Orthodox Epiphany not celebrated in Tigray amid fears of aerial attacks

Claims that the annual Orthodox Epiphany celebration was not held in Tigray due to fears of aerial attacks appeared on social media. Images were shared inciting controversies regarding the matter.

On Jan 19, 2022, a Facebook post appeared claiming that the Orthodox Epiphany was not celebrated by the believers in Tigray amid fears of drone attacks. The post received over a thousand reactions and was shared close to a hundred times.

Counterclaims also emerged claiming the image was old and doesn’t prove that people in Tigray abstained from attending Epiphany celebrations because of the aerial attacks.

On Jan 19, 2022, another Facebook post was published with the same image above. The post asserted that the image was five years old.

Images of maps showing Eritrea and Ethiopia merged

There were claims that an image of a map merging Ethiopia and Eritrea as one country appeared during Epiphany celebrations in Addis Ababa and other areas.

A viral tweet was made with the claim that the map in the image appeared during the Epiphany celebration in Ethiopia and Cautioned people to stop such acts since it undermines the sovereignty of Eritrea.

The tweet was retweeted over four hundred times and was seen by many users on the platform.

The tweet shared three images to prove the claim. However, one of the three images was false and taken from publications years ago. The third image was taken from an article published by The National News, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) based news outlet. The original image was published in January 2019 along a story entitled, “Ethiopia apologizes after Dubai marathon fans ‘erase Eritrea’ from map”.

Demolished compound of the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council in Bahir Dar

Controversial images and claims had also emerged last week following the information that the premises of the Bahir Dar office of the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council was smashed on the eve of the Epiphany holiday. A Facebook page with the name of Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council shared three images along with the claim that the compound was destroyed by the mobs who were celebrating the holiday.

However, many posts appeared counterclaiming that the images shared don’t prove the alleged claim that the premises sustained damages by attendees of the Epiphany celebration

On Jan 19, 2022, a Facebook post emerged with a refutation that the images show when the compound was demolished for reconstruction purposes previously. There also emerged a similar counterclaim alleging the images were old and show the premises during reconstruction.

Amhara militia & Fano checking the movement of departing Ethiopian army

Facebook post was published with three pictures to prove the claim on Jan 17, 2022. claimed that Fano and local militia checked the movements of the departing federal government army in Kobo, Amhara Regional State. According to the post, the federal army was leaving the area with the command of the Ethiopian army Chief-of-Staff following the approach of TPLF forces which supposedly intended to re-control the town. 

However, two of the three images were learned to be falsely taken from sources dated 4-8 years ago.

The first image was first posted on 16 Dec 2015 in an article about the then youth protests against the rule of the EPRDF regime. The link to the first image can be found here.

The third image out of the three images was taken from a Facebook post in Mar 2019. The post shared the image with a claim to show people blocking the road that connects Bahir Dar and Hamusit. Here is a link to the original image.

However, we could not find the second image that is shared to support the post’s claim.

Therefore, HaqCheck rendered the post PARTLY FALSE.


We recommend social media influencers and content creators be responsible and abstain from sharing false and unauthenticated images and information. They should not misinform their followers and the social media populace in general. 

HaqCheck recommends social media users be conscious of the origin and intention of the unverified information posted on social media platforms. They should question the authenticity of the information before they read and share it with others. They should identify trustable pages and sources to grasp the crux of the issue.

The government should avail sufficient and up-to-date information to the public and to the media. Disinformation and information disorder intensifies during times of shortage of information.

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