On December 30, 2020 a facebook post by the name Tirhas Tesfay shared the image below with the claim an Eritrean troop stole Tihlo from Adigrat, Tigray. The text of the post which is written in Tigrinya reads “ Breaking news: I saw an Eritrean soldier looting Tihlo in Adigrat with my eyes…” Tihlo, a dish which is made from barley flour, is a traditional food in North-Eastern Tigray and Southern Eritrea. The post became viral on facebook and at the time of achieving 184 users have shared it. However, HaqCheck has interrogated the post and confirmed that the image doesn’t show an Eritrean troop who stole Tihlo from Adigrat and rated it as SATIRE.
Since november 4, 2020 there has been armed fighting between TPLF-led regional forces and Federal government-led forces in Tigray. Following the instabilities there have been allegations and unproven reports that Eritrean troops have been involved in the war supporting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration. Additionally , many claim that Eritrean soldiers are looting in Tigray amid the war.
In this context the facebook post emerged claiming the man in the image is an Eritrean troop who looted Tihlo in Adigrat. However, a google reverse image search of the picture doesn’t prove the claim. The image was first published by Nairobi News, a news and media outlet in Kenya with a man’s story. The man in the image (captured by a photographer, Evans Habil) is a Kenyan who rescued his ugali (Kenyan porridge) from his house while the government was demolishing illegal houses in Nairobi county. The story of the man published on Nairobi News can be accessed with the following link.
Granted, there have been allegations and unproven claims of Eritrean army involvement in the war and lootings amid the conflict in Tigray at the time the facebook post was shared. However, HaqCheck has interrogated the post and confirmed that the image doesn’t show an Eritrean soldier stealing Tihlo from Adigrat, therefore, rated as SATIRE due to inaccurate usage of the image.
Fact Checked by: Hagos Gebreamlak
Edited by: Bruck Negash Teame
The following article is part of HaqCheck, Addis Zeybe’s multilingual fact checking initiative, which is run by its R&D Department.