Footage shows gang fight in DRC, not Kenyan opposition supporters battling police

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As anti-government rallies were staged in Kenya on March 20, 2023, a video of rival groups clashing on a dusty field emerged on social media alongside claims it showed opposition supporters battling police in the capital Nairobi. But this claim is false: the footage shows two youth gangs in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) fighting after a football tournament in 2022.

"Situation at Jacaranda Embakasi East. Police has shot one person dead (sic)," reads a post published with a clip on Facebook on March 20, 2023.

Screenshot showing the false post, taken on March 20, 2023

The claim, which has since been deleted, was shared by MP Babu Owino, an ally of Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga. The video shows dozens of people hurling rocks at each other and wielding machetes and other crude weapons.

The footage was also shared with the same claim here and here on Facebook and on Twitter.

Kenya opposition protests

On March 20, 2023, Kenyan police tear-gassed Odinga’s motorcade in Nairobi (archived here) as he spearheaded an anti-government protest.

Odinga accuses President William Ruto’s administration of being “illegitimate” and of failing to tackle the high cost of living in the country.

Kenya's Supreme Court upheld Ruto’s victory (archived here) in last year's election after a petition by Odinga, who lost marginally and remains adamant his victory was “stolen”.

But, despite his calls for weekly protests until the government meets a list of demands, the footage does not show opposition supporters confronting police in Kenya.

DRC gang fight

Using the InVID-WeVerify video verification tool, AFP Fact Check performed reverse image searches on keyframes from the clip and found it was recorded in DRC in August 2022.

The footage shows a violent clash (archived here and here) between members of rival youth gangs – locally known as “Kulunas” – after a community football tournament in the capital Kinshasa.

Screenshot showing a news report in French with an image from the video

According to news reports (archived here), the fight happened at the Lingwala community football pitch.

Lingwala is a municipality in the Lukunga district of Kinshasa. AFP’s DRC office confirmed that this is where the clip was filmed.

In the footage, after one of the gang members is hit on the head by a rock and slashed on the thigh by what looks like a machete, a voice speaking in Congolese Lingala can be heard saying: "Look at the machete … he has killed … they’ve killed. Somebody is dead … he’s dead."

DRC-based journalist Israel Mutombo also shared the clip on his official Twitter account on August 22, 2022.