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Shots fired at protesters in Uganda? No, video months old and from Mali

A 15-second video posted on Facebook in Zimbabwe shows a crowd moving down a street. Moments later gunshots can be heard, and people scatter in all directions.

“Disturbing news from Uganda,” its description reads. “All dictators like Yoweri Museveni abuse the military to kill innocent civilians, victimize People’s leaders like Bobi Wine. Dictators think they are invincible until they are swept away by the winds of change.”  

The video was posted on 20 November 2020, two days after deadly protests sparked by the arrest of opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi erupted in Uganda.

The video’s description continues: “None of them learns from the debacle and tragic end of the other! The killings and political developments in Uganda are a real cause for concern. Dictatorship must go in Africa!”

Kyagulanyi, who is also a musician and popularly known as Bobi Wine, successfully registered as a candidate in Uganda’s 2021 election earlier in November. He will be opposing current president Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power since 1986.

The protests have reportedly claimed 37 lives. But does the video show gunshots being fired at demonstrators in Uganda?

Video surfaced in January

We extracted a frame from the video and ran it through a Google reverse image search. This revealed that the video has been online since at least 16 January 2020.

It was posted on the YouTube channel of the French-language media outlet OR MEDIAS on 8 May. Here it’s described as showing clashes between young people and security forces in Sikasso, a city in southern Mali.

The protestors had reportedly blocked the road to Bamako, Mali’s capital, and police responded with live gunfire.

Before the 18 August coup d’ etat, people in Mali had been protesting to force the government to act on a range of issues, including rising ethnic and jihadist violence. – Dancan Bwire


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