claim that the video shows the French Embassy in Niger being attacked is false, however. The video actually shows the headquarters of the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism being attacked. At the 34-second mark of the video, a sign reading “Bienvenue” and a photo of a lion are visible on the building’s exterior. This signage matches a photo of the party’s headquarters that was published to Getty Images in December 2020.
“People walk past a campaign poster of Niger’s presidential candidate of the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS), Mohamed Bazoum, at the party’s headquarters in Niamey, Niger, on December 22, 2020, ahead of the country’s presidential elections scheduled for December 27, 2020,” the image’s caption reads.
Likewise, additional photos of the party’s headquarters shared to EPA Images show cars that had been torched by supporters of the recent coup parked outside the building. (RELATED: Viral Video Purporting To Show Niger’s Minister Of Finance Crying Is Misleading)
Although the video showed an attack on the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism’s headquarters, the French Embassy was also targeted by supporters of the recent coup. A door at the Embassy was set on fire on July 30 by protestors before the army intervened, The Associated Press reported.
Check Your Fact has contacted the French Embassy in Niger for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.