Fano militants captured Ethiopian army soldiers
A Facebook page with over 300,000 followers shared an image claiming to show an Ethiopian army soldier who had recently surrendered to Fano militants. The post was shared close to 200 times and received over 1,700 reactions.
The claim came amid intensified fighting between the Ethiopian military and Fano insurgents in many parts of the Amhara region, including the regional capital, Bahir Dar. The Ethiopian government also stated that Fano militants had captured several major cities in the Amhara regional state.
HaqCheck applied a Google reverse image search on the image to verify the claim. The search result showed that the image was first published on X (Twitter) by a user on Jan 7, 2022.
The caption of the post reads, “Our heroes are falling for our freedom, peace, and safety, as well as for the sovereignty of our motherland Ethiopia, and wish them a happy holiday.” The original post on X was reposted close to 300 times. As a result, HaqCheck rated the Facebook post as False.
Fano militants reclaimed Delanta Woreda
A Facebook page with over 30,000 followers shared an image claiming that Fano militants had retaken control of the entire Delanta Woreda, including the town of Wegeltena, the capital of Delanta District in North Wolo.
The claim came out after the Ethiopian government stated that it reversed the armed insurrection in the Amara region and retook many cities and towns.
The image used in the Facebook post shows a group of people carrying rifles and waving a flag.
The claim that Fano militants have retaken control of Delanta Woreda has not been verified by independent sources.
However, HaqCheck found out that the image used in the Facebook post was old. The picture was circulated on social media a month ago in June. At the time, a media organization, Addis Maleda shared the image on its website along with a news story that a protest was held following the rape of an eight-year-old child in the Dalanta Woreda.
The government killed over 100 civilians in a drone attack in Debre Birhan
A Facebook page with over 190,000 followers posted five images with a claim that over a hundred people were killed in a drone attack on the city of Debrebaran by the Ethiopian government.
The claim emerged amid the intensified armed clashes between the government and Fano milia groups in the Amhara region. Unverified social media reports appeared stating that a drone was deployed in the city of Debre Birhan.
HaqCheck investigated the images used to support the claim. However, two of the five images were published on X two years ago allegedly showing a conflict that occurred in the Ataye town and its vicinities, in the North Shewa zone of the Amhara region.
One of the images was confirmed to show an air strike in Kobani, Syria, carried out by the Russian Air Force in coordination with the American Air Force in 2015. The remaining two images could not be confirmed if they support the claim or not.
HaqCheck urges social media users to be critical of potentially false information they encounter across media platforms. They should verify the source of information before sharing it. They should make sure that the information comes from a credible source.
The government should make information available to the public and media in a timely and transparent manner. It should provide information that is accurate and up-to-date. This is important because it helps to prevent the spread of disinformation. When people do not have access to information, they are more likely to believe misinformation.
Social media content creators and outlets have a responsibility to the public to share accurate information. They should abstain from circulating false information, whether intentional or unintentional.