False image claimed to show rifles seized by Fano militants
A Facebook post with over 90,000 followers claimed that Ethiopian army troops entered Shewa Yifat in the Amhara regional state to disarm Fano militia groups, but were defeated and retreated, abandoning weapons. The post was accompanied by an image that was falsely claimed to show the rifles seized by the Fano militants.
This image was also published along with similar claims. At the time this article was published, the post had more than a hundred reactions.
The claim came amid intense instability in the Amhara region, where Fano militia groups have been clashing with Ethiopian security forces. Recent social media reports claimed that a conflict broke out in Gondar and several people died as a result.
Recent media reports claim that a conflict broke out in Gondar and several people died as a result.
Following the incident, other social media posts claimed that the federal government of Ethiopia was deploying troops to places in the Gondar zones.
There were also media reports that armed militia groups in the region had taken control of some areas, including the Lalibela Airport.
The Ethiopian government this week declared a state of emergency in the Amhara region to reverse the worsening security situation.
However, the image that was used to support the claim about the Fano militants seizing weapons from the Ethiopian army was old and did not show any such event.
False images of militia groups seizing weapons
Following the widespread conflict and armed confrontations between the Ethiopian government and local militia groups in the Amhara region, social media platforms were flooded with claims of military victories.
Some claims were accompanied by old and false images.
One particular example this week was a Facebook post made on Aug 1, 2023, sharing three images with a claim that Fano militants had destroyed Ethiopian military troops and captured weapons.
The post was shared 20 times on the platform.
However, two of the three images used to support the claim were old and found published on the Internet several months ago.
HaqCheck urges social media users to be critical of potentially misleading or false claims. They should verify the information before reacting to claims. They are advised to check the source of the information, look for other sources that corroborate the claim, and be aware of the potential biases of the source.
We recommend that public institutions and government offices provide timely updates to the public and the media. This will help to ensure that people have access to accurate information.
Social media content creators should be responsible and refrain from circulating false and unverified information. They should be aware of the potential impact of their posts on public lives.