By: Umme Kulsum
April 25 2023
A photograph of Egyptian soldiers taking part in a cross-country exercise has been falsely shared as them escaping the Sudan civil war.
Since unrest between Sudan's military and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) began, false and misleading narratives have been circulating on social media. A Facebook user shared an image of men in blue vests and military uniforms, running down a road. The caption on the post read, "EGYPTIAN FORCES ESCAPED Merowi, SUDAN." The image is being circulated against the backdrop of Egyptian air force personnel being detained by RSF at Merowe air base in northern Sudan.
A reverse image search showed that the image dates back to at least September 2021. After the picture went viral on social media, Egypt's State Information Service clarified that the image was unrelated to the recent clashes in Sudan through an official Facebook post. The post, when translated, read, "A number of social media users circulated this image, claiming that it was a picture of Egyptian soldiers escaping from Merowe Airport, following the clashes between the Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese army. The photo dates back to more than a year ago during one of the Egyptian armed forces exercises in the 'Country Crossing' exercise and has nothing to do with Sudan from near or far."
According to a report by Reuters, on April 27, 2023, the RSF confirmed that it had detained Egyptian soldiers after storming the Merowe air base in northern Sudan. However, these Egyptian soldiers who were stuck in Sudan were evacuated following negotiations.
An unrelated image from 2021 has been linked to the recent clashes between Sudan's military and the RSF. The image of Egyptian troops running was taken during a cross-country military exercise. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.