On January 8, 2020 a facebook post was made by the name ደሃይ ውቅሮን ትግራይን (a personal blog with 1,934 followers) sharing the image below that shows trucks loaded with many troops and some people along the road a claim that they are soldiers of the National Defence Forces who were entering to Tigray as an additional deployment for the ongoing military operation against the TPLF-led forces. The text which is written in Tigrinya reads “ Please share this urgent information so that the Tigray Defence Forces can see it. [Abiy Ahmed] is sending many trucks loaded with soldiers to urban centers of Tigray.” However, Haqcheck has interrogated the post and confirmed that the picture below doesn’t show Ethiopian troops who were recently sent to Tigray, rendering the post FALSE due to the usage of an inaccurate image to support the claim.
Granted, there has been an armed conflict currently ongoing in the Tigray region between the Federal government and the TPLF led Tigray special police and militia since 4 November 2020. After nearly three weeks of fighting in the region, it was confirmed that the ENDF led Federal forces had assumed control of major cities in Tigray including Mekele, Shire, Adigrat, Axum and others. Recently the ENDF and Federal Police force in joint operation have killed and captured higher civil and military leaders of the TPLF-led forces including Sibhat Nega on January 08 and Abay Weldu, former Tigray regional president on january 10, 2020.
It is in this context that the image was shared claiming the many troops are entering Tigray as an additional deployment against the TPLF-led regional forces. However, a reverse image search of the picture used in the facebook post doesn’t show soldiers of the Ethiopian Defence Force that were going to Tigray during the recent military operation. The image was first posted on The World, an American digital media website on 17 May 2017 with information that the troops in the picture were Ethiopian soldiers who were passing on its way to the frontline at Zalambessa during the Ethio-Eritrean war on June 11, 1998. The original article related to the image can be with the following link.
It is true that there have been battles and instabilities between the Federal army-led and TPLF-led regional forces in Tigray. However, HaqCheck has interogetted the claim and confirmed that the image below doesn’t show Ethiopian troops entering Tigray as a fresh deployment during the ongoing military operation, therefore, ratinging the post as FALSE due to the usage of an inaccurate image to support the 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)