No, the French are not destroying their vehicles in Mali and Burkina Faso

© Observers

A video showing vehicles being destroyed in Africa has sparked all kinds of explanations on social media since it first appeared on November 13. The two most popular theories are that the video shows French troops destroying vehicles while pulling out of Mali or that it shows French actions as they abandon a mine in Burkina Faso. But the clip actually took place at Perkoa Mine in Burkina Faso and shows an Australian company contracted to run the mine destroying vehicles judged to be in poor condition.

If you only have a minute…

  • Since November 13, 2022, a number of Twitter and Facebook accounts have been sharing a video showing vehicles being destroyed along with captions in English, French and Arabic. Almost all of these social media posts claim that “the French” are behind these demolitions.

  • Some posts claimed that the scene took place in Mali at the end of French military operation Operation Barkhane, while others said that the scene took place at the Perkoa zinc mine in Burkina Faso.

  • According to the Burkina Faso Ministry of Energy, Mines and Quarries, the video was filmed at Perkoa Mine, after deadly flooding took place in April 2022.

  • The people in the video actually work for Australian company Byrnecut, the subcontractor managing mine exploitation at Perkoa.

  • It is impossible at this stage to determine why the vehicles were destroyed. Neither the subcontractors nor the owner of the mine responded to our questions. Official Burkinabe sources said they believed that the vehicles were damaged because they were in poor condition.

The verification, in detail

Many have said that this scene was filmed in Mali.

You can also see that the Byrnecut logo is on the trucks.

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