Is This a Video of Fulani Jihadists Preparing for a Raid in Nigeria?

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In the recent past, Piga Firimbi has looked into claims surrounding banditry and jihadism in West African countries. This tweet with over 500 retweets claiming to show Fulani bandits preparing for a raid, is not new either.

Background

The Sahel region of West Africa is known to have a rising number of jihad groups over the years. Owing to the numerous attacks experienced, Boko Haram alone has been held suspect for almost 179 deaths of civilians in Nigeria, as of June 2020. Another attack in April 2020 saw almost 30 civilians killed. The eighth edition of the Global Terrorist Index states that Burkina Faso, another country in the Sahel region, has registered a rise of terrorist deaths from 86 to 593.

Verification

Results from a reverse image search show screenshots from this video were first shared on Twitter on February 10, 2021. This thread describing the type of ammunitions seen in this video, states that these firearms were taken from Mali’s Armed Forces based in Boni during a raid by members of the Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam Muslimin (JNIM) group.

From this tweet, boxes of hand grenades can be identified, similar to those seen at the beginning of this video. (See screengrab below).

Screenshots shared by this first result give more details about this video. It shows a username of a Russian public Telegram group, doklad_razvedki. Going through posts in this group, this video was shared in February 8, 2021, coinciding with the information about the attack in Boni. (See screengrab below).

On February 3, 2021, the Malian Armed Forces (FAMA) reported an attack in one of their camps in Boni, Mopti region, which saw nine soldiers and 20 militants killed. Since 2012, the Mopti region has been a target of terrorist attacks.

Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) is considered to be Al-Qaeda’s branch in Mali. However, it still operates independently in different parts of central and northern Mali and neighbouring regions.  On October 4, 2018, the United Nation’s Security Council added JNIM to its sanctions list linking it to numerous terrorist operations in Mali and Burkina Faso with the support of Al-Qaeda, another sanctioned entity. JNIM’s leader Iyad Ag Ghaly is said to have publicly pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda’s leader, AQIM’s leader and Taliban’s leader.

In a mission to restore peace in Mali, Operation Newcombe was formed in 2013. It consists of two main complementary missions: Operation Newcombe (CH-47) and Operation Newcombe LRRG (M). In 2018, the Royal Air Force deployed two Newcombe (CH-47) helicopters to support French operations in Mali. The United Nations says that, as of 2020, these helicopters and their crew had completed more than 2,000 flying hours of clearance patrol, moved over 1,000 tons of equipment and over 12,000 passengers.

Verdict

This video claiming to show Fulani terrorists preparing for a raid is MISLEADING. This video was shared after the JNIM jihadists raided a Malian Army base in Boni, Mopti region.

 

This story was produced by Africa Uncensored in partnership with Code for Africa with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie.

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Nyakerario Omari

Nyakerario J. Omari is a Kenyan writer and journalist with a passion for in-depth stories told through documentaries. She has an interest in reporting matters concerning health, crime and human rights.