Man in viral video asking ‘France to leave’ not Senegalese president-elect

A video has emerged on social media about a political figure in Senegal asking France not to meddle in Senegal’s internal affairs. 

In the video, a man, purported to be the newly elected President of Senegal, is seen speaking English, although the movement of his lips and the audio from the video do not correlate. 

“It is high time for France to leave this due off our neck and put an end to this unjust oppression. Centuries of misery, human trafficking, colonisation and neo-colonisation have caused immeasurable suffering. It’s time to put an end to this cycle of oppression.”

He added that France, Senegal’s colonial master, should not meddle in the affairs of  Senegal.

The video as forwarded on WhatsApp is captioned: “Great speech from the Senegalese President-Elect, and we pray for his protection against the evil forces that are bent on keeping Africa on its knees.  Congratulations Senegal/African Youths, and hope Naija youths are listening. Shalom.” 

The video is widely shared across different countries on X, formerly Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and WhatsApp (here, here, and here).

However, Fact-Check Ghana’s verification shows that the video is misleading. 


The man seen in the viral video is not the Senegalese President-elect but rather Ousmane Sonko, a Senegalese opposition leader of the PASTEF party who was originally the presidential candidate for the PASTEF party until his most recent arrest in July 2023. The arrest disqualified him from contesting in the presidential elections. 

Senegal on March 24th 2024 elected 44-year-old, Bassirou Diomaye Faye as president. When sworn in, Bassirou will be one of the youngest presidents in Africa. 

In the last few days, the video has gone viral with many attributing it to current happenings in Senegal and Sonko’s supposed win as president-elect. 

But Fact-Check Ghana found that the video is not recent. It is an excerpt from a press conference streamed on YouTube by Senegal7, a news and media company in Senegal’s capital Dakar on July 2, 2021.  

During that conference, Sonko spoke French and not English but the viral being circulated is a deep fake version of the actual video, even though Ousmane Sonko made statements similar to what the deepfake video is attributing to him.

In conclusion, the man in the viral video asking France to leave Senegal is not the West African country’s president-elect. He’s rather Ousmane Sonko, the opposition leader. Also, in the original video, Ousmane Sonko spoke French but the video has been edited to make it appear as if he spoke English.

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