The claim: Images show roads in the Democratic Republic of the Congo before and after a project with Uganda
Uganda announced Dec. 5 that it broke ground on a road-building project with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to promote trade between the two countries. The project is relatively new, but some social media users claim it has already produced results.
A Facebook post shared Dec. 6 shows two images: one of a muddy road with construction trucks lined up and another of a fully paved road with cars.
“DR Congo Roads before Uganda’s intervention vs soon after its intervention,” reads the caption of the post.
The post generated more than 600 reactions in less than three weeks. But the claim is false.
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The roads pictured in the post are from Brazil and Uganda, as independent fact-checking organizations have noted.
USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook user who shared the post for comment.
Images show roads in Brazil, Uganda
The image of the muddy road in the Facebook post shows the BR-163 highway, part of the Trans-Amazonian highway in Brazil. The second picture in the post shows the Mpigi-Kanoni road in Uganda.
BR-163 is “one of the main routes in the north for grain shipment” and had become “impassable in rainy periods” in 2019, according to a Google translation of an article from Brazilian news outlet Boa Vista Ja.
That same year, Brazil’s infrastructure minister, Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas, announced plans to pave the road due to its deteriorating condition. Soybean trucks would often get stuck in the road’s mud, according to Bloomberg.
The other road featured in the Facebook post, the Mpigi-Kanoni road in Uganda, was completed in 2019. It spans 65 kilometers and “has eased transportation of agricultural produce like coffee,” according to a 2019 tweet from the Uganda National Roads Authority.
Both roads have nothing to do with Uganda’s road-building project in the DRC.
DRC President Felix Tshisekedi visited Uganda President Yoweri Museveni in 2019 to discuss ways to boost trade after Rwanda closed its border with the DRC. The officials formulated a plan to build “1,200 kilometers of roads” connecting Uganda to three cities in the DRC.
The construction of the roads is meant to help Uganda increase export revenue and to tap into a region of the DRC that is largely dependent upon imports, according to Reuters.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that images show roads in the Democratic Republic of the Congo before and after a project with Uganda. The two images in the post show the BR-163 highway in Brazil and the Mpigi-Kanoni road in Uganda.
Our fact-check sources:
- Check Your Fact, Dec. 15, FACT CHECK: DO THESE PICTURES SHOW ROADS IN THE CONGO BEFORE AND AFTER UGANDAN INTERVENTION?
- AFP Fact Check, Dec. 21, These roads are located in Brazil and Uganda, not the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- BBC News, Dec. 4, Why Ugandan troops have entered DR Congo – again
- Reuters, Dec. 1, Congo says it has to fight joint enemy with Uganda as soldiers cross border
- Reuters, Dec. 5, Uganda launches road-building in Congo to boost trade
- Associated Press, Nov. 9, 2019, Congo and Uganda presidents vow to boost trade
- TinEye, accessed Dec. 23
- Associated Press, Sept. 29, 2020, Uganda to help build roads inside Congo, citing trade goals
- Boa Vista Ja, Jan. 23, 2019, Transamazon Highway will be a priority for the Government, says Minister of Infrastructure
- Reuters, Jan. 30, 2019, Brazil to pave key agriculture BR-163 road this year -minister
- Uganda Ministry of Works and Transport, accessed Dec. 23, About
- Bloomberg News, April 29, 2020, Worst-Performing Currency Helps Cargill Widen Margins in Brazil
- Google Translate, accessed Dec. 23
- Uganda Ministry of Works & Transport, Sept. 3, 2019, Tweet
- Uganda National Roads Authority, Sept. 3, 2019, Tweet
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