Does the image show an Oromo militia attacking Somali villages?

An X (formerly known as Twitter) account with a large following shared an image on September 18, 2023, claiming that it shows Oromo militia attacking Somali villages and the largest Somali refugee camp in the area. The account claimed that the attack was sponsored by the Oromia regional government and was motivated by a land grab. The tweet was shared nearly 300 times and received over 400 reactions.

However, the images are old and have been shared before. The pictures don’t show an Oromo militia attacking Somali villages. As a result, the claim was rated False.

According to a BBC News report from February and March 2017, hundreds of people were killed in the southern Oromia district of Negele Borena after a paramilitary force backed by the Somali region attacked the area.

Ethnic Oromos have accused the Somali regional special police force of being responsible for the attacks. The Somali regional government has denied the allegations, instead accusing senior officials in the Oromia government of being sympathetic to the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA).

Both the Oromo and Somali communities live in the border areas between the two regions. Both communities are largely pastoralist and move across the borders of the two regions in search of pasture.

In this context, an X (Twitter) account shared an image claiming that the Oromo militia sponsored by the Oromia regional government attacked villages and the largest Somali refugee camp in the Somali regional state of Ethiopia.

HaqCheck investigated the claim and found that the image is not recent and does not support the claim. The first image used in the post was posted on Facebook in August 2019 with a caption that criticizes the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), a nationalist party in the Somali region, for not doing enough to help the people of Qolaji.

The second image was previously published by the Daily Mail in May 2018 and the caption described how power lines touching trees caused four wildfires in California that destroyed 134 buildings.

HaqCheck rated the post as False because it used images that were not accurate.

HaqCheck reached out to the person who made the claim to get more information, but the claimant didn’t reply until this article was published.

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