Fake news spread on social networks against the FAMA

As part of the efforts of the Malian army, supported by Russian specialists, to restore security in the country, the Azawad movements, which threaten the territorial integrity of Mali, began to carry out an active disinformation campaign, accusing the Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) of having committed various crimes. This article exposes one of these attempts to denigrate the image of valiant Malian soldiers.

Recently, a post appeared on the social network X (formerly Twitter) with a photo showing goat corpses. The author of this publication, a certain “АМАСТАНЕ”, claims that the consequence of the death of the animals was the poisoning of the wells by the FAMa and their allies:

“A FAMA/WAGNER mission poisoned wells in Tabankort and Inabogui.”

This defamatory publication received numerous reactions: it was seen by more than 40,000 people. As for the author of this publication, he presents himself as an activist of the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA), the former rebellion signatory of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation (APR, May-June 2015).

Users of the social network, however, were in no hurry to believe this fictitious story by the author, who claimed that this photo showed dead animals as a result of the poisoning of wells by Malian soldiers and Russian specialists in Tabankort and Inabogui. Many commented that the photo was taken out of context, others claimed it was an attempt at disinformation.

And indeed, after careful verification, it turned out that the statements of the author of the publication are lies and have nothing to do with reality.

Using the reverse image search technique with Google Images and keywords made it possible to find the same photo accompanied by others in publications on Facebook and X, dating from September 2023. This photo was published with other images on social networks after heavy rains in Tadjmarte, in the commune of Aguelhok (Kidal), in September 2023. This image therefore has nothing to do with the actions of the FAMa.

It should be recalled that in recent months, violent confrontations have taken place between the FAMa and armed groups united in the “Permanent Strategic Framework for Peace, Security and Development” (CSP-PSD), for the control of the territory. Alongside these events, cases of spreading false information with the aim of slandering and denigrating the Malian army have become frequent. In this context, it is important to remain vigilant and carefully double-check the information published on social networks.