No, this photo isn’t proof that a UN vehicle was carrying mineral resources from the DRC

A number of accounts on social media have been sharing a photo of an overturned United Nations armoured vehicle, claiming that it was carrying bags full of stolen mineral resources – proof that the international organisation is taking part in resource trafficking in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In reality, this is a photo of a car accident that took place in 2018 and the bags you can see actually contain sand, not stolen mineral resources.

If you only have a minute…

  • A photo posted on social media on April 19 shows an overturned UN armoured vehicle with several sacks scattered nearby. Those who’ve shared the photo claim that it proves that the United Nations is stealing mineral resources from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  • However, this image actually shows an accident that took place nearly six years ago. According to both witnesses and the UN itself, the bags were filled with not stolen mineral resources but sand.

The fact check, in detail

Is the United Nations (UN) really stealing mineral resources from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)? Those are the claims made by a post featuring a photo of an overturned UN vehicle that has garnered more than 100,000 views on X and more than 5,000 shares on Facebook. The image shows the spilled contents of the vehicle – bags that, according to social media users, contain stolen mineral resources.

Congo Check interviewed MONUSCO representatives back in 2018. They denied that the bags visible in the image contained mineral resources.

Taken in 2018, the photos of the accident have popped up on social media frequently in the years since, often as “proof” of a fake news item.

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