There was a Facebook post, on 9 March 2021, by a Facebook user named Dagnaw Tesfaye in ‘Seber Zena,’ a public group with more than 178,000 members, claiming that Debretsion and Getachew Reda overturned a ravine while trying to escape to Sudan by Car. The post claimed further  Getachew is Dead, and Debretsion is captured injured at that moment. Then it suggests visiting a telegram channel to see the whole story. HaqCheck interrogated the post and confirmed that the picture doesn’t show the claimed car overturned. Simultaneously, there is no related information about Getachew Reda and Debretsion G/Michael in the mentioned telegram Channel.

Since 4 November 2020, there has been armed fighting between the TPLF-led regional forces and Federal government-led forces in Tigray. The federal government has controlled the regional capital city, Mekelle, on 28 November 2020. It has also recently announced that it was rapidly capturing senior civil and military officers of the TPLF. Some of the senior civil and military leaders of the TPLF-led force have also been arrested. Some of them include influential members of the TPLF, Sebhat Nega, former President Abay Woldu, Deputy President of the Tigray Regional State Abrham Tekeste (PhD), and others. On 14 January 2021, ENDF gave a statement saying three TPLF officials, Abay Tsehaye- TPLF political leader, Seyoum Mesfin- former foreign minister, and Asmelash Woldeselassie- a member of the executive committee of the TPLF, and other former military members were killed. There were also some rumors and unproven social media appearances by Getachew Reda and Debretsion G/Michael.

However, a reverse image search of the picture shows that the image is taken from a 49 seconds long video on Facebook, posted on 19 September 2020. The video shows a truck going down a cliff road without being overturned. A text is written in Vietnamese that reads, “Looks hard but can also go,” as translated by google translate.

There is also a telegram link attached with a saying, “the whole information can be found in the link,” But any file related to the claim can not be found in the telegram channel.

Despite the fact that other TPLF leaders were captured and killed, there is still no public information about the whereabouts and the conditions of the two senior leaders of the political organization. HaqCheck confirmed that the pictures don’t show a car overturned in a ravine boarding Getachew and Debretsion to escape to Sudan, therefore rated the post FALSE due to incorrect usage of the picture to support the claim. 

Fact Checked by: Rehobot Ayalew

The following article is part of HaqCheck, Addis Zeybe’s multilingual fact-checking running in five languages (Affan Oromo, Amharic, Somali, Tigrinya, and English)

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