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Wrong leaflets claim that the French army is smuggling gold from Mali

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — A number of pictures and videos have been published on the websites of the publishers who claim to prove that the French army was involved in the smuggling of gold from Mali, but these pictures and videos are not taken in Mali at all and have nothing to do with the French army.

– Soldiers in a hole with gold boxes –

“France has the fifth largest gold reserves in the world, although there are no gold mines on its territory,” says one Arabic-language publication. “The French-occupied country of Mali has no gold reserves, even though it has hundreds of gold mines.” The picture shows where France came with all this gold.”

The leaflet is accompanied by a set of photographs, one of which shows soldiers at the bottom of a crater, from which crates suggest it contains gold extracted from the ground.

At least dozens of publications were published in Arabic, according to an AFP news team.

The same publication was also published in French and circulated in hundreds.

The News Health team was able to monitor the publication of the publication for the first time on Facebook in October 2019.

– What is the mission of the French army in Mali? –

Mali was attacked on 17 January 2012 by jihadi groups linked to al-Qaeda and Tuareg rebels from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), and the north fell after the army was defeated by the rebellion that formed the backbone of the Tuareg, initially allied with these groups that soon became That kicked them out.

The attack was accompanied by numerous violations and atrocities.

On January 11, 2013, France launched Operation Serval to stop the advance of jihadists who evacuated three days later the major northern cities.

On 1 August, Serval replaced Operation Barkhane, which is tasked with fighting Islamic extremists. The operation began with the participation of three thousand French soldiers before the number of soldiers to 4,500, and their deployment is not limited to the former French colony, but includes five countries in the Sahel are also Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania.

On July 1 of the same year, the UN sent the MINUSMA force to stabilize Mali.

Entire regions of Mali remain beyond the control of Malian, French and international forces, and have periodically witnessed bloody attacks that have spread in recent years to central and southern Mali as well as to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.

Photo courtesy of the French Ministry of Defense.

In Mali, the picture is not taken. Their searches were guided by the search engines to the original image posted on the French Ministry of Defense website, dating back to 10 February 2014, five years before they were circulated in this misguided context. The picture was taken during the French military operation in the Central African Republic, and can be seen from this.

In December 2013, France launched a “Sangaris” military operation in Central Africa aimed at preserving peace in the country and halting the massacres of a civil war that erupted after the ouster of former President Francois Bozizé.

The operation resulted in “seizing more than 750 kilograms of ammunition while disarming armed groups and finding weapons caches,” according to the French Ministry of Defense.

On 31 October 2016, France ended Operation Sangaris, declaring its success, although it was unable to eliminate armed gangs that terrorized the population and failed to stabilize one of the world’s poorest countries.

– African miners and French soldiers –

The same content was also published with two photographs, one of which appeared to be African miners, and French soldiers near a helicopter, suggesting that French soldiers were supervising gold exploration in Mali.

This publication received at least hundreds.

“The French occupation forces extract gold in the Muslim state of Mali and send it to France,” he said.

– Where were the photos of the mine and the soldiers taken? –

But searches of the miners’ image using search engines led to a posting on Getty’s website, picked up in a mine in Central Africa that has nothing to do with Mali.

The picture of French soldiers distributed by AFP in January 2015, four years before it was circulated in a misleading context, shows soldiers at a military base in Gao, northern Mali. These can be found on the agency’s website, where they can be seen in the bottom row of images.

– Customs in Mali seizes smuggling gold for France? –

In mid-August 2019, a video showed on its websites that publishers said Mali customs seized gold bullets for France.

The video shows men opening boxes with gold ingots.

“The customs of the state of Mali, in the presence of UN observers and the media, thwart the smuggling of gold by the French army, which claimed to be transporting weapons on the orders of the Elysée,” the video said.

More than ten thousand users participated in this publication.

He posted himself on YouTube.

But this video is actually taken in Ghana and not in Mali and has nothing to do with the French army, according to an investigation by a team based on elements such as the Ghanaian newspaper in the hands of one observer and the name of the business company involved in the case, which appears on a paper carried by another.

The team explained after the investigation that the video actually shows a normal process to detect a load of metal before being sold, which was explained by the man who speaks in the video as if giving instructions, and was found by the team and contacted by telephone, a lawyer named Rene Verchia.

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