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Kenyan president Ruto asks US president Biden for ‘landing crafts’ to invade Haiti? No, CNN social media post fake

IN SHORT: A screenshot of what appears to be a tweet from US broadcaster CNN is circulating on social media and makes the startling claim that Kenya’s William Ruto has asked the US for landing craft to invade Haiti. Unsurprisingly, this is not true.

“Happening: Africa invades Haiti.”

That’s the breathless text added to what seems to be a screenshot of an X post (formerly Twitter) by CNN, the US-based global news network, circulating on social media.

The post is dated 12 March 2024 and uses the @CNN handle. It reads: “Kenyan present William Ruto reportedly called president Joe Biden to organize the purchase of ‘several dozen’ WW2 era amphibious landing crafts for a naval invasion of the Haitian coast.”

Text below adds: “African nations are about to launch a D-day style invasion on Haiti.”

The massive “D-Day” naval invasion of German-occupied France by allied nations in June 1945 was a turning point in the second world war.

On 11 March 2024, the troubled Caribbean island country of Haiti was plunged into fresh turmoil when unelected prime minister Ariel Henry resigned as organised criminal gangs tightened their grip on the country

Earlier in the month a state of emergency was declared after the gangs freed some 3,500 inmates from a prison in Port-au-Prince, the capital.

Henry came to power after the assassination of president Jovenel Moïse in 2021. In January 2024 Henry left Haiti to visit, among other countries, Kenya. There he signed a deal to fast-track a long-delayed agreement to send paramilitary police to help tackle Haiti’s gang violence. 

He has been stranded outside the country ever since.

The Kenya-led international policing mission to Haiti was approved by the United Nations security council in October 2023. But the day after Henry’s resignation, Kenyan president William Ruto announced that the mission would be “paused”.

Did CNN really tweet that Ruto then asked US president Joe Biden to organise the purchase of “WW2 era amphibious landing crafts” for a “naval invasion” of Haiti?


Ways to spot a fake

There are several signs that the X post is fake.

  • On CNN’s verified X account, the profile picture is square with the CNN logo in normal proportions. On the viral image the picture is round and the logo squashed horizontally.
  • The post ends with “Twitter for iPhone”. X (then Twitter) removed identification of the app used to make a post – “Twitter for iPhone” or “Twitter for Android” – in December 2022, more than a year before the supposed tweet.
  • It uses language that wouldn’t be posted by an international news organisation. Ruto’s title of “president” is misspelled as “present”, and “landing crafts” written instead of “landing craft”.

Several advanced searches for the post on the @CNN X account returned no results. The account hasn’t mentioned, for example, “William Ruto”, “amphibious landing crafts” or “naval invasion” since at least 1 March 2024.

No news of Kenya planning to invade Haiti could be found on any CNN website, or reported by any other media organisation. The X post is fake.

On 13 April Ruto welcomed the establishment of a transitional presidential council in Haiti, a move intended to begin the restoration of order in the country.

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