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Facebook removes 17 Russian accounts targeting Sudan

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October 31, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Facebook said it had removed 17 accounts originating in Russia and focusing on Sudan’s internal affairs.

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A post that Facebook said was made by a Russian network casting doubt about the identity of the jailed President Omer al-Bashir (Photo Facebook)
A post that Facebook said was made by a Russian network casting doubt about the identity of the jailed President Omer al-Bashir (Photo Facebook)

The move is part of the removal of three Russian networks attempting to interfere in the domestic politics of eight African countries: Madagascar, Central African Republic, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Sudan and Libya.

“We (...) removed 17 Facebook accounts, 18 Pages, 3 Groups and six Instagram accounts that originated in Russia and focused primarily on Sudan,” said Facebook Inc (FB.O) in a statement seen by Sudan Tribune

“The people behind this activity used a combination of authentic accounts of Sudanese nationals, fake and compromised accounts (...) to comment, post and manage Pages posing as news organizations, as well as direct traffic to off-platform sites,” further said the statement.

Social media platforms particularly Facebook have been used by the supporters of the former Islamist regime to spread fake news about the transitional government and the Forces for Freedom and Change.

The statement said that these accounts share stories from the official Sudan news agency SUNA and Russian run media such as Sputnik and RT.

The Russian campaigns used almost 200 fake and compromised accounts to target the eight African countries.

Facebook did not disclose the local people or groups that feed these accounts.

However, Reuters reported that researchers at Stanford University, who worked with Facebook on its investigation, said the companies included the Russian private military contractor, the Wagner group.

Wagner was cited for its close relations with the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS). Also, it was linked to Russian mining firms working in the Central African Republic and Sudan.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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