On Aug 31, 2022 a Facebook post claimed that the Ethiopian government conducted an aerial strike in Mekelle in the middle of the night using drones. It presented two images as proof. The post also alleged that Ayder Hospital was also bombarded during the drone attack. The post was shared close to one thousand times.
However, HaqCheck confirmed that the images do not show a recent ariel bombardment in Mekelle.
War broke out on Dec 3, 2020, between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the federal government of Ethiopia after months of tensions and stand-off.
The federal government of Ethiopia, joined with the Eritrean government and other regional governments, managed to oust TPLF from Mekelle and other major towns of Tigray after three weeks of conventional fighting.
However, the conflict became protracted and continued as TPLF resorted to guerrilla warfare or heat-and-run tactics. The federal government of Ethiopia together with the then Tigray interim administration declared a humanitarian ceasefire in June 2021 and withdrew armed forces from many parts of the Tigray regional state.
Immediately, TPLF armed forces controlled the regional capital city of Mekelle and other areas.
Nonetheless, the fighting continued as TPLF advanced its forces toward the adjacent regional states of Afar and Amhara. The TPLF armed forces controlled many territories including major towns of the Amhara region that are very close to Addis Ababa.
As the Ethiopian military and other allied forces launched a counterattack against the TPLF armed forces, the federal government regained the territories in the Amhara and Afar regional states that were taken into control by the belligerent in the months of November and December last year.
On March 24, 2022, the Ethiopian government declared a cessation of hostilities with the TPLF. The TPLF instantly confirmed that it accepted the declaration of cessation of hostilities by the federal government.
Peace talks had been on the way as third parties tried to mediate between the Ethiopian government and TPLF. The African Union assigned former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, special envoy of the Union to the Horn of Africa to facilitate a potential peace talk between the Ethiopian government and the TPLF. Obasanjo had been back and forth meeting senior leaders of the belligerents trying to facilitate talks between them.
Later on, TPLF announced that it has no confidence in Obasanjo. The TPLF said Obasanjo is not impartial and competent enough to lead potential peace talks and negotiations with the Ethiopian government.
On Aug 16, 2022, the TPLF said that the federal government already violated the cessation of hostilities jointly declared at the end of March. The TPLF claimed that the armed forces of the federal government attacked its forces with artillery and tanks.
On the early morning of Aug 24, 2022, the TPLF stated that the federal government had launched attacks against its armed forces in the southern Tigray areas. It further announced that the main intention of the attacks by the federal government was to launch integrated attacks on the western front.
The federal government however declined the allegations saying the TPLF provoked the attack.
On Aug 31, 2022, TPLF claimed that there was a drone attack by the middle of that night in Mekelle.
Against this backdrop, a claim emerged on Aug 31, 2022 with two images that the Ethiopian government conducted an aerial strike at midnight in Mekelle, and the Ayder Hospital was also bombarded by the drone attack.
However, HaqCheck confirmed that the images don’t show the alleged recent aerial bombardment in Mekelle.
The first image is from Syria and was taken on Oct 18, 2014. This image was published by the VOA.
The second image which pictures a woman, a running person, the Mekelle Martyrs’ memorial monument, and an airplane is learned to be photoshopped.
Thus, HaqCheck rated the post False.