This photo spread around the Internet. January 21 AFP news agency published a picture of a French soldier in Mali: his face was hidden by a bandana with a skull that, as noted by users and the media made him look like a character in the game Call of Duty. "Incredible," "amazing," "chilling" picture ... Around her heated debate broke out, and the general staff eventually even responded to comments. A day later, the photographer put an end to all hypotheses, and told the story of the picture. Sensational photo made Isuf Sanogo, who on that day was accompanied by the French military in the prefecture of Niono. As the photographer said AFP, «the history of this picture where more banal than you might think."
"At that moment, close boarded a helicopter that picked up a huge cloud of dust, - says the photographer's blog AFP. - All nearby soldiers instinctively covered their faces with bandanas, not to swallow sand. Dusk. Rays of light made their way through the trees and a cloud of dust raised by helicopter. The lighting was very nice. I noticed a soldier in a strange bandana, made a picture. At that moment, the scene did not seem to me particularly unusual or striking. Soldier posed. In this picture, there is no production. The guy just stood there with his face in the dust until it sits helicopter. In addition, no one tried to stop me from taking photos ».
FMIS Sanogo said that he was surprised raise the hype around his image, especially since none of the French military did he comments on the matter. According to the photographer from Abidjan, which was sent to Mali at the beginning of the conflict, with a skull bandana nothing very shocking. Press saw this relationship between war and video games, and Libération argues that the military thus wants to show that "came to bring death." However, he reminds the reporter that "soldiers are working under difficult conditions." "They have to travel thousands of kilometers, so they try to somehow have fun" - justifies their Isuf Sanogo.
Says the same thing and getting ready for dispatch in Mali French military, which is connected to the Huffington Post. When he saw the picture, it is hilarious: "Soldiers rarely pose this way, but if a guy sees a photographer, why not play a little bit." "I have already done these pictures - he says. - But this is a great product, the photographer tried ».
Whatever the quality of the photos and the behavior of the soldier, on Monday had risen the hype around it attracted the attention of the General Staff. "Such behavior is unacceptable," - said at a press conference spokesman General Staff Byurkar Thierry (Thierry Burkhard). "This picture does not reflect what the France in Mali at the request of the Malian state", and the attitude of the French soldiers who are "risking their lives", - he said.