Misleading debt-to-GDP ratio comparison by Mamo Mihretu
HaqCheck came across a misleading claim by Mamo Mihretu, the Governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia. He claimed that Ethiopia’s external debt stock is very small in comparison to other countries’ external debt stocks such as Kenya, Sudan, and South Africa.
Mamo claimed that while Ethiopia’s external debt is only 24% of its GDP, Kenya, South Africa, and Sudan respectively have debt amounting to 70%, 70%, and 181% of their GDP.
HaqCheck investigated the claim by the National Bank Governor if the figures were correct.
However, HaqCheck confirmed that the claim was false and the external debt-to-GDP comparison was misleading.
Accordingly, the external debt-to-GDP ratio of Kenya, South Africa, and Sudan is respectively 33.7%, 39.6%, and 150%.
Controversies over the dissolution of special police forces
One of the controversies during the week was regarding the dissolution of regional special police forces.
The federal government announced that the establishment of regional paramilitary forces, the special police force, is unconstitutional and regional special police forces should be disestablished.
There were claims that the federal government was planning to disarm and disband particularly the Amhara special police force.
Additionally, claims emerged that other regional special police forces would not be disarmed and the government targeted only the Amhara special force to dissolve.
This raised controversy on media platforms and instability in the Amhara regional state.
The federal government, later on, issued a statement and said that regional special police forces were not going to be disarmed and disbanded. It stated that all regional paramilitary forces were going to be reintegrated into the Ethiopian National Defence Forces, into the Federal Police, or regional police forces.
However, controversies and protests, especially in the Amhara regional state continued.
HaqCheck urges social media users to be skeptical of potentially misleading or false claims. They should seek more information from the source before reacting to claims.
We recommend public institutions and government offices offer the public and the media timely updates. The media should also enjoy the right to full access to information.
Social media content creators should be responsible and refrain from circulating unverified information.