Was This Video of Dead Bodies Taken in Uganda?

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“If this is what is happening in Uganda, then Museveni should be arrested and taken to ICC,” reads this tweet with a graphic video showing dead bodies lying on a road.

Was it taken in Uganda?

Background

Uganda conducted its general elections on January 14, 2021, the same day this tweet went up. President Yoweri Museveni was elected into office for the sixth term since 1986 with a win of 58.38% and closely contested by Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert known to most as Bobi Wine, with a win of 35.08%.

However, these results were dismissed by Bobi Wine and his supporters as being fraudulent and rigged. In a statement to the press, Bobi Wine was confident that they had defeated the dictator by far. “I call upon all Ugandans to reject the blackmail. We have certainly won these elections and won it by far,” he said.

The campaign period in Uganda was one of the most violent ones. It was marked by a massive crackdown from the police force and attacks on journalists. Africa Uncensored and Canary Mugume documented some of these atrocities.

Ahead of the elections, Uganda faced an internet shutdown which was restored five days later. This was highly condemned and termed as a violation of basic human rights.

Verification

The language spoken in this video can be identified as Lingala, a Bantu language spoken in the Democratic Republic of Congo. With the help of a confidential source, we were able to get a translation of what was being said by the armed men in this video.

One of the men says, “bo benga bango kuna.” Which means, “pull them there.” He talks about pulling the dead bodies lying on the road.

Another one says, “na beti bango awa.” Which means, “I have shot them from here.”

Secondly, at timecode 00’26” we see a screengrab of a van labelled FARDC. FARDC is an acronym (in French) for the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

This van, therefore, belongs to the Congolese armed forces.

Piga Firimbi found a  tweet with the same video, posted on March 28, 2020. This was before campaigns in Uganda kicked off on November 9, 2020. According to the said tweet (translation required), the bodies seen in the video are not of civilians but the Mai Mai and these killings happened in Haut Katanga, a province located in the South-East of Congo.

Mai Mai, also known as Mai Mai Bakata Katanga is a rebel group, formed by Gedeon Kyungu Mutanga to fight for the independence of the Katanga province. Katanga is considered a rich province for its massive cobalt and copper deposits.

Verdict

Claims that the above video was taken in Uganda are FALSE.  

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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.