The Nigerien junta has not ordered the armed forces to arrest any European nationals found in the country

By: Sam Doak
August 4 2023

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The Nigerien junta has not ordered the armed forces to arrest any European nationals found in the country


The Verdict False

Military figures in Niger have issued no such order.

Claim ID d035017c


On July 26, 2023, the elected leader of Niger, President Mohamed Bazoum, was removed from power after a coup. This event has gained widespread international attention, in large part because Bazoum was one of the few pro-Western national leaders in the Sahel region. 

Following the coup, tensions between Niger’s new military leaders and their European counterparts have grown steadily. On July 31, the junta publicly accused the French government of meddling in the country’s affairs, stating that they were seeking “ways and means to intervene militarily in Niger” In the days that followed, France and other nations began evacuating their citizens from the country. 

Against this backdrop, false claims have been widely circulated on social media. A particularly alarming narrative that appears to have taken hold is that Niger’s military has ordered the arrest of any European citizen found on its territory. 

Jackson Hinkle, a pro-Kremlin social media commentator, summarised this narrative while posting on X (formerly known as Twitter), stating, “The new Nigerien government has ordered the Armed Forces to arrest any European Nationals still in the country until France and other Western Powers agree to withdraw their military forces from Niger.” While Hinkle did not provide any sources or evidence to substantiate his claim, his post was widely shared, garnering over 7,800 reposts and 38,000 likes.

Despite Hinkle’s claim, Logically Facts has found no evidence that authorities in Niger have made such a proclamation. 

In fact 

Logically Facts searched for related news reports in French and English to determine whether Hinkle's claim has merit. Coverage of evacuation efforts in reputable outlets contains no mention of an announcement of the nature described by Hinkle. 

As no evidence to support Hinkle’s statement could be found in news reports, Logically Facts checked official government advice for citizens traveling to Niger from numerous European countries. Published on August 3, the French government’s advice reads, “Due to the demonstrations scheduled for August 3 in Niamey and certain cities of the country, it is recommended to observe the greatest vigilance. It is also advisable to postpone any trip, to keep informed of the situation, and to respect the security instructions relayed by the embassy according to any subsequent developments.”

No European government has published advice that states its citizens are at default risk of arrest, as claimed by Hinkle. 

The verdict 

There is no evidence the Nigerien junta has ordered the armed forces to arrest any European nationals found in the country. No reputable outlet has reported that such a proclamation has been issued, and it is not stated in official travel advice issued by European governments. This claim has therefore been marked as false.

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