Viral video of UN drone crash is over 9 years old!

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A claim that a United Nations (UN) drone loaded with gold, foreign currencies, guns, and parachutes that crash-landed in the Northern part of Kivu-Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been going viral online.

The claim was contained in a video that originated from YouTube but which has also found its way to TikTok and X (formerly Twitter). The video was posted on a channel on YouTube, 2nacheki which has over a million subscribers.

Since the inception of the video on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, it has gained over 300,000 views and more than a thousand comments.

In the two minutes, twenty-eight seconds footage, a voice-over narration could be heard saying:

“Footage coming out of the Democratic Republic of Congo downed united nations drone that locals alleged was carrying gold, guns, and parachutes, in the footage you can see locals trying to move the drone to an undisclosed location. Locals can be heard speaking in Lingala and Swahili claiming that this is what the UN is doing in Congo, not protecting but looting the country. Locals can also be heard talking about the cargo of the UN drone saying it contains, gold, guns and some escape parachutes…”

The locals speak in a local language from 38 seconds to 1:03 minutes into the footage, though The FactCheckHub could not ascertain the language been spoken in the video.

The FactCheckHub reports that a ‘Nigerian’ pro-Russia account on X (@jcokechukwu) also posted the footage, alongside a five-paragraph essay saying: “…this is the same UN that our brothers in DRC protested against and they lost their lives in dozens.”

As of November 17, 2023, the video has garnered over 500,000 views on his X handle, with more than 2,000 reposts and over 2500 Likes since he made the post on November 11, 2023.

Screenshot of the viral video; Insert, Misleading verdict
Screenshot of the viral footage; INSERT: Misleading verdict

CLAIM

A United Nations drone loaded with bounties crash-landed in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

THE FINDINGS

Findings by the FactCheckHub show that the claim is MISLEADING as the video is over nine years old.

A keyword search of the words: ‘United Nations DRC Drone Crashed’ on Google search engine displayed news reports from credible media houses like Business Standard, Vanguard, and The Guardian of a UN surveillance drone crash in January 2014.

The drone, which was a component of a programme to keep an eye on armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s war-torn east, was rendered useless.

Media houses reported that the incident occurred as the unarmed drone was returning from a mission to Goma, in North Kivu province, and no casualties were reported, Felix Prosper Basse, a military spokesman for the peace-keeping mission was quoted.

Military Africa and Defence web also reported in 2022 that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF)  recovered a crashed Falco Evo unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operated by the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO).

There were no mentions of gold, guns or foreign currencies in any of the media reports.

 

THE VERDICT

The claim that a United Nations drone loaded with bounties crash-landed in the Democratic Republic of Congo is MISLEADING; the video was uploaded on YouTube since January 2014, making the video over nine years old. There is also no mention of  of gold, guns or foreign currencies in any credible media report.

Fact-checker at The FactheckHub | [email protected] | + posts

Seasoned fact-checker and researcher Fatimah Quadri has written numerous fact-checks, explainers, and media literacy pieces for The FactCheckHub in an effort to combat information disorder. She can be reached at sunmibola_q on X or [email protected].

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