CLAIM: A Facebook user alleges that electricity has gone off in France due to Niger’s military cutting off ties with France and lack of supply of Ethereum.
VERDICT: False! The video used in the post is old footage that has been recirculating since 2022. The alleged incident of France not having an electricity supply happened in Niger’s French Embassy, not France.
Niger’s soldiers on July 26, 2023, announced a coup; imposing a curfew and closing borders in the country, saying the nation’s constitution had been dissolved and all institutions suspended.
The military junta had also revoked the diplomatic immunity of France’s ambassador in the country and ordered police to expel him, according to a statement from the military regime.
Recent news also revealed that Niger owes Nigeria more than $5.48 million in electricity. According to the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC), Benin Republic owes Nigeria $7.31 million and Togo $3.32 million for electricity.
On Sept. 2, 2023, thousands of protesters gathered outside a French military base in Niger’s capital demanding that its troops leave in the wake of a military coup that has support but which Paris refuses to recognise.
Following this development, Cwilliams TV on Facebook posted a three-minute video. In it, a man is seen explaining that electricity has gone off in France and the European countries are not of help to Africans. He also said France can not provide 24-hour electricity less than a year after being chased out of Niger.
In the video, he also uploaded some pictures with lights out on the street of France, stating that the country was getting uranium from Niger to power their nation.
When this news was filed, the post generated a total of 8,800 likes, 919 comments, and 266,000 shares.
The implication of the news on bilateral relations and the reactions it gathered made us run a fact-check.
We went through the pictures inserted in the post and saw some headlines under it. We then ran an advanced keyword search on the headline and saw that the images used were old pictures from 2022.
We found the original video on YouTube with the headline:
“Lights out for public buildings in France’s Lille amid global energy crisis,” dated Sept. 11. 2022.
The Newscaster explained that Europe is facing an energy crunch, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine triggered the situation. The lighting of public buildings was stopped in the city of Lille in northern France to reduce energy consumption in 2022.
“We wished to announce energy sobriety measures quickly, and among the easiest to put in place was (to stop) lighting public buildings, because it was painless for Lille residents. The fact that we have reduced lighting allows us to save 170,000-kilowatt hours, or around 30,000 euros,” deputy to the Lille mayor in charge of ecological transition Audrey Linkenheld said.
We also did a keyword search to see if other news had reported it and saw that Daily Trust had reported on Aug. 28, 2023, that Niger military leadership had cut off electricity and water supplies to the French Embassy in the capital Niamey with no food deliveries allowed.
This means electricity was cut off in the French Embassy, not the country.
Electricity was not cut off in France because of the Niger coup; it is an old video recirculated from 2022. Also, the electricity was cut in the French embassy in Niger, not France.