On 12 February 2021 a Facebook post was shared by the account Gonder tube/ጎንደር (a page with  over 141,693 followers) sharing the image of the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn with the claim that he warned the Oromia Prosperity Party  during an interview with CJTN also asking friends to share it. The text which is written in Amharic reads “…. His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn warned the Oromia Prosperity Party [OPP] during an interview with CJTN. He said ‘OPP should learn from TPLF. The fact that OPP hasn’t understood is that neither Jawar [Mohammed] nor the Qeero movement had any role in my resignation from the premiership. I resigned because of the struggle of the Amhara people against TPLF’…” However, HaqCheck interrogated the case and confirmed that the ex-PM Hailemariam didn’t warn Oromia Prosperity Party nor conducted an interview with CJTN recently. Therefore, HaqCheck rated the post FALSE due to the false reference to support the claim.

Since the end of the Derg regime in 1991 the EPRDF coalition/party ruled Ethiopia for over two decades. TPLF had been the dominant within the coalition and governed the country with an iron fist until 2018. After the death of the former PM Meles Zenawi and economic decline popular uprisings occurred across the country. One of the architects and leaders of the anti-government mass protests Jawar Mohammed organized an Oromo Youth Organization locally called Qeero, successfully forcing the government to adopt reforms in many sectors. Shortly after these movements former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned to be replaced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali (PHD) in April 2018.

In 2019 the EPRDF became one party and changed its name to Prosperity Party. TPLF declined invitations to join the party and pushed back to its constituency; the Tigray national regional state. Since the attacks on the Northern Command on 4 November 2020 there has been armed fighting between the TPLF-led regional forces and Federal government-led forces in Tigray. The federal government-led forces dismantled the core leadership of the TPLf-affiliated force nevertheless of fighting and following instability continuing in Tigray.

It is in this context that the post was shared by the user claiming that the former prime minister warned the Oromia Prosperity Party. The post became viral on Facebook and has been shared by over 147 accounts at the time this article was written. However the former prime minister has not conducted an interview with CJTN recently. An investigation of all platforms of the media outlet also shows that the former prime minister has not given any video or written interview warning the Oromia Prosperity Party. In fact he wrote an opinion article on the Foreign Policy regarding the ongoing armed conflict between the federal government and TPLF forces. 

Therefore, HaqCheck has confirmed that the former Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn hasn’t warned the Oromia Prosperity Party and thus rated the post FALSE due to the false reference used to support his claim.

Fact Checked by: Hagos Gebreamlak

Edited by: Bruck Negash Teame

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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