This video shows protesters storming the German embassy in Sudan in 2012

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A video of people storming a building has been shared thousands of times on Facebook, alongside claims that it shows protesters setting the French embassy in Sudan on fire in response to French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks on Islam. However, the claim is false; this is an old video that shows protesters storming the German embassy in Sudan in 2012. 

The video was published on Facebook on October 24, 2020. The post’s Arabic caption reads, “The French embassy was burned down on Monday in response to French President Macron's Islamophobic remarks.” 

Screenshot of the false Facebook post, taken on October 28, 2020

The same video was also shared in other Facebook posts here and here on the same date and with the same claim. 

However, this claim is false. By conducting a reverse image search on keyframes from the video using the InVID-WeVerify verification tool, AFP Fact Check found that the footage dates back to 2012. Different parts of the video appeared in several news reports at the time. 

The footage seen in the video from 0’00 to 1’01 -- and again from 1’46 to 1’57 -- was featured in a CNN report posted on the channel’s YouTube page on September 14, 2012.

The footage from 1’02 to 1’14 was featured in an Al-Jazeera report published on September 15, 2012. The footage from 1’15 to 1’45 can be seen in a  report from the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle published on September 14, 2012.  

Screenshots comparing footage from the misleading Facebook video (left) and from the Al Jazeera report (right)

The footage from 2’23 to 2’26 matches footage in an AFP report in German, published on the same date. Some of this footage is also repeated in other parts of the video. 

Screenshots of footage from the video in the misleading Facebook post (left) and footage showing the same scene in an AFP report (right)

AFP Fact Check was not able to find the source of the footage from 2’02 to 2’12; however, it features the same protester that appears in front of the German embassy in another part of the video (at 1’15) in footage featured in the Deutsche Welle report.

Screenshots of the same protester in front of the German embassy, seen in different parts of the video

All these video reports from 2012 show the same incident, which took place on September 14, 2012, when protesters stormed the German embassy in Khartoum.

At the time, AFP reported that the protesters set the building on fire in reaction to the screening of a film perceived as offensive to Islam and Muslims. The British embassy in Khartoum was also targeted. Fury over the film led to protests in many countries around the world.

Meanwhile, there have been no reports of any recent attacks against France’s embassy in Sudan. 

Background

The false claim was published on Facebook just days after the French president promised to intensify a clampdown on Islamist extremism.

Macron’s remarks came in reaction to the murder of 47-year-old teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded in a Paris suburb after he showed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed during a class on free speech. These were the same images that sparked a deadly attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo when they were originally published five years ago.

Macron has vigorously defended the publication of the cartoons on free speech grounds.

France’s interior minister Gerald Darmanin said that France was “at war with Islamist extremism” after a knifeman brutally killed three people at a church in the southern city of Nice on October 29, 2020. 

The killings happened on the same day as a knife attack by a Saudi citizen at the French consulate in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, which left a guard wounded. Neither the Saudi authorities nor the French embassy gave a possible motive for the attack.