Video does not show France’s ambassador to Niger being forced out

By: Sam Doak
September 15 2023

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Video does not show France’s ambassador to Niger being forced out

Screenshot of an X post claiming to show the French Ambassador being forced out of an embassy in Niger. Source: X


The Verdict False

This video was filmed in Gabon, not Niger.

Claim ID 6620b66c


On July 26, 2023, Niger’s elected government was removed from power in a coup conducted by members of the country’s armed forces. Since this event, relations between the country’s new ruling junta and France have steadily deteriorated. 

A key demand of Niger’s new government has been removing French troops and withdrawing the country’s ambassador. To date, France has not acceded to these requests, which has led to numerous protests in Niamey at sites linked to the French government’s presence in Niger. 

In this context, a video has circulated widely that some have claimed shows France’s ambassador being forced out of the country’s embassy in Niamey. The video shows several uniformed military personnel escorting a man in a suit toward a white vehicle while an assembled crowd chants.

While many believe this footage ends the impasse relating to the French ambassador’s presence in Niger, Logically Facts has determined that this is not true. 

In fact 

A reverse image search reveals that multiple users uploaded this video, claiming it shows Lee White, Gabon’s recent Minister of Water and Forestry, departing after being removed from his post following the recent coup. 

Source: X and
Source: X and Gabonactu

To verify this, Logically Facts searched for images of the building in which Gabon’s Ministry of Water and Forestry is housed. Distinctive pillars and a mural depicting a fish make it possible to match the video in question to this location. Logically Facts also compared images of Lee White to screenshots of the man shown in the video and found that they bear a close resemblance. 

To date, the governments of France and Niger have not announced the departure of the French ambassador. No reputable outlet has reported that the French embassy has been compromised or the ambassador has been forced out or left willingly.

The verdict

This video was recorded at the Ministry of Water and Forestry in Gabon, and it likely shows the departure of the former minister, Lee White. To date, the French ambassador in Niger has not been forced out of the embassy or country. This claim has, therefore, been marked as false.

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