By: Toibah Kirmani
August 3 2023
Claims that Burkina Faso has banned uranium exports to France and the U.S. are unfounded. Burkina Faso has no uranium resources.
On July 26, 2023, Niger soldiers declared they are overthrowing the government. As reported by The Guardian, Colonel Amadou Abdramane released a video address stating the worsening security situation and bad governance as motivation. With neighboring countries Burkina Faso and Mali expressing support for the coup, this military coup and its aftermath are being widely discussed on social media.
Amid this online discussion, a user on X (formerly known as Twitter) posted an image of the President of Burkina Faso with the caption, “Captain Ibrahim Traore, President of Burkina Faso has also Banned Uranium exports to France and the United States of America.” This post garnered significant attention, with over five million views. The archive of the post can be found here.
However, there is no such announcement record, and the claim is false.
On researching, we found no evidence of any credible news source making such an announcement. More importantly, the country does not have uranium mines. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a report titled World Uranium Geology, Exploration, Resources and Production, notes on page 170: “No uranium has been produced in Burkina Faso, and there are no plans to develop nuclear-generating capacity. No report has been submitted to the Red Book.”
Notably, Orano, the French giant that operates uranium mines worldwide, operates deposits in neighboring Niger but none in Burkina Faso. However, no authentic reports indicate that Niger has banned uranium exports to France. As reported by Al Jazeera on August 1, 2023, Orano has stated that its operations in Niger continue despite France's plans to evacuate its citizens from the country and cut aid.
Following the recent coup in Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali issued a joint statement warning against any military intervention in Niger, considering it a declaration of war against both countries. Subsequently, France started evacuating hundreds of French and European citizens from Niger, as reported by Reuters. The region has experienced heightened tension towards former colonial power France, leading to the expulsion of French troops from Mali and Burkina Faso in recent years.
Burkina Faso does not have uranium resources, which makes the claim of banning uranium exports to France and the U.S. false. There is no credible evidence to support any such announcement by the country's government. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.