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Yes, BBC – and others – reported on snakes in Liberian president’s place of work

“Snakes force Liberian President George Weah out of office,” declares a 19 April 2019 Facebook post shared in Nigeria and Guinea.

“Liberia’s president George Weah worked from his Monrovia home – and not his official workplace – this week because at least two snakes were spotted in his office. The country’s press secretary Smith Toby told the BBC.”

The post was flagged as possibly false by Facebook’s fact-checking system.

But the BBC did report on the incident, in a 19 April 2019 article headlined: “Snakes force Liberian President George Weah out of office”.

The article is by BBC Africa’s Jonathan Paye-Layleh, reporting out of Liberia’s capital city of Monrovia.

Snakes in foreign affairs building

“Snakes have been found in Liberian President George Weah's office, forcing him to work from his private residence, the BBC has learnt,” the article reads.

“Press secretary Smith Toby told the BBC that on Wednesday two black snakes were found in the foreign affairs ministry building, his official place of work.”

Toby told the BBC the building would be fumigated.

“That building's been there for years now, and [because of] the drainage system, the possibility of having things like snakes crawling in that building was high,” he is reported as saying.

The story was also picked up by global news agency Agence France-Presse, and reported by media across the world – in Germany, South Africa, Australia, China, the US and Britain. – Africa Check


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