All the false claims HaqCheck debunked during the second week of December this year were related to conflict and resultant violence.

The armed conflict between the Ethiopian government and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) whom the government called Shene has been raging.

Recurrent conflicts and resultant violence for the past few years now have been reported. Many civilians, including Oromos and Amharas, were killed by government forces and non-state armed entities.

Amid the armed conflict, aerial and ground attacks were undergoing targeting civilians in the process or intentionally.

Conflict broke out recently in the Oromia regional state, mainly in the Wollega zones. Violence and civilian killings came out, particularly on social media.

We observed two fronts circulating social media posts that dominated the social media landscape. The one front seemed to claim that the government along with Amhara regional forces targeted Oromo civilians and the victims of the latest conflict were ethnic Oromos.

The other front alleged that armed forces in Oromia were targeting and mass killing ethnic Amharas who live in Wollega of the Oromia region.

Viral claims and rumors of massacres slaughters, violence, mass displacement, and immolation were making rounds across the Ethiopian social media landscape.

Many images allegedly proving these claims were greatly disseminated on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

The Ethiopian social media landscape was overwhelmed by false and controversial claims that are related to an ongoing conflict in the Oromia regional state of Ethiopia. These claims were mostly supported by images and videos. HaqCheck came across many image-backed claims. While we figured out that some of them were old and false, we could not confirm many images whether were authentic or not.

Nevertheless, below is a summary of the false claims debunked by HaqCheck throughout the second week of the last month of 2022.

A false picture claimed to show people killed in the latest conflict in Oromia

An image was posted on Facebook and Twitter supporting a claim that it shows dead bodies of recently killed people in Wollega, Oromia. The Facebook post claimed that the victims were ethnic Amharas who live in Wollega. In contrast, the Twitter post alleged that the victims were Oromo farmers killed by Amhara armed forces in Wollega.

But, HaqCheck found out that the image doesn’t show ethnic Amhara or Oromos recently killed in Wollega.

The image used to back the opposing claims was old and taken from a social media post made on Sep 20, 2022. It was published along with a short article that alleges ethnic Amharas were being killed in Wollega.

A video allegedly showing Amhara civilians recently killed in Oromia

A viral video emerged on Facebook on Dec 4, 2022, allegedly showing ethnic Amharas who were killed in Wollega, Oromia. The video shows people transporting dead bodies with stretchers.

However, HaqCheck confirmed that the video was previously published on Mar 5, 2021, on the Facebook page of the Amhara Prosperity Party (APP). The video was shared with a short Amharic caption that ethnic Amharas were massacred by the TPLF in the Mai Kadra town.

A false image of an alleged airstrike in Wollega

A Facebook page with over 120 thousand followers posted an image on Dec 5, 2022, claiming that an aerial attack by the Ethiopian government in the town of Begi, Oromia killed many civilians. Additionally, it claimed that Oromia Special Police Force members were also attacked in the air strike.

Nonetheless, the image doesn’t support the claim civilians were killed during a recent air attack in the town of Begi.

The image was taken from an article published on a website in November 2015. Therefore, HaqCheck concluded that the image doesn’t prove the claim and rated the post as False.

A person being immolated in a recent conflict in Ethiopia

An image allegedly showing a person being immolated in a recent conflict in Ethiopia was shared on Facebook on Dec 5, 2022.

However, HaqCheck inspected the claim and confirmed that the picture doesn’t show people burning a person during a recent conflict in Ethiopia.

The image was first published on Twitter on Oct 6, 2014, with an English caption, “Mob Justice is just bad. Where is the rule of law?”.


HaqCheck recommends social media users be skeptical about misleading and controversial information they encounter. They should look for original source of the claim. They should quest for additional information such as fact-checks for potential false claims.

We urge government bodies and other agencies to offer timely updates regarding ongoing matters. The lack of sufficing information always prompts information disorder. The public and the media sector should be provided with sufficient information concerning public affairs.

We recommend the government and other organizations guarantee the right to open and secure access to information.

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