On July 20, 2023, a viral Twitter post appeared sharing an image with a claim that Ethiopian army troops were routed by Fano militants in Shewa Robit and the soldiers dispersed leaving firearms and five Ural tracks behind. The claim adds that the Ethiopian government in return deployed commandos using helicopters.
To support the claim, the post presented an image made of two different pictures. The first picture depicts military tracks and the second picture shows a helicopter and rushing soldiers.
The Twitter post was more than 100 times and was viewed by over eleven thousand Twitter users.
However, HaqCheck confirmed that one of the pictures was old and didn’t support the claim. Thus, the claim is rated Partly False.
The Amhara region of Ethiopia has been in turmoil since the federal government announced its decision to disarm regional special police forces in April 2023. The situation has since escalated, with the Amhara regional state becoming embroiled in armed conflict between the Ethiopian government’s armed forces and informal armed militias. Reports indicate that many people have lost their lives in armed clashes within the region.
The town of Shewa Robit witnessed instability and violence as part of a wider pattern of instability in the Amhara region. The town has been rocked by a series of violent incidents in recent weeks. On July 4, 2023, the head of the town’s security bureau was shot dead by unknown assailants. Two days later, a deputy sergeant police officer was also killed in a shooting.
In response to the violence, the town has established an interim security command post and imposed a nighttime curfew.
Against this backdrop, a Twitter post shared an image on July 20, 2023, claiming that Ethiopian army troops were routed by Fano militants in Shewa Robit. The post said that the soldiers dispersed, leaving firearms and five Ural tracks behind. The post also claimed that the Ethiopian government deployed commandos using helicopters in response.
To support the claim, the post presented an image made of two different pictures. The first picture in the post shows military tracks. The post claims that these tracks were left behind by Ethiopian army troops who were routed by Fano militants in Shewa Robit. The second picture in the post shows a helicopter and rushing soldiers. The post claims that this picture shows Ethiopian commandos being deployed to Shewa Robit in response to the routing of Ethiopian army troops by Fano militants.
However, HaqCheck investigated the claim and found that one of the pictures was old and did not support the claim.
The second picture in the image was taken from a documentary film titled ‘Nisrochu’, which was released by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in May 2023. The image was also shared by the Ethiopian News Agency in its news report about the documentary movie.
Nonetheless, HaqCheck couldn’t confirm whether the first picture in the image supports the claim or not.
Therefore, the claim was rated Partly False due to its usage of an old image that doesn’t support the claim.