Claim: A video has gone viral on the internet suggesting that Wagner forces had arrived in Niger in an aircraft in anticipation of a military response from ECOWAS following the overthrow of Nigerien president Mohamed Bazoum.
Verdict: This is false. Using a reverse image search, DUBAWA noticed that the video had been online for about 17 years.
Shortly after leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced their readiness to intervene militarily to reinstate ousted Nigerien president Mohamed Bazoum, there have been reports that Wagner forces have supported local soldiers.
On social media, a particular video showing a white aircraft is alleged to be carrying Wagner soldiers and the narrative is that they were arriving in Niger.
“BREAKING: Video Footage LEAKED barely an hour ago is presumably the landing of the Il-76 military transport aircraft in Niger, purportedly carrying Wagner PMC fighters,” one online user said in the post containing the viral video.
Khartoum is the capital city of Sudan.
The narrative by those sharing the video, which has gone viral, is false. The video has been online for about 17 years.
Are Wagner Forces in Niger?
At the moment, there is no official confirmation of the presence of the Russian mercenary group in Niger despite widespread social media reports that fighters have been stationed in Niamey in anticipation of an attack from ECOWAS.
A reverse image search led DUBAWA to the same video on YouTube since 2006. Currently, there is no official confirmation of Wagner forces in Niger.